Steelers reach for Edmunds over Leonard
The biggest draft regret of the Steelers also happens to be their most recent, and it involves the 2018 draft and the selection of Terrell Edmunds. While DB was a need, there was a gaping, Ryan Shazier sized hole at ILB that was currently being filled by Jon Bostic. The Steelers missed out on the initial wave of ILB’s but sitting at the end of the first round was Darius Leonard.
Leonard has developed into one of the top LBs in the league. He is stout against the run (284 tackles), can get after the QB (12 sacks), and has some serious ball skills for the position (7 interceptions). While finding a dynamic replacement for Shazier seemed impossible, Leonard has proven to be a dynamic defender since day one and would have helped alleviate the unfortunate loss of Shazier.
Like Davis before, Edmunds is far from a bust. He has developed into an average/below average starter who lacks coverage ability. That said, the fact that a far superior player at arguably a bigger position of need was overlooked for Edmunds is disappointing. Imaging Leonard’s style in a Steelers uniform is tantalizing, which makes it all the more disappointing that Edmunds was drafted instead of him.
While the Steelers have done a good job of drafting over the past ten years, there have been more than a few times that the Steelers made the wrong pick and it costed them. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, but these draft regrets have left the Steelers wishing they had taken their picks in another direction.