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The 2020 Steelers from A to Z: Alex Highsmith

We are onto part 41 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at third round pick:

Position: OLB
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 248 lbs
College: Charlotte
Draft: 3rd Round 102nd Overall in 2020


2019 stats (NCAA)

75 Total Tackles
15 Sacks
21.5 TFLs
3 Passes Defended
2 Forced Fumbles


Contract remaining

Has not reached an agreement at this time, but the contract will run through 2023


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. For a multitude of reasons. The first being he’s a third-round pick and the rarity of a third rounder getting cut at the end of their first training camp is so unlikely you’re better off waiting to see Haleys comet streak across the sky again.

The next reason is Highsmith is a physical specimen and put up some insane numbers as a senior. I think his game has the highest chance of rolling over into the pros and he’ll have a shot to make an immediate impact.


2020 projection

Highsmith will see the field a ton in 2020. As a backup linebacker he’ll play virtually every special teams unit and he will assume the snaps left behind by Anthony Chickillo. I think Highsmith is a much more explosive edge rusher compared to Chickillo and will actually have a shot at getting to the quarterback when on the field.

The following stat projections are if T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree both play a healthy 16 games. If not I could only see these numbers balloon.


Projected stats:

3 Sacks
20 Total Tackles
2 TFLs
1 Fumble Recovery


Summary

Alex Highsmith was drafted for an obvious reason — to develop in 2020 and possibly take over from Bud Dupree in 2021. He has the physical assets and dominating college pedigree to lean off of but he’ll have to transition what he did in the past to the NFL level.

I am fully in the camp that Highsmith reaches his potential and that he’s in the perfect situation for him.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward

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