ESPN.com recently put out an article naming one shock offseason standout thus far, and Brooke Pryor named Connor Heyward because the Steelers’ greatest shock.
Pryor wrote that “It’s exhausting to be really underneath the radar as Cam Heyward ‘s younger brother, but the rookie Heyward impressed in offseason workouts and showed a chemistry with first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett in a nice snag during a two-minute drill in minicamp.” She also wrote that the younger Heyward has been mostly working with the tight ends and receivers, something that isn’t shocking on condition that he was anticipated to play tight finish when Pittsburgh drafted him. He additionally stated earlier this month he stated he had been solely working with the tight ends.
While Heyward won’t see fast motion, as he’s at present beneath each Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry on the depth chart, he does current an intriguing choice for Pittsburgh. At 6’0, he’s just a little bit undersized for a decent finish however his versatility may assist him earn taking part in time in a possible H-back function. In Matt Canada’s offense, there could possibly be room for each FB Derek Watt and Heyward to contribute in that form of capability, though Heyward’s main focus shall be lining up as a decent finish.
Heyward and Pickett growing chemistry is an efficient signal for the 2 rookies. Even if neither begin instantly, they’ll greater than probably be on the sector collectively sooner or later of their careers. While you may argue the chemistry they’re growing is because of the personnel round them, as they labored with the third-stringers in minicamp, it’s nonetheless a superb signal that the 2 have discovered some form of connection. The tight finish could be a main security blanket for a quarterback, and having a man you belief at that place is vital, as we noticed with Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller for all these years. It’s good that Pickett and Heyward are seemingly getting a head begin on that relationship.
If he continues impressing the best way he did in minicamp, Heyward may push Zach Gentry for reps as TE2 and doubtlessly take over that function sooner or later. After two years of nearly no manufacturing, Gentry had his moments final season. He caught 19 balls for 167 yards functioning principally because the TE3 behind Freiermuth and Eric Ebron, however when Ebron went down with an damage he noticed much more taking part in time. Of his 19 catches, 11 of them went for first downs and he turned extra of an choice towards the top of the season, with 10 of his receptions coming in Weeks 15-18 with one other 4 coming within the playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. If he can construct off his efficiency from the top of the yr, Gentry shall be powerful to beat out for the function.
Let us know within the feedback beneath what you see Heyward bringing to the Steelers in his rookie yr.