Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, 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: RB Trey Edmunds
Stock Value: Up
In what was pretty much the first time that we’ve heard his name mentioned by anybody covering the team professionally this offseason, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler recently named Trey Edmunds, the other brother of the Steelers’ 2018 first-round pick Terrell Edmunds, as the team’s surprise standout so far this spring.
Trey, originally undrafted in 2017 and signed with the New Orleans Saints, was released at cutdowns last year, and Pittsburgh then signed him to their practice squad. He remained there throughout the season until James Conner was injured, after which he was promoted to the 53-man roster, where he spent the final four games.
And he played, too. On special teams, anyway. After Stevan Ridley fumbled against the Saints and Conner returned for the finale, Edmunds even dressed over the veteran back, who was made a healthy scratch. And, of course, he is still with the team, while Ridley was not re-signed.
It’s going to be hard for Edmunds to make the 53-man roster this year, because Pittsburgh seems to have a three-back stable already. Behind Conner is second-year Jaylen Samuels, who did well last year, plus rookie fourth-round pick Benny Snell, Jr.
However, the Steelers have kept four running backs (plus a fullback, or a fourth tight end) in the past. In fact, he occurred somewhat frequently during Mike Tomlin’s early tenure. That fourth player has to be a core special teams contributor, but Edmund is capable of doing that. and they did lose some important players from that group, like Darrius Heyward-Bey and L.J. Fort.
Another thing that could help Edmunds is if Snell is slow to develop, showing a complete game. He could spend some time as a healthy scratch with the veteran dressing over him to participate on special teams. It will all come down to whether or not they can find a place for him based on how the roster breaks down.