The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: What do you make of safety Terrell Edmunds, the Steelers’ first-round draft pick?
We knew going in that the draft could have broken in a number of different ways. One in which I didn’t really thing it would go was for all four of the first-round graded inside linebackers to be off the board well before the Steelers were on the clock. I did mock Leighton Vander Esch to the Steelers, after all.
While the inside linebacker position slipped from their grasp, they were primed to address safety, with a number of names available to them. They went with seemingly one of the more surprising ones in Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds. His younger brother Tremaine was drafted earlier in the round, making them the first brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft in NFL history.
The Steelers view their Edmunds as a versatile safety who can play both free and strong as well as in the dime linebacker role. He certainly has the size for it, and he is young as well, though not so young as his brother.
As Alex Kozora will detail later today, the team probably envisions him as a day-one contributor as a dime safety or slot player, which is a role that they talked about for him during the post-pick press conference.
Of course it will be interesting to see how the year progresses, particularly as it relates to Sean Davis. Morgan Burnett was drafted to start, and obviously between the two, given that both can be used in that dime role, the inexperienced rookie will be the one to move there.
A lot of people did not have Edmunds graded in the first round, and we have already had a number of people making allusions to Artie Burns, obviously meant in a negative light from their perspectives. But he did have a late push up the draft boards, and the Steelers viewed him as a better fit than Justin Reid, Ronnie Harrison, and Jessie Bates III.