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What happened to the Steelers’ 2018 draft class?

Leading up to the 2022 NFL draft in April, let’s look at how some of the Steelers’ drafts played out.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The 2022 NFL Draft is a mere two weeks away. Last offseason, we dove into a Steelers NFL draft class starting with the 2004 NFL Draft and outlined a successive draft each week. In doing so, each player selected by the Steelers was highlighted as to how their NFL career, or lack thereof, took shape. Each year was outlined with the last three draft classes all combined into one since a large number of the players were still with the team.

Since it worked last season, and since a lot of the research has already been done, let’s look back at they players from these drafts yet again, this time looking at two different years, on separate days, each week leading up to the last week of April. For players no longer in the league, a lot of the information will be the same while others will be updated where needed.

Part 15 of 16 will highlight the Steelers 2018 NFL draft who just finished the window for their rookie contracts.

So let’s take a look at the seven players drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 NFL draft:

Terrell Edmunds

Safety, Virginia Tech

Round 1
Pick 28

Starting 60 games in his first four seasons, Terrell Edmunds did not get his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers as they opted for free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was acquired via trade in 2019, instead. With 340 tackles, five interceptions, and 21 passes defensed, Terrell Edmunds has been a player who is constantly available as he has only missed one game, Week 17 in the 2020 season, in his entire career. Currently an unrestricted free agent, Edmunds has not signed with any other team at this time and still remains a possibility to return to the Steelers.

James Washington

Wide receiver, Oklahoma St

Round 2
Pick 60

In four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, James Washington never truly saw a breakout season in the Black and Gold. Although he was the team’s leading receiver in 2019 when Ben Roethlisberger missed the majority of the season, Washington only had 735 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way. Even with the injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2021 possibly giving him a more opportunity for targets, Washington only saw 24 receptions for 285 yards and two touchdowns. Reportedly asking for a trade prior to 2021, Washington did not re-sign with the Steelers and instead took a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys for 2022.

Mason Rudolph

Quarterback, Oklahoma St

Round 3
Pick 76

After not getting a helmet the entire 2018 season, Mason Rudolph was thrust in the action in Week 2 of 2019 in his first season as a backup. With Ben Roethlisberger going down with elbow surgery, Rudolph started eight games with a 5–3 record. After getting knocked out with a concussion in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens, Rudolph returned after the Steelers bye to start in Week 8. Benched in Week 12, Rudolph returned to action in an attempt to lead the Steelers from behind against the New York Jets in Week 16. Unfortunately, Rudolph was injured in the game and placed on IR. For 2020, Rudolph started a meaningless game in Week 17 at the Cleveland Browns and nearly led the Steelers to victory despite resting a number of starters. Getting a last-second start in 2021 against the Detroit Lions, the Steelers and it up finishing in a tie due to costly fumbles in overtime. Even with the addition a free agent Mitch Trubisky for 2022, Rudolph is still in the mix to earn the starting quarterback job after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger.

Chukwuma Okorafor

Tackle, Western Michigan

Round 3
Pick 92

The Steelers starting right tackle in 2020 in 2021, Chuks Okorafor earned himself a second contract with the Steelers this offseason. Even though the full contract is for $29.25 million for three seasons, Okorafor is not breaking the bank for the Steelers when it comes to the salary cap for 2022 and still has somewhat of a prove it deal moving forward.

Marcus Allen

Safety, Penn St

Round 5
Pick 148

After holding a roster spot for all of 2018 but only appearing in two games, Marcus Allen did not make the roster in 2019 but was signed to the practice squad. Allen was promoted to the active roster by the end of the season and appeared in one game. Although drafted as a safety, Allen made a move to linebacker starting in 2020 and appeared in 30 games over the last two seasons for the Steelers. Currently a restricted free agent, the Steelers offered Allen an original-round tender which, at this time, has yet to be signed.

UPDATE: Less than an hour after this article was published, Marcus Allen signed his RFA tender.

Jaylen Samuels

Running back, North Carolina St

Round 5
Pick 165

Not seeing any offensive snaps his rookie season until Week five, Samuels did not get an offensive touch for the Steelers until Week 8 of his rookie season. By Week 13, Samuels was called on as the starter due to Le’Veon Bell holding out the entire season and an injury to James Conner. In Week 15 against the New England Patriots, Samuels rushed for 142 yards or 19 carries as the Steelers defeated the Patriots 17–10. Unfortunately, it was Samuel‘s one shining moment with the Steelers as he finished with only 459 yards on 131 carries and one rushing touchdown in his three-year career with the Steelers along with 82 receptions for 550 yards and four receiving touchdowns. Failing to make the team in 2021, Samuels landed on the Steelers practice squad until he was released at the end of October. Getting picked up on the practice squad of the Houston Texans, Samuels appeared in three games where he had five rushes for 9 yards and three receptions for 14 yards. During the 2022 offseason, Samuel signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Joshua Frazier

Defensive tackle, Alabama

Round 7
Pick 246

Not only did Frazier not make the Steelers roster his rookie season, he did not even make the practice squad. Picked up briefly at the end of the season on the practice squad of the Detroit Lions, Frazier was released in January 2019. Fraser was a member of the Birmingham Iron of the AAF, but was placed on injured reserve after the team’s second game. In May 2019, Frazier announced he was retiring from professional football.