On Wednesday Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus revealed the names on PFF’s 2021 Midseason All-Pro Team, a unit that features three Pittsburgh Steelers stars.
Cameron Heyward, For One
At the top of the list is veteran Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, 32, who is one of two first-team All-Pros at his position, alongside 3x Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams). Notably, Heyward and Donald were also the PFF first-team All-Pros at the midway point in 2020.
“Heyward continues to play his best football as he gets deeper into his 30s,” notes Monson. “All five of his best seasons have come in the past five years, including this one, and his current 92.3 PFF grade would represent a career-high if maintained over the full year.”
Indeed, the former first-round pick (No. 31 overall in 2011 out of Ohio State) has posted an impressive stat line through seven games. Per Pro Football Reference, he already has 40 total tackles (23 solo), including five tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, five quarterback hits and five passes defensed, plus a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
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T.J. Watt Named Second-Team All-Pro Behind Myles Garrett
Meanwhile, Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt has been named second-team All-Pro behind Cleveland edge rusher Myles Garrett, who has 10.5 sacks in eight games this season.
“Garrett is on a Defensive Player of the Year-type tear this season,” notes Monson. “He’s racked up 44 pressures thus far, the second-most in the NFL, to go along with the best pass-rush win rate and the best PFF pass-rushing grade on third downs. He has single-handedly wrecked multiple games for opposing offenses this year and looks unstoppable against even good offensive tackles.”
Still, Watt might have been named first-team All-Pro and Garrett second-team (as was the case in November 2020), except for the fact that Watt has missed a game-and-a-half with a groin injury. All things considered, his stats are pretty remarkable, as he has already amassed 27 total tackles (22 solo), with 8.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries, as per PFR.
Kicker Chris Boswell, Too
Last but not least, Steelers placekicker Chris Boswell made the squad as well, named to the second-team behind Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. Tucker has missed only one field goal this season and sports a perfect mark from beyond 50 yards, including an NFL record 66-yarder.
For his part, Boswell is 12 of 13 on field goal attempts this year (92.3%), and has converted 12 of 12 extra-point tries.
Around the AFC North
As for the other representatives from the AFC North, there’s first-team tight end Mark Andrews of the Ravens and first-team left guard Joel Bitonio of the Cleveland Browns, not to mention second-team wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals. Wyatt Teller of the Browns is the second-team right guard.
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