Now that the 2018 NFL Draft is in the books, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: Terrell Edmunds
Stock Value: Up
Evaluation Type: Minor, Short-Term
Reason: Quality of Reps
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed veteran free agent safety Morgan Burnett back in March to be a starter. Since then, he has already missed some time during minicamp and for at least one day of training camp. Make of that as you will, but it’s worth noting who replaced them each time.
Back in May when Burnett sat out with a minor physical ailment, it was Jordan Dangerfield who was given the opportunity to take those reps with the first-team defense. Dangerfield, though technically a second-year player, has been with the team since 2014.
In fact, he is the only safety on the roster other than Sean Davis, their other starter, who has been with the team for even one full season. The Steelers released three of the four safeties that were on the 53-man roster a year ago and replaced them with free agents and draft picks.
So there was some logic to Dangerfield, having experience in the system, being given the first-team reps at that time, even though the team had a first-round draft pick at the position who was running the second-team unit alongside him that they could have given those snaps to.
Terrell Edmunds did get those snaps this time around. Burnett sat out yesterday during the second practice of training camp with a minor tweak, and it was the rookie who worked with Davis on the first-team defense.
It’s a minor thing, but it does show a vote of confidence by the coaching staff in the progress that they have seen from the rookie as he takes his first strides in training camp. And any forward progress is worth noting, especially if they intend to play him in some form or fashion this year.
We’ll see how much time Burnett misses, if any beyond yesterday, but the next step is actually evaluating Edmunds’ play with the starting group. It wouldn’t be surprising if he gets some snaps with the starters at some point during the preseason, especially with Burnett being a veteran, albeit new to the team.