After a string of successful drafts, the Pittsburgh Steelers have multiple Pro Bowlers under the age of 25 on their roster.
The Pittsburgh Steelers rely heavily on their aging veterans, but that might be changing. A string of recent successful draft classes produced several starters Pittsburgh can rely on in the future. Today, we’ll examine the best members of this crop of new talent.
There are several Steelers players under 25 who won’t appear on this list because of when their birthdays are. To meet the parameters for this article, players must still be under 25 on Sept. 10, when the 2020 season kicks off.
Second-year running back Benny Snell Jr. and third-year wide receiver James Washington both qualified for this article, but neither cracked the top five. Instead, they’ll settle for honorable mentions. Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool qualified as well, but he’s not showing up on any lists until he’s appeared in a meaningful game.
The top five players consist of two members from the 2019 draft class, two members of the 2018 class, and even a player who heard his name called in 2017.
First up is a controversial player who could develop into a quality starter or find himself looking for a new team in a few summers.
5. Terrell Edmunds, S
Pittsburgh selected Terrell Edmunds with the 28th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the immediate question on the minds of all Steelers fans was “why”? Bleacher Report’s lead draft writer, Matt Miller, gave Edmunds a 6.00 draft grade on a 9.00 scale and predicted he would go late in the third round. Instead, Pittsburgh took him two rounds earlier.
Through two seasons, Edmunds has shown he can tackle but isn’t performing well in coverage. Edmunds allowed a 139.1 passer rating when targeted in 2019, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). In comparison, Minkah Fitzpatrick allowed a 43.1, and the second-highest rating allowed was by Mike Hilton at 84.8.
It’s also worth noting that Edmunds played 1,036 defensive snaps last season, which accounted for 96 percent of Pittsburgh’s defensive plays. He did not force a single turnover. There’s still time for the 23-year-old to get his act together, but Edmunds could go the way of Artie Burns and Sean Davis if he doesn’t improve.