The 2018 NFL Draft was a major step for the Virginia Tech football program. Over a three-day stretch from Thursday through Saturday, five Hokies were selected by professional teams, including two historic picks in the first round.
Tremaine was taken with the 16th pick of the draft by the Buffalo Bills. Although this is later than most experts had him going, he became the highest-drafted Hokie since cornerback Kyle Fuller went 14th in 2014.
Not only did Edmunds fall behind Bradley Chubb and Roquan Smith, but also defensive end Marcus Davenport, which surprised plenty of people.
Despite the fact that he was taken later in the night than they had anticipated, draft analysts’ opinions have not wavered — they still think he has star upside and amazing versatility for a player his size.
Tremaine also has extreme confidence in himself, which earned him the respect of Deion Sanders.
An unofficial depth chart lists Edmunds as Buffalo’s starting middle linebacker, but his role is still up in the air. While many people view him as a big inside linebacker, others predict him to play on the edge, given his size and pass rushing ability.
The Bills did a lot of maneuvering in the first round, but feel like they hit the jackpot in landing quarterback Josh Allen at No. 7 and Edmunds at No. 16.
“Tremaine would’ve been in our conversation at 12 if we did not move up and there wasn’t a quarterback that we liked. When he was there and he fell a little bit, we just felt it was such a good fit that we had to go up and get him,” said general manager Brandon Beane to Justin DiLoro of USA Today.
Going to Buffalo, Tremaine gets handed the torch from fellow Hokie Tyrod Taylor, who was traded this offseason, and also has the opportunity (albeit a lofty mark) to take on a Bruce Smith-like role on defense.
Unlike his younger brother, Terrell was taken ahead of where he was projected. He was predicted to be a day two pick at best, but snuck his way into the first round, with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking him at No. 28.
In the process, the Edmunds brothers became the first siblings to be taken in the first round of the same NFL Draft, just one year after their brother, Trey, debuted in the league.
Additionally, they became the second Tech duo to be selected in the first round. The only other pair of Hokies to be taken that early was DeAngelo Hall (eighth) and Kevin Jones (30th) in 2004.
Ourlads currently has him slated as Pittsburgh’s second-string free safety. However, the Steelers have been vocal in how much they love the versatility he showed in college.
“Anything you can imagine him doing, you saw him doing in Virginia Tech’s defensive tape. That versatility was exciting. We got a sharp, young versatile guy,” said Mike Tomlin to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He checks all the boxes for us.”
The experts at NFL Network also see him playing a rather unique role. In their post-pick analysis, they proposed that he could serve as a box safety, a linebacker in sub packages and a slot corner, particularly against tight ends.
Not to be ignored, the spectacle of his selection was about much more than him, or even the historic element with his brother. Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is recovering from a spinal contusion, announced the pick for the team.
Settle will be staying close to home. The Manassas, Virginia native was picked by the Washington Redskins at No. 163.
The fact that Washington took fellow defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne in the first round doesn’t help Settle, especially in a 3-4 defense, but the team also needed an overhaul at the position, so he could still find himself as a rotational piece along the defensive line early in his career.
Teller will be teaming up with Tremaine Edmunds in Buffalo (meaning there could be some interesting matchups on inside blitzes coming during camp). The Bills selected the guard with the 166th pick in the draft, just three spots behind Settle.
While it’s difficult to guarantee anything for a fifth round pick, the Bills only have three other true guards on their roster, so he will at least have an opportunity to win a job.
In the late stages of day three, Stroman finally got the call. He was selected by the Washington Redskins with the 241st pick, joining Settle, who was also his teammate at Stonewall Jackson High School, in their 2018 draft class.
The Redskins lost two of their top three corners this offseason, include fellow Tech alum Kendall Fuller, and although they added Orlando Scandrick, there was a bit of a need to add bodies at the position.
Additionally, they aren’t necessarily settled on kick and punt returners, giving Stroman another track toward making the roster.
In 2017, although four Hokies were drafted, none were taken before the sixth round. This year, four players were already off the board by that point.
Virginia Tech also had five players drafted this year, the most for the program since 2010, a class which included Kam Chancellor.
Players such as Brandon Facyson and Andrew Motuapuaka signed as undrafted free agents with the Chargers and Jaguars, respectively, while Joey Slye was invited to a rookie mini-camp with the Buccaneers. Cam Phillips still waits to see if he can catch on as an undrafted free agent as well.