Terrell and Tremaine Edwards (Virginia Tech Football)
Safety Terrell Edmunds and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech were drafted Thursday night, marking the first time brothers have been taken in the first round of the same draft.
The feat, confirmed by Elias Sports Bureau, came to fruition with Terrell's selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 28th pick. He was taken 12 picks after the Buffalo Bills chose his younger brother with the 16th selection.
"It's a blessing for my family overall," said Terrell Edmunds, whose father, Ferrell, made the Pro Bowl twice during his six-year NFL career as a tight end for Miami and Seattle. "It didn't matter where [Tremaine] went and I went.
"I'm thankful to everyone for supporting us all the way."
Terrell Edmunds said he didn't expect to hear his name called during the first round.
"I was surprised, honestly" to be picked, he said. "I'm ready. I'm telling you I'm ready."
The brothers' selections gave Virginia Tech a set of first-round picks for only the second time in the common draft era. In 2004, DeAngelo Hall (eighth) and Kevin Jones (30th) were drafted by Atlanta and Detroit, respectively.
For the Steelers, Edmunds has the size (6-foot-1, 217 pounds) and the speed (4.47 40-yard dash) to become a valuable contributor in a defensive backfield that includes Joe Haden, Artie Burns and Sean Davis.
"We felt this was the best player," general manager Kevin Colbert said after the Steelers used a first-round pick on a safety for the first time since taking Troy Polamalu 16th in 2003. "This was plain for us."
The Steelers were drawn to Edmunds' ability to move around the field. Colbert pointed out there were times during Edmunds' career at Virginia Tech that he would flip from strong safety to free safety on the same play.
"We got a sharp, young versatile guy who's a good communicator, who plays with physicality," Colbert said. "He checks all the boxes for us."
Edmunds started 31 games in three seasons for the Hokies, collecting six interceptions while also developing a reputation as a sure tackler. His junior season in 2017 was cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery, though Colbert said it won't be an issue when he reports for organized team activities next month.
Tremaine Edmunds' selection came after Buffalo previously traded into the seventh slot to get Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
"Man, it was great," Edmunds said of the draft process with his brother. "Definitely to see my other brother get drafted tonight, it was a big time relief for my whole family. I know everybody's excited and I'm excited. It's a long time coming, but we can finally say that we made it."
Edmunds can play inside or outside for the Bills and was considered by some the best at the position in this group.
"He is a versatile athlete," Bills coach Sean McDermott said of Edmunds. "He's got size ... he has played inside, he has played outside as well, he has played on the line of scrimmage as well as off the line of scrimmage. Some of that flexibility is what attracted us to him as well. We are real happy with what we did and credit goes to [general manager] Brandon [Beane] and his staff."
Edmunds, who turns 20 on Tuesday, is listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds and was a two-year starter in Blacksburg. He led the Hokies with 109 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks and was named a Butkus Award finalist last season.
He will be given an opportunity to take over the middle linebacker spot after the Bills lost starter Preston Brown in free agency last month.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.