During the 2012 season, Steelers defensive rookies played only 46 snaps, all by defensive back Robert Golden.
This season, five defensive rookies were on the field for a total of 1,279 snaps, led by first-round draft pick Jarvis Jones’ 646 snaps out of a possible 1,093. Rookie inside linebacker Vince Williams, getting more playing time than expected because of Larry Foote’s season-ending injury in Week 1, played 405 snaps. Williams was a sixth-round pick.
No pick that low had gotten on the field regularly since linebacker Rodney Bailey played in all 16 games and made one start in 2001.
Williams’ snap count is the highest for a Steelers defensive rookie drafted in the sixth round or later since safety Darren Perry started all 16 games in 1992.