The Pittsburgh Steelers offseason was odd. Their splash free-agent signing was safety Morgan Burnett, formerly of the Packers.
Their first-round draft pick was Terrell Edmunds, another safety. Meanwhile, 2016 second-round pick Sean Davis, yet another safety, is on the roster.
There were other holes that went unaddressed. For example, 2015 first-round pick Bud Dupree has only 14.5 sacks in his first three years in the NFL, a red flag for a 3-4 outside linebacker. While the team did draft T.J. Watt in the first round of last year’s draft, that doesn’t excuse it from ignoring the fact Dupree that has been a liability.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled for his life last season behind a crumbling offensive line. This is the same offensive line that helped Seattle running backs carry the ball 17 times inside the 10-yard line for minus-11 yards and zero touchdowns in 2017.
There’s no way to spin that. The line was awful. The worst news? The line, sans guard Luke Joeckel, returns in 2018. Joeckel, still a free agent, will likely be replaced by low-level free agent signing D.J. Fluker, most recently a fringe starter for a struggling Giants offensive line.
If Fluker’s $1.5 million contract is a reflection of what Seattle thinks of him as a player, he won’t be much of an improvement over Jockel. In the draft, the Seahawks added just fifth-round bookend Jamarco Jones, valuing blocking tight end Will Dissly more than offensive line competition.
R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish are ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the 2018 class. Add Tre Jones — the younger, more athletic brother of Tyus Jones, who won most outstanding player during Duke’s run to the 2015 national title — and you have a terrible matchup for any opponent.
Yes, Duke lost its starting five from last season, but that wasn’t an unexpected development. We all knew Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval might join the rest of the starters in the draft, especially with the incoming talent threatening to steal their slots. But the concern about this team remains, and it’s even more pronounced after the latest upheaval.
Teams have made their picks in the second and third rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. SN has you covered with the results and analysis of each selection.