The Steelers have two first-round picks starting at safety. Terrell Edmunds was drafted by the team number 28 overall in the 2018 draft. Minkah Fitzpatrick, on the other hand, was drafted number 11 overall in that same draft by the Miami Dolphins.
The 2019 Season
Last season the Steelers made a big move to bring Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh. They traded their 2020 first-round pick for the young safety and he quickly became a huge piece for the Steelers defense. During the 2019 season, Fitzpatrick was a big-playmaker on defense. After joining the team he compiled 5 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 defensive touchdowns.
Here is a comparison from CBS Sports on the Steelers with, and without, Fitzpatrick in 2019:
Edmunds, who has seen a lot of playing time ever since being drafted, had a much less impressive 2019 season. Despite playing over ninety-five percent of the team’s defensive snaps he had a very limited stat line:
— Tommy Jaggi (@TommyJaggi) January 9, 2020
The 2020 Season
So far during the 2020 season, both players have been relatively quiet.
Edmunds and Fitzpatrick both have 13 tackles on the season. Edmunds has one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit. That amounts to the entirety of their stat sheets so far this season. No interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble returns, sacks or splash plays so far this year.
Now, that’s not to say that they are playing poorly so far this year. They aren’t, but they are also not putting up the numbers that we are used to from the Steelers’ safety positions.
Edmunds and Fitzpatrick are going to have every opportunity to make an impact on the 2020 season. No one is going to be taking their jobs this year. And, with the way the Steelers front-seven is playing they will have plenty of opportunity for interceptions in the secondary.
We are only three games into the season, so it isn’t time to panic. The Steelers, however, should be hoping for a big turn around from these young safeties. If Edmunds and Fitzpatrick can become big-time playmakers in the secondary it could take this Steelers’ defense from good to a group that could be very special.