The Pittsburgh Steelers shocked their fan base when they selected Terrell Edmunds, safety out of Virigina Tech, with their first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Immediately fans and online “experts” started to talk about how Edmunds was a reach, and not worthy of a first round distinction.
However, most of these online Draftniks have no type of NFL scouting experience. Recently, several NFL scouts shed some light on every team’s draft class, giving some incredible insight onto the picks.
For the Steelers, the talk was mainly about two picks: Terrell Edmunds in Round 1, and Mason Rudolph in Round 3. Take a look at what was said:
The quarterback moves in the first round naturally commanded much of the attention, as the Jets, Bills, Cardinals and Ravens all traded up to select passers in the first round. The Steelers went under the radar with their much cheaper selection of potential Ben Roethlisberger successor Mason Rudolph, a third-round pick who one insider thought was underrated.
”I actually like Rudolph more than I like Josh Allen,” this insider said. “Looking at the situation in Pittsburgh vs. the situation in Buffalo, I would almost bank on Rudolph’s future more than Allen’s future. Then, look at what the teams gave up to get a quarterback. The Jets are really happy Darnold was there for them, and it worked out great, and they need to be excited, but we cannot forget the No. 3 pick and three second-rounders they gave up to get him.”
There was less excitement for Terrell Edmunds, the safety Pittsburgh selected 28th overall.
”Edmunds is a great kid who works hard, but his football tape does not support being picked this high,” one evaluator said.
The Steelers loved Edmunds’ versatility as a safety who could play linebacker in sub packages.
”They will get killed for that pick,” another evaluator said, “but I don’t think Edmunds is going to be bad. I just don’t know how good he is going to be, either. His brother [Tremaine, chosen 16th by the Bills] is going to be awesome for Buffalo. This one is going to be a good safety. He will end up being a 10-year Steeler, and it will work out long term.”
Talk about all across the board when talking about the potential, or lack thereof, within the team’s current crop of rookies. The main takeaway from these comments shouldn’t be dread or despair, but the reality of the situation.
Edmunds very well could just be a very solid safety, not the next coming of Troy Polamalu, and that could certainly be okay. As for Rudolph, his third round draft status shouldn’t fool anyone. He could be set up for success, if/when he takes over. Could Rudolph turn out to be just another career backup? Absolutely, but he certainly has a good surrounding cast/organization to help ease him into the role whenever Ben Roethlisberger decides enough is enough.
Many fans’ opinions won’t change until they see these players on the field, and this is a great approach for everyone to take. Don’t draw any harsh conclusions until you see what this draft class can do. Until then, learn about them as prospective players, and hope they can be the pieces which turn the tide and give the Steelers their 7th Super Bowl championship.