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Colbert and Tomlin Must Avoid Another Burnett/Edmunds Type Draft Debacle

April 16, 2019
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Colbert and Tomlin Must Avoid Another Burnett/Edmunds Type Draft Debacle

Last early off season I was happy when the Steelers signed Safety Morgan Burnett. It meant one of the following, 1) Burnett would replace the recently released Mike Mitchell at Free Safety so there would be no chance of the Steelers having to re-sign him, 2) Burnett would replace Sean Davis at Strong Safety, Davis would move to Free Safety and Mitchell would stay gone. Either way, Mike Mitchell, who demonstrated he didn’t understand and wouldn’t perform the duties of Free Safety wouldn’t have to be invited back. That would’ve been a great improvement in and of itself.

It also meant the Steelers didn’t have to go for a Safety in the 1st Round and could concentrate on finding a starter quality improvement at another position. Draft day comes along and who/what do the Steelers take in the 1st Round? A Strong Safety type, Terrell Edmunds. Most Draft mockers, myself included, had a 3rd Rd grade on Edmunds and after his first season there hasn’t been much to change my grade.

To be sure, the drafting of Terrell Edmunds hasn’t been a bust. He played well, retained his starting role even when Burnett returned from a preseason injury and has been a BIG upgrade in pass coverage over the abysmal Sean Davis. Davis in turn was a BIG upgrade over Mike Mitchell in the deep defensive backfield. Sean displayed great range, was rarely out of position as last line of defense, had a number of big, deep pass deflections and eliminated virtually ALL the Steelers’ ‘neck up problems’ in the Secondary. (Other than the ones caused by Artie Burns, of course, but that’s a whole different hornet’s nest.)

Still, because of the drafting of Edmunds, the signing Burnett was almost a complete and total waste and the Steelers’ Defense was behind the 8-Ball for the entire season because of it. It’s a shame because Morgan Burnett could’ve been a very good player for the team, instead he’s gone to the Browns after one year.

What Does This Mean For This Year’s Draft???

This year the Steelers’ big signings have been two high quality players. Cornerback Steven Nelson and Inside Linebacker, Mark Barron provide the team with two high performing, bona fide NFL starters. They are HUGE upgrades over the talented substitute quality players, CB4 Coty Sensabaugh and ILB3 Jon Bostic. So, that said, this is what it means for this year’s Draft:

THE STEELERS SHOULD NOT SELECT AN Inside Linebacker OR Cornerback IN THE FIRST FOUR PICKS!!!

Sorry for going to all caps. I wanted to make sure the point of this short article isn’t missed. The Steelers have four picks in the top 83 and all of those picks should be spent selecting starter quality challenges to the new weak links on Defense and Offense. Two of the targeted positions should be Outside Linebacker, to challenge Bud Dupree and Defensive End, to challenge the talented but habitually injured Stephon Tuitt. Also, picks should be used in giving Ben some new weapons on Offense, preferably at Wide Receiver and Tight End. See my Steelers’ 7 Round Mock Draft on the Pittsburgh-Blitz website for how I think this Draft would best shake out (This Mock may be outdated soon since I’ve just finished my Mock 4.0 but it will give you an idea of positions to be targeted and you’ll be able to easily find my new final Draft).

This is a very deep draft in positions of need for the Steelers and with their 10 Draft picks the team could add a lot of talent. There is a strong chance of players making the team deep into the Draft. Given the overall mediocre quality of the subs at a number of key positions the Steelers will welcome those upgrades.

The 2019 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 25th at 9:00 PM eastern on the NFL Network. Check in with the Pittsburgh Blitz Facebook page for analysis and video as the picks come in. We will also be posting an article on the Pittsburgh-Blitz website on the entire Steelers’ Draft with grades, when the Draft is completed on Saturday, April 25th.

Go Steelers!!!

Jeffrey Burton

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