2018 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Recap

The 2018 draft wrapped up this weekend. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a total of seven picks to fill multiple holes on their current roster. The front office added some quality pieces for the 2018 season. Here is a 2018 Pittsburgh Steeler draft recap.

The Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Recap :

Round 1 Pick 28 : S Terrell Edmunds

Terrell Edmunds is a 6’1” 217 lb Safety out of Virginia Tech. Edmunds played Safety, Cornerback, Slot Cornerback, and some Linebacker when he was at Virginia Tech. Edmunds is a very versitale player who could play a lot of sub packages in the Steelers defense by having only one Linebacker on the field and playing 3 Safeties with Sean Davis, Morgan Burnett, and Terrell Edmunds. The Pittsburgh Steelers could also try to slowly move Edmunds into that inside linebacker role with getting him reps after reps and having him in the gym just getting stronger. Terrell Edmunds was the back end to a pretty good Hokies defense the last couple of years.

Edmunds ran a 4.47 40 yard dash and had a 41.5in vertical at the NFL Combine which shows his athletism and which also blew some scouts out of the water. Edmunds is a hard hitting safety who has the ball skills to play in man to man coverage against bigger receivers such as Tight Ends and Running Backs and he is a very good running stop safety who loves to play at the line of scrimmage. The Pittsburgh Steelers could use Edmunds in the same type of packages and plays that the Steelers use their Hall of Fame Safety Troy Polamalu during his tenture on the Steelers.

Round 2 Pick 28 (Number 60 Overall) : WR James Washington

James Washington is a 5’11” 213 lb Wide Receiver out of Oklahoma State. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded away WR Martavias Bryant on the first night of the NFL Draft. James Washington is a speedy WR with strong hands who will most likely play the slot for the Pittsburgh Steelers with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Washington was one of the best WR in college football the past couple of years with his consistent numbers year in and year out. Washington played in a spread offense in Oklahoma State with Head Coach Mike Gundy but every year he increased him production. In his last 2 seasons combined Washington has put up 2,929 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. Washington will fit in perfectly with the Steelers offense and Ben Roethlisberger who like to spread the ball around the field.

Round 3 Pick 12 (Number 76 Overall) : QB Mason Rudolph

Mason Rudolph is a 6’5” 235 lb QB from Oklahoma State who also happens to be James Washingtons QB for the past 3 seasons. The Pittsburgh Steelers know they have to start looking for Ben Roethlisberger’s successor because Ben only has about 2 – 3 years left before he retires and Mason Rudolph was one of the best QB’s in this draft. Mason Rudolph has the potential to be Ben Roethlisberger and playing behind Ben and learning from Ben for 2 – 3 years will do wonders for Rudolph to become the next starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There were a lot of NFL experts who had Rudolph as an early second round QB but the Steelers ended up getting him in the middle of the third round. Rudolph finished his college career with 13,618 passing yards, 92 touchdowns, 26 interceptions in a college type spread offense. Mason Rudolph is your average pocket passer who thrives with play action and down the field throws more than escaping from the pocket and making plays by himself but with the help of Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff he could become the next starting QB for the Steelers and lead them to the promise land.

Round 3 Pick 28 (Number 92 Overall) : OT Chuks Okorafor

Chuks Okorafor is a 6’6” 320 lb offensive tackle from Western Michigan. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their sixth offensive linemen Chris Hubbard to the Cleveland Browns this offseason so they needed to provide more depth and Okorafor can provide that much needed depth. Okorafor earned many honors in college for his play at left tackle but he is also a versitale offensive linemen who can play multiple positions and he can protect your QB and also make holes for your RB.

Woking with the Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak could push this kid to a great career and earn him a starting spot one day. Mike Munchak has transformed the Steelers offensive line and made them one of the best in the league and he has also transformed players into making them starter material. Mike Munchak was one of the coaches at the NFL combine for the offensive linemen so he got a first hand look at all of them to see what their strengths and weaknesses were.

Round 5 Pick 11 (Number 148 Overall) : S Marcus Allen

Marcus Allen is a 6’2” 215 lb Safety out of Penn State. Marcus Allen is a Pittsburgh Steelers Safety if you turn on his game film and watch the way he plays. He is a hard hitting safety who is a very good tackeler and plays the run extremely well. Marcus Allen grew up a Steelers fan and has always wanted to play for this organization. Allen is the same type of player that Edmunds is minus the man to man coverage skills but with some work at the next level and NFL coaches Marcus Allen could turn into a above average starter in this league.

He likes to run downhill and play at the line of scrimmage in the running game and covering backs coming out of the backfield. Allen has a linebacker mentality in his game but with working on his coverage skills he could be used in a similair situation as Edmunds and giving the Steelers more versatility of defense with coverage skills and very good tackling in tight spaces and the open field.

Round 5 Pick 28 (Number 165 Overall) : RB Jaylen Samuels

Jaylen Samuels is a 6’0” 225 lb Running Back out of North Carolina State. Jaylen Samuels is a perfect role player for any team. He has a great football IQ and he excels on special teams and he is a great third down RB who can catch the ball out of the backfield and can pick up first downs. Samuels will have to compete with second year RB James Connor for the back up RB role behind LeVeon Bell but the Steelers could pair Samuels and Bell on the field at the same time to confuse defenses and add a more dynamic tandem in the backfield.

He would be considered a hybrid talent who can be a plug and play type of player in certain packages including the red zone where he thrives with his speed and quickness against linebackers and he will most likely make the team as a core special teamer where he can then earn some more playing time. I will be curious to see where the Steelers use Samuels but he has traits the coaches and coordinators love to play with.

Round 7 Pick 28 (Number 246 Overall) : DL Joshua Frazier

Joshua Frazier is a 6’3” 321 lb DL out of Alabama. Joshua Frazier was a top 100 talent coming out of high school but found playing time hard to come across at Alabama with all of the other great DL that have come and gone. Last season Frazier was the top back up DL at Alabama where he posted pretty good numbers in his limited amount of playing time.

Teams loved his size and strength coming into the draft as a run stopping linemen in the middle of the defense but his lack of quickness and his not so great tacking abilities make it hard to imagine him making it onto an NFL roster right away. If Frazier works with the coaches and puts the time and effort in then he has a possibility of making an NFL roster with his size and strength and could become a factor in the running game.

Overall Grade

I would give the Pittsburgh Steelers an A for the 2018 draft. They added some pieces that they needed at safety, receiver, and quarterback. The Steelers added some Safties who have size, speed, quickness, athelticisim, and the ability to play at the line of scrimmage in the passing game or the running game. Pittsburgh seems like they are moving towards a new defensive scheme. It appears they have some sub packages and are only playing one linebacker and three safeties at a time.

James Washington was a huge addition after trading away Bryant to add to the receiving core of the Steelers. He should come in right away and be ready to start day one and learning from JuJu and Antonio will be a major plus for a kid who has the same game as both of them. The addition of Mason Rudolph who molded his game to Ben Roethlisberger and now being able to learn from him day in and day out in practice, the locker room, and in games for 2 – 3 years will help him become the next starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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