Steelers SS Terrell Edmunds isn’t as bad as NFL analyst and many others think

Terrell Edmunds #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Terrell Edmunds #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Terrell Edmunds’ name was recently dragged through the mud by an NFL analyst, but here’s why the Steelers safety isn’t as bad as he thinks. 

When it comes to draft selections, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on who they believe the worst Pittsburgh Steelers pick has been under Kevin Colbert. It’s subjective; it isn’t necessarily right or wrong. However, if you think that the worst pick in recent years has been Terrell Edmunds, I would respectfully disagree.

If you fall into this category, I’m going to attempt to change your mind. Over the past few weeks, I have seen multiple fans on social media express their distaste for Terrell Edmunds – labeling him among the worst picks the Steelers have had in years. They are not alone in this line of thinking.

Recently, established national NFL media analyst, Matt Miller, claimed the same. In an article ranking the best general managers in the league, Miller labeled Edmunds as the worst draft choice in the Kevin Colbert era… I strongly disagree.

Not to discredit Miller, but he incorrectly states in his article that Kevin Colbert began as the team’s general manager in 2016 (when he really was in charge of all of the business decisions since 2000). Even if he thought Colbert was only Pittsburgh’s GM for the past 6 years, it’s interesting that he chose Edmunds instead of Artie Burns as the worst draft choice by the Steelers.

Steelers SS Terrell Edmunds isn’t as bad as many think

I disagree with the notion that Terrell Edmunds is a bad football player. Adequate, maybe. Not bad. In fact, I would certainly argue that the arrow is pointed sharply upwards. From 2019 to 2020, Edmunds drastically improved his efficiency in nearly every facet of the game. Here’s a look at the positive change in his advanced statistics, according to Pro Football Reference.

Terrell Edmunds may have had a quiet season for the Steelers in 2020, but that certainly doesn’t mean that he was a bad player. While other secondary players like Steven Nelson and Joe Haden may have taken a slight step backward, Edmunds clearly took a leap forward.

The young strong safety allowed fewer receptions, yards, targets, yards per attempt, and touchdowns in coverage in 2020 than he did in 2019. As a result, his cringe-worthy 131.6 passer rating allowed in 2019 dropped all the way down to just 70.8 past season. Edmunds rarely surrendered big plays on his side of the field last year and he was noticeably better on film.

Where I would like to see him continue to improve is his ability to create splash plays. Edmunds had just 2 interceptions last season and hasn’t forced a fumble in the first three years of his NFL career. If he can somehow improve his playmaking ability, perhaps he could prove to be worth a first-round draft choice after all.

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Edmunds still has a lot of work to do, but putting his name in the same “bust” category as players like Jarvis Jones and Artie Burns is ludicrous. Let’s hope he continues to prove doubters wrong moving forward.