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Pro Football Focus came out with an article this past Monday that stated every NFL team's most improved player from the 2020 NFL season. For the Steelers, PFF had Terrell Edmunds as their most improved player. Below is the excerpt by PFF on why Edmunds was the most improved player for the Steelers in 2020.
"Many considered the selection of Edmunds in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to be a reach, and the fact that he could often be pointed out as the weak link -- particularly in coverage -- on an otherwise strong Pittsburgh defense didn’t help matters.
"Not only did Edmunds deliver a career-high 71.2 PFF grade in 2020, but his play in coverage was the driving factor for his improvement. Edmunds improved his coverage grade from 58.3 in 2019 to 75.3 this past season while reducing his passer rating when targeted from 120.8 to 76.2. He doubled his combined pass breakups and interceptions (six in 2020 compared to three in 2019) as well. His continued development will be key if the Steelers hope to deliver another dominant defensive performance in 2021."
Edmunds definitely had the best season of his three-year career this past season, but I'm not sure if he was the most improved player. He had a career-high two interceptions, but both picks came against Jake Luton of the Jaguars in Week 11. He also had a huge sack on Jeff Driskel in Week 2 against the Broncos late in the fourth quarter which helped the Steelers clinch a 26-21 win. In addition, Edmunds improved from just three passes defended in 2019 to eight pass breakups in 2020.
Edmunds was better this past year, but he still has ways to go. He missed two big tackles in the wild-card playoff loss to the Browns -- one of which he took a bad angle on a Jarvis Landry 40-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and the other one occurred late in the second quarter when Nick Chubb caught a short pass and took it for 21 yards after Edmunds failed to make a tackle in the open field.
I would probably go with Diontae Johnson as the most improved Steelers player from the 2020 season, but Edmunds getting nominated for it by PFF isn't outrageous. Johnson went from 59 catches, 680 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2019 to 88 receptions for 923 and seven touchdowns in his second year. However, Johnson did have a league-high 13 drops, which is obviously not good. To Johnson's credit, he did improve in that department late in the year though.