Steelers sign Cameron Heyward’s brother Connor, a tight end from Michigan State

Call the Pittsburgh Steelers the team of brotherly love.

With their sixth-round pick, the Steelers made four sets of brothers on their roster by taking Michigan State tight end Connor Heyward with the 208th overall pick. Heyward is the younger brother of Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman Cameron Heyward.

At 5-foot-11, 233 pounds, Connor Heyward followed in the footsteps of his father, former Pitt All-American Craig Heyward, by playing running back when he started his college career. His role has evolved to the point where he is seen as an H-back or full-back type tight back who can be a special and versatile chess player in attack.

Steelers coach Alfredo Roberts said he sees Heyward as a tight end but added that his versatility will be put to use.

The Heywards join TJ and Derek Watt, Terrell and Trey Edmunds and Carlos and Khalil Davis as brothers on the offseason’s 90-man roster. Cameron Heyward and TJ Watt were All Pros last season, with outside linebacker Watt winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Derek Watt is a fullback who is due to receive $2.75 million in salary this season, the end of a three-year contract he signed as a free agent in 2020. The addition of Connor Heyward could make Watt useless, especially in light of the $4.7 million salary. -cap struck, it is due.

According to, Watt has the highest projected salary cap for an NFL guard in 2022 — more than $1.2 million more than No. 2 CJ Ham of the Minnesota Vikings.

Heyward was honored among the Big Ten as a senior after having 35 catches for 326 yards and two touchdowns. He’s 23, almost 10 years younger than Cameron, who is entering his 12th NFL season and is a longtime Steelers captain.

The consensus within the scouting community is that Connor Heyward doesn’t have top-notch athleticism, but has a floor defined as, at worst, a special teams baseman. The Steelers have two assured tight ends in Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry, as well as a No. 3 in solid tackle Kevin Rader.

Derek Watt has played just 6% and 7%, respectively, of the Steelers’ offensive snaps over the past two seasons. The team rarely fielded a fullback despite struggling in the running game. Watt ranked third on the Steelers in special teams with 332 players in 2021.

The Davis brothers are defensive linemen and Trey Edmunds a special team member and reserve running back. Terrell Edmunds signed a one-year, $2 million deal last week to return for a fifth season as the Steelers’ starting safety.

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Chris Adamski is an editor at Tribune-Review. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .