Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said this offseason that the team would ideally like to have their draft picks delay “getting onto the field as long as you can” so that they can get acclimated to the NFL before being in the thick of the fray.
Circumstances don’t always allow for that, however, and safety Terrell Edmunds is a prime example of that. Edmunds was a first-round pick last year and wound up playing 1,189 snaps on defense and special teams.
That’s more than any other rookie in the league played last year and finished the year with 78 tackles, a sack and an interception. Edmunds said he felt like he got better as the year progressed. He also feels better prepared for this season after the heavy workload.
“Everything slows up in your mind,” Edmunds said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Last year you can say everything was moving faster. From the first day of OTAs last year to the first day of OTAs this year, you can just tell because everything was moving so fast, everybody was moving fast. And now that you have those snaps under your belt, that year under your belt, you’re one of those guys now, like you’re moving fast to the young guys now. The calls, the playbook, everything, you can say, is easier, you know what to expect. Now you can just go out there, get more comfortable and play your game.”
The Steelers may be veering from Colbert’s ideal path again this year. They traded up to take linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick and the rookie has a clear path to early playing time alongside Edmunds in the Pittsburgh defense.