While most Pittsburgh Steelers fans have by now I think at least accepted the reality that their team used their first-round draft pick on Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds, whose draft value was all over the place depending upon whom you ask, there are still a lot of people who are either upset with the pick or don’t see him as a first-rounder, even if several teams did.
It’s not going to change anything, but we are seeing more and more draft recaps, and Pro Football Focus put up a video a couple of days back in which they discuss the Steelers’ 2018 NFL Draft class, finding that they had a lot to say about their first-rounder.
“Terrell Edmunds out of Virginia Tech, the safety, he goes number 28 overall. A guy that we had as a fifth- or sixth-round type of player that other people did too”, Steve Palazzolo said. “I think that when you look at Edmunds on tape, [you see that he’s] very athletic, you can see the high-end plays. He just didn’t have the down-to-down production of the other first-round picks; that’s why we had him as a much lower draft pick”.
Mike Renner added, “I can see why you can fall in love, for a lot of the same reasons that his brother, Tremaine, went in the first round to Buffalo earlier, because the high-end athleticism is about as good as it gets. All the traits are there to be one of the best safeties in the NFL”.
But he added that he feels taking Edmunds there means “you’re just banking on the fact that your coaching staff can coach that guy into being an effective football player because he just hasn’t been up to this point”.
They compared him to Sean Davis in that regard, “another guy, all the athleticism in the world, all the ability, but never quite put it together once he got to the NFL. We didn’t even have Sean Davis on our draft board; they took him in the second round, and now he was our lowest-graded safety in the NFL last season”.
Palazzolo offered a bit more specificity in his critique toward the end, saying that “you can definitely see the movement skills on film, but he always seemed like he was just a step out of position. There was a lot of passes thrown his way where he was just a step out. Again, it’s learning football, he is still young”.
It’s disappointing that neither of them mentioned the fact that Edmunds played through an injured shoulder last season that forced him to come out of games and ultimately required surgery in the offseason. He played three seasons at Virginia Tech and had a different role in each of them.
Those who really don’t like the Edmunds pick, though, I suspect will find a lot to like in what the guys from Pro Football Focus have to say, which is a rarity.