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Steelers EDGE Alex Highsmith used NFL draft experts as motivation

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Outside linebacker Alex Highsmith was pressed into starting duty as a rookie in 2020 when Bud Dupree tore his ACL. His performance was strong enough to give the Pittsburgh Steelers coaches confidence in him to be the opening-day starter opposite T.J. Watt.

But many NFL draft pundits weren’t so convinced and many had edge rusher among the team’s top draft needs, even going so far as to mock an edge to the Steelers in the first round. Highsmith said this motivated him to work even harder in the offseason.

My thoughts? Whatever it takes. Highsmith has some big shoes to fill so anything he can pull from to help get him there is fine by me. Highsmith only got one sack in his five starts and the Steelers did very little to address the position in the offseason aside from sixth-round pick Quincy Roche.

List

Predicting the roles of the Steelers 2021 NFL draft class