It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of the discussion over the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first-round pick has centered around whether or not he was worthy of being drafted that highly, or if he were able to be selected later on in the draft. But we must allow for such things to consume the early discussion, as they will fall by the wayside in time.
Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds didn’t exactly help things when in his enthusiasm in the immediate aftermath of being chosen—and having seen his brother chosen before him—he told reporters that he was surprised to hear his name called, and that he was in the bathroom when the Steelers called him to tell him they were taking him with the 28th-overall pick.
Without framing exactly what question he was answering or how it was worded, ESPN quoted Edmunds as saying that he “was surprised, honestly”, but added, “I’m ready. I’m telling you I’m ready”. He and his younger brother Tremaine Edmunds are the first brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft in league history.
The Steelers’ Edmunds tried to clarify his comments in sitting down with Missi Matthews for an interview with the team on their website. “I would say I wasn’t so much surprised over excited. It was just that moment like when you actually hear your name called, you actually walk across the stage, somebody actually calls your name to be picked”.
While the elder Edmunds spent much of the draft process being regarded as likely a day-two pick, some even projecting him to go in the middle of day three, there are a number of late accounts indicating that some teams had him rated higher, and that he could possibly go in the first round. Obviously, he did.
He talked a little bit more about what the night was like not just for himself, but for his family. “When my younger brother was called everybody was excited. All the hearts were filled, we were ready for my younger brother. It was a blessing to see him go walk across the stage”, he said.
“My family, we came back to the green room, just waiting, hopefully to hear my name, and then when my name actually was called it was even crazier because everyone’s excitement just rose to a whole other level then”.
Of course, where Edmunds was drafted is ultimately the least important part of his career. While he may be given more breaks and the benefit of the doubt, it will ultimately be what he does on the field that determines his legacy. If he plays like a first-rounder, his pre-draft reputation will be forgotten.