The Pittsburgh Steelers are less than a week into training camp, but here are the three players that have impressed the most so far.
Hearing about training camp on social media is great, but there is nothing like being in Latrobe. Over the past few days, I was able to get a great feel of where certain players are at this point.
There were three players who stood out to me in a big way while watching them live at camp. Though one name on this list is expected, the other two may be surprises to you:
I know this one sounds cliche. We all know that JuJu is the clear-cut number one wide receiver for the Steelers and a fan favorite. As much as I wanted to mention someone else here, JuJu has been the most impressive offensive player at training camp so far.
The 22-year old was making one spectacular play after another – diving through the air to secure a pass or leaping over defenders. On one particular play, Joe Haden was draped all over JuJu Smith-Schuster, but it didn’t matter. JuJu climbed the ladder and caught the ball at full extension.
However, it’s not just his receiving ability that stood out. JuJu was amazing during blocking drills – using his powerful thighs to destroy defensive backs. He humiliated rookie Justin Layne by driving him back 20 yards before planting him in the ground. JuJu is the real deal.
I’ve been stoked about Ola Adeniyi since I saw him explode onto the scene with an unbelievable preseason showing last season. After watching him play in Latrobe again this year, there is no doubt in my mind he is making the team.
However, my expectations don’t stop there. Ola has been the most impressive defensive player at camp, and perhaps the most impressive on the team. He won virtually ever one-one-one in both backs vs backers and o-line vs d-line drills on Sunday and Monday.
Ola has uncanny traits for an undrafted player – consistently winning with a rare blend of power, bend, and violent hand usage. Adeniyi should prove to be a solid rotational piece for the Steelers this year. We could be in for a big treat.
As a former 1st round draft choice, we would expect Edmunds to look good in camp. However, it wasn’t always pretty for the safety in his rookie season. Training camp has given me much needed hope in Terrell Edmunds.
Though he hasn’t made a lot of splash plays in practice, Edmunds has been extremely solid. He’s done a great job of knowing exactly where he needs to be, and has displayed impressive reaction time to the play.
His athleticism is on full display during one-one-ones, as he uses his excellent closing speed and ability to break on the ball to defend passes. He got the best of Vance McDonald the past few days, and is making the progression you would like to see from a second year player. Perhaps for the first time in his career, Edmunds is looking like a 1st round pick.
We are just a handful of days into practice, so take some of this with a grain of salt. However, these three players have been standing out in a big way. JuJu is obviously going to be a major part of the offense, but the other two could surprise us in 2019.