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Taking A Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 Draft Class

Minkah Fitzpatrick made every Steeler fan forget they didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  His play last year makes him every bit worth a first-round pick and more!  Pittsburgh struck a deal with the Miami Dolphins last offseason for Fitzpatrick. ( TERMS OF THE TRADE BELOW )

MIAMI RECEIVED  – 2020 1ST ROUND PICK, 2020 5TH ROUND PICK 2021 6TH ROUND PICK

PITTSBURGH  RECEIVED – MINKAH FITZPATRICK,  2020 4TH ROUND PICK, 2021 7TH ROUND PICK 

CHASE CLAYPOOL – NOTRE DAME ROUND 2 PICK 49 6’4 229lbs – WIDE RECEIVER 

The Steelers have a long history of hitting on Wide Receivers and developing them into stars in the league ( AB, JuJu, Diontae Johnson ) to name a few.  They hope next on that list that is the 6’4 229lb Chase Claypool from Notre Dame.  Claypool is a rare blend of speed and power and shows that especially after the catch in his RAC skills.  High points the ball and wins on contested catches is a bully when the ball is in the air has a big catch radius. The high point of his game might be his blocking ability is physical and throws people out of the club!  He was a special teams star at Notre Dame covering kicks and punts.  Fans should be excited for Claypool!

ALEX HIGHSMITH – CHARLOTTLE ROUND 3 PICK 102 6’4 242lbs – EDGE RUSHER

When the Coach of the reigning National Champions gloats about you after the game you are doing something right, Dabo Swinney said of Charlotte Edge Rusher Alex Highsmith ” Good enough to play for anybody in the country ” High praise from Dabo.  Alex Highsmith is a high motor pass rusher that plays every down with great effort and tenacity.  Hands are violent and he does a great job with placement and timing when rushing the passer and setting the edge.  Displays good pass rush moves shows a quick first step inside and outside spin move.  Highsmith will make an instant impact on special teams while developing into a long term starter for the Steel City.

ANTHONY MCFARLAND JR – MARYLAND ROUND 4 PICK 124 5’9 198lbs – RUNNING BACK

Not many people put up the numbers on the Ohio State Buckeyes defense like Anthony McFarland did in the 2018 season he gashed the buckeyes for 298 yards & two touchdowns on 21 carries.  McFarland has elite acceleration and quickness in the open field quick cuts with a nasty stop/start.  Has home-run ability every time he touches the ball,  has breakaway speed to take it to the house big play waiting to happen.  Full go every snap,  hits the ground running at full speed and brings his pads, and isn’t afraid of contact.  McFarland isn’t like any other back that the Steelers have on their roster brings a nice blend of speed and power.

KEVIN DOTSON – LOUISIANA ROUND 4 PICK 135 6’4 303LBS – OFFENSIVE GUARD 

One of my favorite value picks of the entire 2020 draft was Kevin Dotson out of Louisiana.  Steelers lost Ramon Foster to retirement so addressing interior offensive lineman in the draft was something the Steelers needed to focus on.  Nasty run blocker gets his hands inside and rolls his hips into contact and punishes defenders.  Nasty mean streak, always finishes his blocks looks for work on every snap.  Dotson struggles with footwork in pass protection plays to high in pass protection.  Not much flexibility, very limited in pulling situations.  Dotson has all the upside to become a starter in the NFL technique and footwork need to be addressed in order for him to get to that point

ANTOINE BROOKS JR – MARYLAND ROUND 6 PICK 198 5’11 213lbs – SAFETY

The Steelers double-dipped this season on Maryland Terrapin players adding Running back Anthony McFarland Jr and Safety Antoine Brooks Jr.  Antoine Brooks is a typical Steeler draft pick, a physical tone-setting player that fly’s around the field and lets his pads do the talking.  Can play in the box with his physical play, does a great job of shooting gaps and blowing up defenders.  Brooks should find a way on the roster with his special teams play will be a demon covering kicks.  Brooks struggles in coverage stiff at times when he gets into his drops, doesn’t have much range on the back end.  Brooks isn’t an every-down defensive player sub-packages and special teams are where Brooks will have the biggest impact.

CARLOS DAVIS – NEBRASKA ROUND 7 PICK 232 6’2 324lbs – DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Pittsburgh capped the 2020 draft off by adding to the defensive line with the selection of Carlos Davis from Nebraska with the 232nd pick.  Davis plays with heavy hands and does a good job of holding his ground and not getting moved vertically.  More of a space-eater won’t give you much as a pass rusher true nose guard.  Davis projects as a low end of the roster player with some upside in with helping in the run game.

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