ESPN recently named one surprise offseason standout for each NFL franchise and they went with a 2022 late-round draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rookie tight end Connor Heyward, the younger brother of Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, has been a pleasant surprise this offseason according to ESPN.
It’s hard to be truly under 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. Heyward, selected in the sixth round, figures to be in a hybrid tight end/fullback role in an offense that values versatility in its skill players. Because he has been working mostly with tight ends and receivers, Heyward probably won’t be competing for the fullback roster spot with Derek Watt, making it likely both find roles on the 2022 team.
Heyward, a former Michigan State standout, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft (No. 208 overall). He started his career as a running back before moving to tight end in his final season with the Spartans.
The Georgia native caught 35 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns as a redshirt senior in 2021.
Heyward should have a decent shot to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster since Pittsburgh doesn’t have a lot of depth at tight end.
Pat Freiermuth has the No. 1 tight end spot locked down for the Steelers. But there’s a lot of uncertainty behind Freiermuth. Heyward will battle with Zach Gentry and Kevin Rader for the backup tight end roles in Pittsburgh.
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