Steelers solid, Browns confusing at NFL draft


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The NFL is getting very similar to the NBA with star players getting big egos.

Austin Bechtold, Staff Writer

The past weekend’s NFL draft provided clarity for NFL fans.

The Steelers still draft the best player on their board and the Browns surprise everyone by picking a player no one thought they should.

Let’s start with the Steelers. Many say they reached for Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds, which is understandable as he was projected as a late second- or early third-round pick.

Pittsburgh’s second-round pick, Oklahoma State receiver James Washington, fills the spot left by Martavis Bryant on the outside. Bryant was traded to Oakland for a third-round pick, which ended up being Mason Rudolph, Washington’s quarterback at Oklahoma State.

The Steelers also took offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor, box safety Marcus Allen from Penn State, pass-catching running back Jaylen Samuels from NC State, and defensive tackle Joshua Frazier from Alabama with their final four picks.

Washington and Rudolph shredded Pitt in two games at Heinz Field and could potentially do the same on the same field down the road. The Steelers had a first-round grade on Rudolph and were shocked he was still available when pick No. 76 rolled around. He could be the future after Ben Roethlisberger retires in a few years if he develops into the player many think he can be.

The Browns selected first and fourth overall in the first round and took 2017 Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Baker Mayfield from Oklahoma and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

The Browns had a great chance to set themselves up for the future, but failed.

Mayfield and Ward might end up becoming great players, but the players they passed on could make Cleveland look back on what might have been.

Sam Darnold, the rumored No. 1 pick from USC, has the ‘it’ factor at quarterback and is primed to be a star; he went No. 3 to the Jets. The Browns also could have taken Saquon Barkley first and a QB fourth and still ended up with either Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, or potentially Mayfield.

With the fourth pick the Browns had the chance to pair the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, Myles Garrett, with the top pass rusher in this year’s draft. NC State’s Bradley Chubb, who went to Denver with the next pick, could have formed the top pass rush for the foreseeable future alongside Garrett.

Cleveland in a few years will be playing the woulda, coulda, shoulda game, while the Steelers will be once again satisfied and happy with their picks.

The quarterbacks will make or break this draft, more for the Browns than Steelers. If Baker Mayfield can become a star in Cleveland and dig the team out of the mess it has created, he will be a hero. But if Rudolph can step in for Roethlisberger and be close to Ben’s level, the Steelers are primed to run the north for another 15 years to come.