There are some who consistently challenge the Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft classes each year. They always feel there were better players, at better positions, available somewhere else.
As for me, I’ve learned to trust the process but, more importantly, trust the Steelers.
The process being to allow these young players to develop, and trusting the Steelers because they’ve had more good draft picks than bad during the Kevin Colbert / Mike Tomlin era.
It looks as if this will remain true for the current crop of rookies, especially their first two picks. At the end of the first week of training camp it was Terrell Edmunds who was drawing rave reviews in training-camp workouts.
His nifty interception of Ben Roethlisberger sizzled across Twitter and got fans everywhere excited for the future of the team’s top pick. Outside of this one highlight-reel play, Edmunds has drawn very good reviews from everyone in attendance at Saint Vincent College.
With all of the accolades Edmunds has received thus far, James Washington has topped them all — by far.
Washington has been ridiculously consistent, and has shown why the team decided to spend a second-round pick on the former Oklahoma State product. But if there was some reason why you didn’t think he’ll be a playmaker in the NFL, just as he was in college, he pulled off another (yes, another) one-handed catch during live team drills.
Edmunds and Washington aren’t alone in the rookie class in garnering praise. Chukwuma Okorafor has stood tall in his first NFL training camp and helped fill in for injured Alejandro Villanueva, while Jaylen Samuels has shown he can do pretty much everything as advertised coming out of N.C. State. Mason Rudolph continues to show steady improvement with each practice.
It’s too early to be judge and jury on this draft class, but so far so good for the class of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Now it’s time to dive into other nuggets from the Steelers’ latest training camp pracice:
Not to jinx it, but Bud Dupree isn’t playing poorly
Bud Dupree with the (would-be) sack on Ben Roethlisberger. Can’t touch him, but Dupree looking quick off the edge.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 2, 2018
Before you scroll down to the comment section immediately to talk about “Bust” Dupree, know that this isn’t the first report of Dupree doing well in camp. Sure, we all have to wait and see if Dupree can do this in an actual NFL game, but I’m willing to give him a shot on the right side. Maybe it’s the spark he needs to get going?
Mike Hilton is showing off his versatility
As if anyone needed more reasons to love Mike Hilton, the defensive back has been playing some safety with both Morgan Burnett and Sean Davis banged up. Not only has Hilton been back there showing off his positional versatility, but he has been playing well. Take a look at a few reports from DKPittsburghSport’s Dale Lolley:
Hilton is slowly becoming a fan favorite among the Steelers faithful.
I just thought this as funny and thought I’d share it.
Vince Williams: Y’all put an extra tackle in and didn’t even say nothin!— Jacob Klinger (@Jacob_Klinger_) August 2, 2018
Mike Tomlin: We did, shut up.
When it comes to pressure, Joshua Dobbs has to be feeling some of it. The odds of the Steelers keeping four quarterbacks is slim-to-none, and he is staring a release straight in the eye. Throwing two pick-sixes in red-zone work is not a way to impress the coaching staff.
Brutal final period of Steelers practice for QB Josh Dobbs, who threw two pick-sixes from the red zone.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 2, 2018
Ben Roethlisberger and OC Randy Fichtner discussing the Steelers offense before Thursday’s training camp practice. The two are consistently in communication each day. pic.twitter.com/Lop2qfksMc— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 2, 2018
Steelers safety Morgan Burnett is back in pads after missing time with a hamstring injury. pic.twitter.com/8RYbPgRoXW— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 2, 2018