Michigan State H-back/tight end Connor Heyward had to wait until Day Three of the NFL Draft to hear his name called, but on Saturday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with the 30th pick of the sixth round and the No. 208 pick overall. It is official. Heyward is headed to the Steel City.
In general, the consensus of the NFL scouts was that Heyward displayed excellent hands and versatility. He also clearly has the pedigree to follow in the footsteps of both his father (11-year NFL veteran Craig “Ironhead” Heyward) and brother (All-Pro and current Pittsburgh Steeler Cameron Heyward) at the next level. However, there are concerns about his overall athleticism and blocking. Only time will tell if Connor can stick on an NFL roster.
Heyward departs East Lansing following a career that included a pair of All-Big Ten honorable mentions (in 2018 and 2021), 2,265 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns came in Michigan State’s shocking upset of the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2020. His final touchdown in the Green and White occurred in his hometown of Atlanta in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ comeback win over Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl.
As Heyward starts the next chapter of his career, he clearly feels that remaining at Michigan State under head coach Mel Tucker for the final two years of college has helped to prepare him for the NFL. Back in March at Michigan State’s Pro Day, Heyward said the following.
“Coach Tuck talks about the NFL all the time,” Heyward said. “Every day we watch NFL clips and NFL cut-ups. We listen to NFL guys talk about their process...When we are watching tape, we are watching how to practice with good tempo, good eyes, good leverage, just everything. Pros knows what to do.”
Heyward joins his brother Cameron and former Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne on the Steelers’ roster. He now looks to compete with current Steeler fullback Derek Watt and tight ends Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, Kevin Rader and Jace Sternberger for a roster spot this fall.
For more on Heyward, visit his NFL Draft profile page.
We wish you the best of luck in the NFL, Connor.