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Steelers Rise 8 Spots In ESPN Week 2 Power Rankings After Exciting Week 1 Win

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Rise 8 Spots In ESPN Week 2 Power Rankings After Exciting Week 1 Win

The Pittsburgh Steelers were written off by most media outlets before the 2022 season started. They rarely cracked the top 20 in any preseason power rankings, but after an extremely impressive defensive performance and an unexpected 23-20 win against the Cincinnati Bengals, the team seems to finally be getting some recognition at the beginning of the regular season. ESPN‘s weekly power rankings came out on Tuesday morning and the Steelers jumped eight spots. After being 22nd in the final preseason rankings, Mike Tomlin‘s team is now sitting at #14 and is ahead of division rival, the Cleveland Browns.

Steelers Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin at 2022 training camp at the team’s South Side facility in Pittsburgh, PA. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

The theme of the power rankings this week related to each team’s most impressive rookie during the first weekend of meaningful football. Steelers’ ESPN NFL Nation reporter, Brooke Pryor gave the nod to undrafted rookie running back, Jaylen Warren.

“Even though the Steelers have rookies on the roster who figure to be major players this season, there weren’t many opportunities for the young guys to flash on Sunday. Warren, an undrafted rookie, ended up with the most playing time of a rookie, on the field for 23 offensive snaps,” Pryor wrote.

“He stepped into a big role when Najee Harris went down at the end of regulation, and though he had only three carries for 7 yards, he figures to have an even bigger role against the Patriots if Harris misses time. Honorable mention standout rookie: third-round pick defensive end DeMarvin Leal, who played 17 snaps.”

Pryor failed to mention the most impressive part of Warren’s play, however. He loves contact. He has the chance to be a legitimate third down back whether Harris is fully healthy or not. He made some nice blocks in pass protection Sunday and could turn into a great option at RB2.

Steelers Jaylen Warren

Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Jaylen Warren (#30) runs with the football at 2022 training camp in Latrobe, PA. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers’ RB2 Jaylen Warren Battled An Uncommon Path To The NFL

Warren never believed he would be in the position he is in today. A few weeks ago, he said that it all is pretty surreal.

“I mean, if you would have told me I would be in this spot five years ago, I would not have believed you,” Warren said. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of this. I’m ready to prove something.”

Running back’s coach, Eddie Faulkner was very complimentary and high on the rookie during the preseason.

“You could see he was a tough runner in college,” Faulkner said. “He could put his foot in the ground and make people miss. He was a north-south runner. What you didn’t see, which has been one of his better suits quite honestly, is his ability in pass protection. He’s a very physical pass protector.”

“That’s just not something he was asked to do in that system [in college]. But that’s been a pleasant surprise. He’s smart in terms of knowing who to block, but once it comes to doing it, he plays with good technique and he’s physical. He’s built for the fight, and that’s fun to see.”

Warren could carve out a key role for himself in the Steelers offense if Harris’ foot injury continues to hang around throughout the season. No one, including Warren, wants to see Harris miss significant time, but the rookie should have the opportunity to make a name for himself whether Harris is in or out of the starting lineup.


Are you satisfied with the Steelers #14 spot in the most recent ESPN power rankings? Let us know in the comments below!


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  1. Pingback: Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Officially Announces Star Edge Rusher TJ Watt Will Return In 2022, As Team Is No Longer Looking At Worst-Case Scenario -

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