With the Steelers welcoming new players to hopefully strengthen their team, so will their chief rivals. Take a look at who the Steelers’ AFC North rivals added on Day One and who may haunt Pittsburgh in coming years.
Steeler Nation waited in torture on Thursday and Day 1 of the 2021 Draft to select Najee Harris, they watched closely to see who their AFC North rivals would select to improve their squad. Last year, Joe Burrow, Jedrick Wills and Patrick Queen entered the fray the first day. Here are the guys the Steelers will see twice a year for a good while.
Round 1, Pick 5
Cincinnati Bengals select Ja’Marr Chase – LSU
2019 Stats: 84 Rec, 1,780 Yards, 21.2 YPC, 20 TDs
The Bengals got Joe Burrow another weapon in the first round, but they ignored getting their quarterback the protection that he so dearly needs. What they did do is get a dominant combat-catch receiver to add to Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. This is going to be a dynamic offense if they can keep Burrow clean.
Round 1, Pick 26
Cleveland Browns select CB Greg Newsome II – Northwestern
2020 Stats: 12 Tackles, 9 Pass Defenses, 1 interception
Cleveland have solid cornerbacks in the persons of Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. The addition of late riser Greg Newsome on adds to the stable of shutdown corners in Cleveland. Bad new for the Steelers, but it would have read worse if Zaven Collins ended up in “The Land”.
Round 1, Pick 27
Baltimore Ravens select WR Rashod Bateman – Minnesota
2020 Stats: 36 Rec, 472 Yards, 13.1 YPC, 2 TDs
The Ravens have had an explosive offense for the past couple of seasons, but that was courtesy of running the ball very well. The passing game has been suspect and B-more attempts once again to make an impact out wide, Will Bateman be just another failed pick or will his great size and route-running ability make the difference that Charm City football craves?
Round 1, Pick 31
Baltimore Ravens select EDGE Jayson Oweh – Penn State
2020 Stats: 38 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 interceptions, 1 passes defense, 0 fumble recoveries, 0 forced fumbles
Oweh is a sensational athlete with astounding size, but doesn’t rack up the sacks in the manner in which you would think. He has an incredible high motor and could help add more toughness to the Ravens.
Will Chase, Newsome, Bateman and Oweh be names in the Steelers-Bengals, Steelers-Ravens and Steelers-Browns rivalry and victimize Pittsburgh for years to come or will they be just another victim of the black and gold? We will see.