PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) — It might be hard to keep up with the Steelers' other rookies since the team's highest drafted 2020 pick, wide receiver Chase Claypool, has grabbed the limelight, but rest assured, Alex Highsmith is making his presence known, as well.
Normally, it might be difficult for a rookie to stand out in this Steeler’s box — for all intents and purposes, the front seven has been elite and features a lot of big-ticket players.
But Highsmith is still finding his own way to get his name out there.
And someone has taken notice: The Draft Network.
But the NFL Draft website is doing more than just singing Highsmith’s praises.
They’re giving the third-round pick out of Charlotte a defensive rookie award for his Week 8 performance against the Ravens.
While I won’t speak for everyone, awards are pretty neat.
And when I say that, I’m saying it with the same joie de vivre as the “Neature Walk” guy.
The Draft Network's extolling of Highsmith should be met with a sense of exuberance since the defense is already stout with household names — Highsmith is just the cherry on top.
On the surface, the Steelers’ stars are already apparent: T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Bud Dupree, and Stephon Tuitt.
Even next-man-up Robert Spillane has made some waves filling in for Devin Bush.
But what exactly has Alex Highsmith done to draw this type of attention?
Here's what the Draft Network had to say: “Highsmith made critical plays on Sunday, leading the Steelers to their second 7-0 start in franchise history. His interception led to a touchdown when their offense had a bit of a challenging time scoring points. He finished the day with two tackles, one interception, and one [pass broken up.]”
Also mentioned by the Draft Network and worth rehashing, Bud Dupree isn't guaranteed to sign in 2021 since his contract will be up, so it’s encouraging to see Highsmith being able to get his feet wet and find some production if he’s going to potentially be vaulted into a larger role in his second season.
Regardless of Dupree’s situation, strong cases can be made that the Steelers nailed their first two picks from earlier in the spring.
And who knows, maybe some more awards will be coming Highsmith’s way to drive that point home.