Well, that didn’t go as planned for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Following a run on the top four inside linebackers in the middle of the 2018 NFL Draft’s first round in Dallas, the Steelers stayed put and made a surprise pick, at least in value, picking Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds.
Seeing Ryan Shazier walk out onto the stage with his fiancee’ and child to announce the pick was something else, man. But once the emotions from that scene settled, all the focus shifted to the selection of Edmunds.
The general consensus on social media is that it’s a horrible pick, and depending on where you turn for draft guides, the season is essentially over for the Steelers, since Edmunds is “terrible.”
To quote the great Aaron Rodgers: “R-E-L-A-X, relax.”
Edmunds certainly isn’t a name that Steelers fans were expecting to hear at No. 28 overall, and the recent track record of the Steelers scouting defensive backs certainly isn’t strong.
The decision to draft Edmunds at No. 28 overall is a reach, plain and simple. But that’s not always necessarily a bad thing.
Edmunds is an elite athlete at safety, but he struggles with closing speed and burst for the position. Dane Brugler had him rated as a third-round prospect, and the No. 7 safety overall on his board.
That means Pittsburgh passed on guys like Stanford’s Justin Reid, Wake Forest’s Jessie Bates, and Alabama’s Ronnie Harrison.
That being said, it’s not time to panic. At. All.
Edmunds is just 21 years old, and has his best football ahead of him. He checked all the boxes for the Steelers when it comes to draft picks, and he’ll slot in as a dime defensive back/linebacker right away, allowing him to get experience quickly.
Tom Bradley obviously had to have a say in Edmunds over the other three safeties previously mentioned, so it’s time to show some patience and faith here. The franchise clearly liked his athleticism and ceiling enough to reach a round or two too early.
While it’s a reach, it’s a position of need, and a clear fit scheme-wise, when it comes to his versatility in the defensive backfield. How they address the other holes on this team moving forward will make this pick look a lot better on paper, or worse.