Alex Highsmith recognized as top-tier defensive rookie

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PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) — Things are trending up for one of the Steelers' 2020 picks.

Third-round selection Alex Highsmith was recently honored as one of the top defensive rookies from the 2020 season.

Highsmith was given a 72.0 overall grade, just ahead of the Dolphins' defensive lineman Raekwon Davis at four and behind Chiefs' corner L' Jarius Sneed at two.

Vikings' corner Cameron Dantzler came in at fifth, and unsurprisingly, Washington Football Team's Chase Young came in first.

He's not Chase Young, but Alex Highsmith is getting his due credit.

The rankings came by way of the NFL and Pro Football Focus's grading metrics.

Maybe Highsmith's presence is a surprise, but it could have been in part because of Bud Dupree's injury.

It's also worth considering that even if Dupree had remained healthy, he's still going into free agency.

Highsmith would've gotten snaps anyway in anticipation of Dupree departing.

Regardless, Highsmith now has the inside track for 2021.

He used the 2020 season to gain a little momentum, and with that, he's already shown some flashes of being a Day 2 bon marche for Pittsburgh.

And the defensive rookie rankings only solidify Highsmith's upward trajectory.

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