Over three years removed from the 2018 NFL Draft, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has decided to rank each team’s haul.
While a number of players from the class have been key contributors for the Steelers over the last three seasons, Brugler has Pittsburgh ranked No. 25 in the league.
As a refresher, the Steelers most notably selected safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round, followed by wide receiver James Washington in the second and quarterback Mason Rudolph and tackle Chukwuma Okorafor in the third. All four are still with the club.
While Brugler identifies Edmunds as Pittsburgh’s best player from the class, he also sees him as their biggest miss in 2018.
“It usually is not a great sign when a team’s best player from the draft class is also their biggest miss,” Brugler wrote. “But that is the situation with the Steelers. Ranked No. 90 overall on my 2018 draft board, it was a surprise to hear Edmunds’ name called at No. 28. And while he has been productive and qualifies as the top player from the Steelers’ class, he has not lived up to being a first-round pick.”
Edmunds has made 43 starts over the last three seasons, while totaling 251 tackles, 15 passes defended and three interceptions.
As for the Steelers’ best value pick in the class, Brugler points to Okorafor, who was selected 92nd-overall and become a starter.
“After Zach Banner tore his ACL in Week 1 last season, Okorafor stepped in at right tackle and started the final 15 games,” Brugler writes. “While it was not always pretty, he showed improved unison between his hands and feet to control defenders. With a strong training camp, Okorafor might be the Steelers’ starting left tackle in the season opener.”
While the Steelers clocked in at No. 25, their AFC North rivals all faired better in the retrospective rankings. The Cincinnati Bengals came in at No. 18, with Brugler citing their addition of Pro Bowl safety Jessie Bates III in the second round. Coming in at No. 4 is the Cleveland Browns, who snagged a trio of franchise cornerstones in quarterback Baker Mayfield, cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb.
Taking the top spot in the rankings was the Baltimore Ravens, who clearly received a boost with quarterback Lamar Jackson winning an MVP within three years of being drafted. The Ravens also landed Pro Bowlers Orlando Brown and Mark Andrews in the third round.