The Pittsburgh Steelers secured one of their two biggest draft needs in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft with the selection of former Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds with the 28th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft and general manager Kevin Colbert immediately talked about the team’s newest player during the post-pick press conference.
“He’s a very gifted, athletic, physical safety that has played free safety,” Colbert said of Edmunds, who measured in at this year’s scouting combine at 6004, 217-pounds. “He’s played strong safety, he may rotate from one to the other within the same play. He not only has the physical ability to do that, but what really impressed us was his mental ability to be able to move and make the adjustments and really be the quarterback on the back end of a really good defense.”
Colbert talked about the safety position and what he was looking for out of the position relative to the draft prospect this past week and Thursday night and it sounds like Edmunds fits all of that criteria.
“He’s played free, he’s played strong, he can play in the box,” Colbert said. “He can play some nickel linebacker, he can match up on slots here and there and there’s a lot that he can do and he’s a four down player in our opinion.”
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also added his two cents on Edmunds.
“He was a fun evaluation for me personally,” said Tomlin. “Anything that you can imagine him doing, you saw him do on Virginia Tech’s defensive tape. You saw him play free, you saw him play strong, you saw him play deep middle, you saw him play half field, you saw him play sub-package linebacker. That versatility was exciting. We were just talking the other day about the specialization of ball, and things you are able to do in sub-packages, you are not speculating in that evaluation. You saw him do a number of the things that will be on the menu for him. We got a sharp, young, versatile guy that is a very good communicator that plays with physicality. Quite simply he checked all of the boxes for us.”
During his three years at Virginia Tech, Edmunds, who turned 21 years of age in January, registered 196 total tackles and 6 interceptions in addition to a forced fumble. Last season, however, a shoulder injury only allowed him to play in 10 games and it ultimately required surgery which he had this past November.
“He hurt his shoulder in training camp and he played the whole season with a strap on,” Colbet said. “He went as far as he could. He got through their first 10 games and then he had to give in and have the surgery done because it just became an unbearable thing for him. So we really admired his ability to play as good as he did with really with only one shoulder.”
Colbert doesn’t think Edmunds past shoulder problem will limit him during the upcoming offseason program.
“Not anticipating that at all, no,” Tomlin said.
Colbert then expounded on what Tomlin said.
“He didn’t do the drill work at the combine at the doctor’s recommendation,” Colbert said. “They didn’t want him to take a chance and fall and possibly injure it. But on his pro day, on March the 14th, he fully participated. He had already run and done that type of testing, but he did all the drill work. So, our doctors are very comfortable with where he is, and again, for him to play as good as he did last year with an injured shoulder was impressive for us.”
We’ll have more on Edmunds and comments made by both Colbert and Tomlin in future posts.