Rob Gronkowski to Steelers, Minkah Fitzpatrick to Jets in New NFL Redraft

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Last week ESPN published an NFL redraft that got more than its fair share of attention on the Internet, largely as a result of deliberately provocative selections like Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock getting drafted at pick No. 15, ahead of the likes of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Miami Dolphins’ rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

The whole endeavor promoted Pro Football Focus to do a four-round NFL redraft of its own, (conducted by “some of the brightest minds in football analytics”), which has now been completed in its entirety.

PFF‘s NFL Redraft: Highlights From Rounds 3, 4

From a Steelers’ perspective, there were two notable picks in round three and one in round four.

First, PFF analyst Kevin Cole, selecting for the New York Jets, took Steelers’ safety Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 75th overall pick.

Later in the third round, PFF analyst Timo Riske selected safety Marcus Williams (New Orleans Saints) for the benefit of his Steelers’ roster.

Finally, in round four Riske went on to add tight end Rob Gronkowski, uniting him with Tom Brady (just like real-life!), who Riske had drafted for Pittsburgh in the first round of the exercise.

Ben Roethlisberger to the Ravens in Round 1

More notably, still, when Riske passed on a still-available Ben Roethlisberger and chose Brady at No. 18 overall, that opened the door for Big Ben to go to the Baltimore Ravens at pick No. 28.

Two other Pittsburgh Steelers’ players were selected in the first two rounds of PFF’s redraft.

JuJu Smith-Schuster went to the Carolina Panthers in round two at #58, and T.J. Watt went to the Los Angeles Chargers one pick later. It was somewhat of a surprise that Smith-Schuster went ahead of Watt, and even more of a surprise that Watt would last until pick #59, as he was recently named the 28th-best player in the NFL by PFF.

For what it’s worth, the quarterbacks who were selected ahead of Roethlisberger in the PFF redraft included: Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Cam Newton, Josh Allen, Daniel Jones, Philip Rivers, Sam Darnold, Dwayne Haskins and Jameis Winston, the latter still a potential long-term replacement for Roethlisberger in real-life, as is current Steelers’ backup QB Mason Rudolph.

The proverbial Mr. Irrelevant in this exercise was linebacker Fred Warner, who went to the Cincinnati Bengals with pick #128. In real-life Warner toils for the San Francisco 49ers.

Patrick Mahomes went to the Bengals with the first overall selection.

Steelers Cancel Friday Night Lights Practice in Latrobe

In other Steelers’ news, the organization announced today that it will not hold its annual summer practice in Latrobe, this on the heels of notice that 2020 training camp will be held at Heinz Field.

The Steelers do plan to return to Saint Vincent College for training camp in 2021. This is the first year since 1966 that the Steelers will not hold training camp in Latrobe.

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