Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward is the first member of the team to appear on Pro Football Focus' Top 50 players list.
PFF's rankings are what they expect players to do in 2021, not for their performance in 2020. The first Steeler to make the list is Heyward, who ranks 31st.
The later into his career he gets, the better Heyward seems to play. His best four seasons in terms of PFF grade have been his most recent four seasons, and Aaron Donald is the only interior lineman who has a higher overall PFF grade since 2019.
The longtime Steeler's 75 defensive stops lead all players at his position over the same period by seven, and he trails only Donald in terms of total pressures. The Los Angeles Rams star is in a world all by himself, but Heyward has a good case to be seen as the best interior defender not named Donald in the NFL — and that’s an impressive achievement.
Heyward, 32, is entering his 11th season with the Steelers. Last season, the defensive captain was named a Second-Team All-Pro and made his fourth-consecutive Pro Bowl.
Heyward isn't expected to be the highest ranking Steeler on the top 50. T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick should be fairly high on the list. Najee Harris, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Devin Bush and Chase Claypool could also make surprise appearances.
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