2018 NFL Draft Grades: Pittsburgh Steelers make some surprises
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a playoff team from last year. Thus going into the 2018 NFL Draft, you would not think there were many holes to fill. Well, that is not correct. Although they were a playoff team, they still had many holes, especially on defense. Multiple opponents torched their secondary in 2017. However, they made a surprise choice in the first round. We look at that pick and the rest of the Steelers draft along with a grade.
Round 1 – Terrell Edmunds, S – Virginia Tech
Edmunds was the surprise pick at safety. Especially with Justin Reid still on the board. While many considered Edmunds a top safety in this draft, he was not on many first round lists. Edmunds loves to play close to the line of scrimmage ala Troy Polamalu.
Round 2 – James Washington, WR – Oklahoma State
On day 2 of the draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders. The selection of Washington made this move possible. He is a fantastic asset to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. Washington has tremendous ball skills and should compete for the number two spot.
Round 3 – Mason Rudolph, QB – Oklahoma State
Rudolph slid a little further than I expected. I thought he would be a round 2 pick and not a mid-round three selection. Anyway, the Steelers got themselves a stud at QB. Much to the chagrin of the incumbent Roethlisberger. Many did not feel the Pittsburgh Steelers would go QB in this draft. Especially after the Josh Dobbs pick last year. However, when a player like Rudolph falls to you, you cannot pass it up.
Round 3 – Chukwuma Okorafor, OT – Western Michigan
“Chuks” mad 12 starts as a senior at left tackle. Nonetheless, the more needed position for the Steelers is on the right side. Marcus Gilbert is often finding himself on the weekly injury report. Thus the need to add some quality depth behind him was a need. Okorafor has tremendous size. He will need to have better footwork in order to crack the starting lineup. Although the potential is there.
Round 5 – Marcus Allen, S – Penn State
Allen is the godson of Hall of Fame RB Curtis Martin. He is a punisher in the defensive backfield. Also, he loves to play downhill. Hence the reason he led the Nittany Lions with 110 tackles. Allen could almost fit into that hybrid role of Safety-backer. He is fearless.
Round 6 – Jaylen Samuels, RB – NC State
Samuels is an offensive hybrid. He can play WR, TE, RB, or even FB. Although he may be a little on the small side in terms of your typical NFL FB. Nonetheless, he may be able to help out the Pittsburgh Steelers in many ways. His chances of making the team may come on special teams.
Round 7 – Joshua Frazier, DT – Alabama
In 2017 Frazier played backup to Da’Ron Payne. Even though he was the backup, he still saw the field in all 14 games for the Crimson Tide. However, making the squad behind the heavy and deep defensive line of the Steelers could be an issue. Frazier is a candidate for the practice squad.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sealed some positions for the future in the draft. I would like to see how they progress with Rudolph and Washington. I do not think it is a coincidence that the two of them were selected back-to-back.
How do you feel about the Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 Draft Class? Leave a comment below.
Stay with WBLZMedia to receive up to date NFL information.
Follow Sean on Twitter and Instagram for all your NFL news and notes @NFLWBLZ.