The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: Has your opinion of the Steelers’ 2018 NFL Draft class changed after the spring practices?
People were preeeeeetty steamed about the Steelers draft class as it was happening, and immediately after he happened. A lot of that had, admittedly, a lot to do with who they didn’t draft, or rather what positions they didn’t draft, but there was plenty of criticism to go around for the draft picks themselves.
Of particular concern was third-round tackle Chuks Okorafor, whom we were essentially told would not even be able to play for a year or two. And first-round pick Terrell Edmunds was definitely not worthy of being a first-round talent. Some hoped to get him in the third round. They got a first-round quarterback in the third round instead.
This was all in the residual heat of the moment, though. We have since then learned a lot more about who these guys were as players, and as people, and we’re also beginning to learn who they are as Steelers.
Said Steelers are currently on hiatus for the next month or so until they resume practices in Latrobe for training camp, but we got a look at the rookies during rookie minicamp, OTAs, and the mandatory minicamp as well.
So the question is this: have you changed your opinion about any of the Steelers’ draft picks, or of the draft class as a whole, since the draft? Since prior to OTAs?
Second-round wide receiver James Washington has probably received the most praise so far, but he was also most likely the most popular pick in terms of where he was drafted and what was expected of him. He is also expected to replace a player traded away.
Marcus Allen hasn’t been around on the field due to a hamstring injury that kept him out most of the spring, so we didn’t hear much from him. Edmunds, Mason Rudolph, of course, we have heard about them. They have predictably had their ups and downs.