Courtesy of PNC

Stats ‘N’ At: Steelers’ rookies finally arrive, Malkin’s slump, Pirates’ ‘opener’


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James Washington, Sunday at Heinz Field. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Welcome to Stats ‘N’ At, a weekly feature that takes a deep dive into the numbers that define our city's sports scene.

Compared to 2017, when T.J. Watt dropped quarterbacks and JuJu Smith-Schuster stretched the field from practically Day 1, the Steelers' 2018 draft class has been slow to develop.

First-rounder Terrell Edmunds has received plenty of snaps, but hasn't really stood out. He's the 64th-ranked safety in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus' player grades. Second-rounder James Washington has been a healthy inactive at times. Mason Rudolph is third on the QB depth chart, while fellow third-rounder Chuks Okorafor has been an emergency fill-in on the line. Marcus Allen straddles the inactives list, while Jaylen Samuels' main accomplishment for most of the year was beating out Fitzgerald Toussaint for a roster spot.

That is, until Sunday. With their playoff and AFC North title hopes dimming, and while confronting a team that has tortured them for nearly two decades, the Steelers received huge--and historic--contributions from their previously quiet rookie class.

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