In training camp, Terrell Edmunds recognized that he must create more turnovers for the Steelers Defense.
Other 1st round picks and acquisitions made the big plays last year. In a full season, he had no interceptions, forced fumbles, or fumble recoveries. He was receiving valid criticism from Steelers fans.
He had an answer with his play against Jacksonville snagging two interceptions and two pass deflections on the way to a 27-3 win. The same stat line as his revered safety partner Minkah Fitzpatrick in the most disruptive performance of Edmunds’ young career.
When the many young 1st round playmakers on defense, like T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Fitzpatrick, and Devin Bush when healthy. You want them to make plays and contribute, but a lot of players come along differently.
Dupree, with his elite defensive output last year, came in a contract year. Some come out swinging immediately like Watt.
I’m sure anyone would take it over other first-round flameouts for the Steelers like Jarvis Jones and Ziggy Hood.
This performance could be his breakout performance. It makes the Steelers’ defense even more dangerous because teams see that if Edmunds gets opportunities around the ball, he could make them pay just like Fitzpatrick.
Combining the secondary’s ability to create turnovers with the already stout pass rush and run defense would make the defense impenetrable.
Edmunds is still young and learning. At 23 years old, this is his third year in the NFL. Games like today for players like him, regardless of who’s at quarterback for the opposing teams, prove that it’s worth the first-round investment.
The trust that the organization is giving Edmunds paid off today. Hopefully, it will continue as the Steelers look to make it back to the Super Bowl.