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Steelers Spin: Pittsburgh’s First Round Pick – A Historical Perspective

The wait is over. The Pittsburgh Steelers choose S Terrell Edmunds from Virginia Tech as their first round draft pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The clear consensus is this pick is perceived as a low value reach. Could the Steelers be that much smarter than the rest of the NFL’s brightest scouting minds and pundits?

Do they have a history of going against the grain and hitting it big in the first round?

Well…let’s find out. Let’s compare their choice of Edmunds to Kevin Colbert’s greatest draft picks in the first round since he arrived at the Steelers in February of 2000:

Pittsburgh Steelers Greatest Draft Hits From 2000 | First Round

RANK NAME POSITION YEAR DRAFTED COLLEGE
1 Ben Roethlisberger QB 2004 Miami (OH)
2 Troy Polamalu DB 2003 USC
3 Heath Miller TE 2005 Virginia
4 Casey Hampton NT 2001 Ohio State
5 David DeCastro G 2012 Stanford


NEXT UP:
Maurkice Pouncey(2010) Cameron Heyward (2011) Ryan Shazier(2014) Lawrence Timmons(2007) T.J. Watt(2017)

HISTORY SAYS: There isn’t a reach in the bunch of these picks. Everyone on draft day believed the acquisition of Big Ben in the eleventh round was a steal. Troy Polamulu? The consensus was he would be an impact player. Miller? A slam dunk tight end. Hampton was perceived as a “perfect Steelers pick” considering their reliance on the 3-4. And David DeCastro? It was credited by most that year as the deal of the draft. The Pouncey pick was equally celebrated from the moment his name was called.

On the other hand, the first round “reaches” included Jarvis Jones, Ziggy Hood and Artie Burns.

THE SPIN: Here’s to hoping Terrell Edmunds becomes the greatest safety in Steelers history. But, with many grading him as a late second or third round talent, it’s baffling why the Steelers couldn’t have traded down and still got their man. The disappointment here is the team could have probably gotten both a quarterback of the future in Mason Rudolph AND Edmunds who could have been safely acquired in the second round.

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