You’d be hard-pressed to find a better unit in the NFL other than the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ defensive line. In a Pro Football Focus article ranking the best defensive lines in the league, the Steelers were at the top, and for good reason.
T.J. Watt is the best player along their front and figures to get even better next season. In just his third season in 2019, Watt earned All-Pro honors, racking up 14.5 sacks, 36 hits on the quarterback and an astounding 81 total pressures. At just 25 years old, it’s scary to think the best is yet to come for this guy.
Losing interior lineman Javon Hargrave this offseason was a significant blow to the Steelers front, but not one they can’t overcome. The team will be looking at Chris Wormley as the likely replacement for Hargrave. He played a career high 46% of the defensive snaps last season, toaling 1.5 sacks and six QB hits on the year.
With a small sample size, it’s hard to accurately project the kind of outing we’ll see out of Wormley in his increased role. But, he should play well enough for the Steelers front to remain one of the best in the league.
Veteran lineman Cameron Heyward continued his stellar career last year with one of his best outings to date. He racked up nine sacks, 83 total tackles and 23 QB hits in 2019. At 31, he still has a handful of productive years left in the tank.
Then we have Bud Dupree, who had a career year in 2019 as well. He posted a career-high in sacks (11.5), total tackles (68) and QB hits (17). Like Watt, the best is still yet to come for Dupree.
Overall, it’ll be hard for this unit to live up to the high performance they put forth last season. But given the fact that the nucleus along the line is so young, they could be even better next season, only time will tell.
PFF got this one right, the Steelers absolutely have the best defensive front in the league.