Pittsburgh Steelers on draft: Everyone has a chance to carve out role – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog


PITTSBURGH — With their first five picks in last week’s NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers added a quarterback who won’t play for a while if everything goes right, an offensive tackle who is considered raw and two safeties to fill out a crowded positional room.

At least on paper, second-round receiver James Washington might be the only draft pick who would see the field early and often, depending on how first-year safety Terrell Edmunds develops, though Morgan Burnett and Sean Davis will have the inside track on starting jobs there.

These moves raised questions about how much the Steelers were looking toward the future with this draft. And though general manager Kevin Colbert admitted the selection of quarterback Mason Rudolph is a nod to the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, the Steelers brass makes clear it’s not drafting projects for the sake of development.

If a player earns the right, coach Mike Tomlin says, he’ll compete for a spot. It’s that simple.

“We don’t discount any contributions or make any assumptions regarding division of labor or roles,” Tomlin said. “These guys will be given an opportunity to carve out roles for themselves this year. And if they do and it’s significant, great. If they don’t, we’ve got quality people that are working and they’re in an environment that’s conducive to them growing.

“We sat here a year ago last year and speculated that maybe JuJu [Smith-Schuster] was a luxury pick and maybe it wasn’t necessarily a driven need there. That guy made a lot of plays for us in 2017.”

Source : ESPN