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2018 NFL Draft Grades: Mixed reviews for the Steelers’ top pick Terrell Edmunds

The Pittsburgh Steelers rocked the proverbial boat when they selected Terrell Edmunds in the first round. Time to take a look at what the experts are saying.

NFL: NFL Draft Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers had to wait quite a while before their favorite team was able to make their selection. The Martavis Bryant trade certainly helped tide the rabid fan base over until pick No. 28, but when Ryan Shazier walked to the podium and announced Terrell Edmunds was the team’s top pick...there wasn’t much emotion.

Maybe something like this...

Most didn’t know what to make of Edmunds. Sure, we knew a little about his, mainly about the two Edmunds brothers from Virginia Tech, but that was really the extent of the general knowledge. You can’t really blame us. After all, Edmunds was expected to be a Day 2 pick, not a first round selection.

So, what should fans think of Edmunds? Feel free to do your own research, but if you rely on the ‘experts’ it is a giant mixed bag of goods. Some grade the selection near an ‘A’, while others give the pick a near ‘F’.

Take a look for yourself as we give you some of the draft grades floating around the day after...

SB Nation

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech

If Penny wasn’t the surprise pick of the first round, that honor goes to Edmunds going to Pittsburgh. No one anywhere saw this pick coming. Edmunds checks off needs for the Steelers. He’s capable of coming up and being the athletic linebacker the Steelers need, and he’s solid as a traditional safety who can play the run and drop in coverage. The expectation, though, is that Edmunds could’ve been had on the second day of the draft.

Grade: D

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft picks: Virginia Tech S Terrell Edmunds (No. 28 overall).
Day 1 grade: B
The skinny: The Steelers went safety, as expected, but picked Edmunds, the brother of fellow first-round pick Tremaine, instead of Stanford’s Justin Reid and others. This was a surprise pick to most, and probably a round early -- but given his strength and NFL bloodlines (father, Ferrell, played tight end in the league), but maybe it shouldn’t have been. He’ll be a welcomed addition to the team, either way.

CBS Sports

28. Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech

Grade: B

He was a guy who was really rising late in the process. The Steelers get a nice playmaking safety.

Sports Illustrated


Pittsburgh’s biggest need was inside linebacker, but four were already off the board when the Steelers’ pick arose. Instead they went safety, a position more teams are employing instead of linebacker. Expect this defense to be a dime, not nickel, unit in passing situations, which means Edmunds, Sean Davis and free agent pickup Morgan Burnett all on the field with just one linebacker. The Steelers did this a few years ago when their depth at linebacker was lacking. As far as what Edmunds means long-term, that remains to be seen. Burnett is not yet 30 and is on a financially friendly three-year deal. Davis, whose rookie deal expires after 2019, has not developed as much as hoped, but the coaching staff believes he can become a big-time centerfielder. He’ll likely be playing that spot now that Mike Mitchell is gone.

Grade: B+

USA Today

28. Terrell Edmunds, S Virginia Tech — Pittsburgh Steelers


Analysis: Edmunds fills a need for the Steelers, but he was expected to be a Day 2 pick so this looks like a reach. He’s a great athlete who can punish ball carriers, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he turns into productive player. Still, it’s hard to justify passing on a talent like Lamar Jackson with Ben Roethlisberger headed toward the end of his career.

Bleacher Report

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech

Strengths: Athleticism, upside.

Weaknesses: Technique.

Terrell Edmunds is the older brother of Tremaine Edmunds (drafted earlier by the Bills) and the son of former Dolphins and Seahawks tight end Ferrell Edmunds. Like his brother, Edmunds is an exceptional all-around athlete: a natural 220-pounder with long arms who can fly around the field. Also like his brother, Edmunds is fundamentally raw and lacks top play-recognition instincts. But Tremaine is bigger and a year younger, and he plays a position where he can fly around banging bodies until his instincts develop, so he’s a top prospect, while his brother projects as a special teamer at the start of his career.

The Steelers have drafted four defensive backs in the first three rounds since 2015 but have had rotten luck. Artie Burns has become a good starter, but Sean Davis cannot find a position, Senquez Golson is now in Oakland and Cameron Sutton played just one game last year. Terrell Edmunds could become a playmaker if his instincts develop, but the Steelers are taking on another project at a position where their need is immediate, and he would have been a better value as a middle-round pick.

Grade: C