Pittsburgh Steelers Meet the Pick: ILB Terrell Edmunds

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Terrell Edmunds of Virginia Tech poses after being picked
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Terrell Edmunds of Virginia Tech poses after being picked /

The Pittsburgh Steelers sent shockwaves through the NFL draft picking Terrell Edmunds. You may recognize the last name but it is not who you’re probably thinking.

The NFL draft is officially here and the first round went on last night with many surprises. There were trades and shocking picks as well as some solid picks.

The Pittsburgh Steelers pick would fall under ‘shocking’. They saw the top linebackers fall off the board and ended up staying there to choose a questionable pick.

Terrell Edmunds is one of two brothers from Virginia Tech. His brother, Tremaine Edmunds, is highly regarded as a top player from the talent pool this year.

Terrell had mixed reviews in the scouting community but the general consensus is that he was a third to fourth round prospect. The Steelers obviously do not care about the general views of a player because they took Edmunds 28th overall last night.

Edmunds is a raw and athletic safety prospect that comes from a bloodline of athletic family members. His father, Ferrell Edmunds, played seven years in the NFL as a tight end in Miami and Seattle. Obvious other athlete is his brother, Tremaine Edmunds, who went to the Buffalo Bills with the 16th overall pick.

Edmunds played sparingly in 2015, his freshman year, before getting a starting opportunity in 2016. In his sophomore season, he tallied 101 total tackles and four interceptions. His 2017 season was hampered by injury and he only played in 10 games. In those 10 games he racked up 61 tackles and two interceptions.

Terrell is 6’1″ 217 pounds and recorded a 4.47 40-yard dash and a 41.5-inch vertical at the combine. These are very athletic numbers and a good sign he at lease belongs in the NFL. Below is the overview of Edmunds on NFL.com’s draft analysis by Lance Zierlein.

"While younger brother Trumaine may get the headlines in this year’s draft, Terrell is a quality prospect in his own right. Edmunds has size and burst which are coveted traits at the position. He has man cover talent against big targets and should step right into a role on the coverage units for special teams. Edmunds is at his best near the line of scrimmage and has eventual starter potential, but inconsistencies as an open field tackler may be a cause for concern in some NFL war rooms."

The very last sentence of that overview is cause enough for concern of this pick. The Steelers’ defense had immense problems with missed tackles last season and in years prior.

New defensive backs coach, Tom Bradley, will have his work cut out for him coaching all these secondary players. Tackling must improve and taking a guy with known tackling issues is concerning.

Edmunds also struggles in coverage on double moves. Artie Burns is also susceptible to this as was much of the secondary last year which resulted in many big plays given up.

The Steelers filled a position of need but they reached for this pick. Zierlein gave him a third to fourth round grade in his pre-draft analysis so taking him at 28th overall is mind boggling.

The Steelers traded Martavis Bryant to Oakland for a third rounder on Thursday. They could have used this third round pick on Edmunds two rounds past where they took him.

Fans want to be able to trust the front office and Kevin Colbert hasn’t given much reason to doubt him over the years. However, this pick is a head scratcher in every sense and leaves fans hesitant to trust this one.

I will reserve complete judgement for him until we see him on the field. I cannot say at this moment I am happy with the selection but time will tell if Colbert and Tomlin saw something in him that most others did not.

Next: Edmunds makes sense

The hope is that Edmunds pans out and eventually becomes everything you want from a first rounder. For the sake of fans everywhere, I hope he makes those unhappy with the pick eat their words, including myself.