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There was nothing splashy about Steeler's draft. They took no big risks, did not make any gonzo stores. They did not choose any "storyline" guys. Steelers did not do any of the things that deserve A-plus or D-minus ratings, so most ejectors sorted them somewhere in the low / middle of the package.
The Steelers draft class can look normal at first glance. But a closer look reveals that Pittsburgh may have chosen key animals that finally return to the Super Bowl.
Before we begin to list the draft-you're probably already tired of lists, yet let's keep in mind that Steelers won 1
A team like Steelers does not go into the draft with the same priorities as Browns or Colts. It's easy for awful teams to get better by just hovering up talented bodies. Finding the marginal values that win 13 wins and disappointing in a Super Bowl victory is much more difficult.
But Pittsburgh might just have pulled it off. Meanwhile, a certain constant AFC power plant with a reputation for not having all the answers.
Steelers draft started silently. Virginia Tech Safety Terrell Edmunds is best known as Other Edmunds Brother: His mega-gifted 19-year-old younger brother, Tremaine, elected by the 16th overall election, received all the attention. Edmunds was a need picking in a secondary plagued blown cover and missed tackles last year.
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The sexy thing for Steelers to do would have been to shop for Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James (trumpeting either as the new Troy Polamalu) or even for Tremaine (a replacement for injured Ryan Shazier). They would be overall offers, and we would all talk about how Steelers is all-in for a 2018 Super Bowl run.
However, despite the achievements of last year, Steelers did not know that they were only one player away from winning AFC. Instead, they used the rest of the draft to reinforce upgrades to as many corners of the depth chart as possible.
In the second round, Oklahoma State took James Washington, a weary deep hotmaker, built as a flawless running back. Washington was available with the 60th choice because he was only 5 "and made a regular 40-time combination (4.54 seconds). But to paraphrase an old proverb about Cris Carter, all he does is to get open and catch bombs. 19659004] Washington joins Brown and Smith-Schuster to give Steelers the wrong nightmare as Martavis Bryant (dealt with Raiders under the draft) gave them when they were available and rang last year. Good luck finding a way to cover all three Pittsburgh recipients while preventing Bell from running in hard rock over your on-the-heel dime defense.
Mason Rudolph, Washington's quarterback in Oklahoma State, came to the third round. Rudolph threw himself for 4 904 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, but knocking on him, he is driven by a talent-gorged offensive that made it possible for him to fly easily to wide open recipients. If he is forced to start a few speeds In Pittsburgh, Rudolph will work in a talented crime that will allow him to get Big Bens backups usually start a few meaningful games each year, while taking two weeks to recover from a 10-week schedule injury. Lost with backups like Landry Jones or Michael Vick has meant the difference between home and road playoffs in recent seasons. If Rudolph can hold Steelers in Jacksonville or Foxborough in January with a win or two, he can prove to be the most valuable contributor in this draft class. Roethlisberger is also 36 and often mumbles retirement words.
Worried about the depths of the offensive? Chuks Okorafor may have been the best long-distance package in the draft. Is it not certain that Edmunds can patch the secondary itself? Penn State Marcus Allen is a Mister Dependable type. Alabama Seventh-Rounder Joshua Frazier is the type of mammoth space eater Steelers has gained maximum value for 30 years. Each choice fills a need or eliminates worry.
Then there is the fifth round of Jaylen Samuels. He is a change for Bell and an insurance policy. He is also a H-back, tight end, possible fullback and slot recipient. Pittsburgh never had an all-purpose match weapon like him, and he will be the fifth or sixth option in his crime.
Steelers upgraded both their crime and defense, and they did it while investing in the future instead of pledging it. Steelers are isolated against every doomsday scenario you can imagine. Big Ben lasts at last? Rudolph is a viable quarterback of the future. Bell stands out forever and ever? Samuels / James Conner backfield can move the ball.
To see how brilliant Steeler's draft was, compare it only with Patriot's draft. New England entered the first two rounds, two other rounds and one longer than usual list of obvious needs. Nevertheless, it went away with even more questions.
Patriots needed a left tackle, but they prepared a probable guard (Georgia Isaiah Wynn). They needed several bodies to repair their secondary, but they worked out one (Florida's Duke Dawson) before the seventh round. They needed Gronk insurance but shot a blockering tight end in the seventh round (Florida State's Ryan Izzo). They needed a backed quarterback but seem to have secured their game against Tom Brady's injured feelings when they settled for seventh round Danny Handoffs (listed in the LSU media guide like Danny Etling). The Patriots did not really need comebacks or shiny slot recipients, but they chose Georgia's Sony Michel and Miami Braxton Berrios out of the habit.
Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press
You do not have to jump on commentary thread to remind me how many Super Bowls Patriots have won or explain how their drafts are secretly brilliant. Instead, ask how the draft makes them better in 2018. How does Wynn, Trent Brown replace (acquired in a day of trade) or someone else replace Nate Solder? What does Michel do because Dion Lewis, James White and others have not done for years? How do Dawson and some late-rounders pack all the holes in that defense? And what happens if Brady misses some starts or Gronk injures a knee playing motorcycle paintball?
Steelers now has a better list for 2018 and a better long-term plan than the patriots. Oh. And we have not forgotten, Jaguar fans: You will be in the mix as long as Blake Bortles' improvements at the end of the season were 100 percent genuine, which … maybe.
After the draft we talked about massive-haul teams like Browns and Colts, quarterbacks and Saquon Barkley and Shaquem Griffin. But at the end of January we will talk about James Washington, Jaylen Samuels and a steel curtain that no longer has holes in it. The Steelers did not compile a draft class as sizzles. They put together one that plays a role.