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Bryan Edwards Will Be A Mid-Round Steal In The NFL Draft

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 27, 2020

Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 212 pounds
40-yard dash: NA
Vertical Jump: NA
Broad Jump: NA
3-Cone Drill: NA

In my opinion, there are three players who are at the top of this WR class when it comes to pure receiving ability. The first player is CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma, who is a lock to go in the first round of the NFL Draft. The second is Collin Johnson out of Texas, who has struggled with injuries and will fall in the NFL Draft because of it, but has amazing hands. The third player is Bryan Edwards out of South Carolina.

Edwards has the ability to make some of those most ridiculous catches I’ve seen. He was a candidate to declare early last season, but chose to stay for his senior year and work on improving his game. He cut down his size dramatically and gained explosiveness and twitch to become a more well-rounded receiver. I had high expectations for Edwards and had him ranked within my Top-7 at the position at one point this offseason.

Unfortunately, Edwards was dealing with a knee issue towards the end of the CFB season and it ultimately caused him to miss out on the Senior Bowl. To make matters worse, Edwards suffered a broken foot while training for the Combine and was unable to participate. Because of that, we just simply do not have the testing numbers on Edwards to validate what we saw on the field in 2019, which could cause his draft stock to tumble.

Does Edwards have the talent to be a fantasy football star? Is he worth considering in the second round of your Dynasty rookie drafts?

Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Bryan Edwards (ratings out of five stars):

Size/Versatility 

At 6’3/212, Edwards certainly has the size to play the position at the NFL level. He was used all over the field at South Carolina, but primarily played outside. He could be used in a “big slot” role in the NFL, but would be best served on the boundaries where he can use his size downfield.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Route Running/Ability to Separate

If you had asked me to rate this category for Edwards back in 2018, it wouldn’t have been stellar. However, Edwards greatly improved his explosiveness and twitch in 2019 and has some of the best release off the line of scrimmage in this class. Because of his quick twitch, DBs in press are often left punching at air. If they do get their hands on him, he has the power and strength to quickly swipe them away and maintain leverage. He was asked to run a wide variety of routes at South Carolina and while he’s not elite at creating separation like Jerry Jeudy, for example, he can certainly compete with the top DBs in the NFL. Even if he’s not wide open, he possesses the contested catch ability to make up for it.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Speed

Of course, we don’t have the athletic testing numbers on Edwards to definitely state his top-end speed. While he’s certainly not a burner on the football field, he possesses enough speed to be a threat at all levels of the field. South Carolina worked him in on end-arounds and the short passing game to allow him to create after the catch. It’s not his specialty, but he does possess the athleticism to be a threat.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐

Hands

As mentioned previously, he’s one of the best in this class when it comes to receiving ability. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more natural receiver than Edwards, but one who’s also as strong as he is at the catch point. Once he gets his hands on the ball, you’re simply not going to knock it loose. He also possesses insane contested catch ability and can make some of the most ridiculous catches you’ll see coming out of college.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ball-Tracking/Awareness

Edwards absolutely excels at tracking the ball downfield. Unfortunately, due to inconsistent QB play, it’s difficult to ascertain true ability due to being overthrown or just flat out missed by several yards. With that being said, he shows a high proficiency in being able to track the ball while it’s in the air.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

After the Catch

Edwards was involved more in the short passing game this season, as mentioned above, but it simply won’t be what he’s asked to do frequently at the next level. His best reps that display after the catch ability are found where he’s able to use his size to drag defenders or downfield pulling away after making the catch. While he does possess some ability, he’s going to be used primarily in a possession receiver type role in the NFL.

RATING: ⭐⭐1/2

Projected Draft Spot

Edwards has the talent and ability to be a fantasy football star in the future. However, the injuries are the biggest concern at this point to his future outcome. Without testing numbers, and the current inability to perform medical checks on these prospects, NFL teams are going to be wary of drafting Edwards with a high pick. I would expect something around the 4th/5th round range, but when he’s healthy, Edwards will undoubtedly outperform that draft spot. From a fantasy football perspective, this limits the opportunities Edwards will be able to immediately come in and contribute in though. He may have to take a year and work his way up the depth chart in order to have fantasy relevance. He’s currently an early 3rd round pick for me in Dynasty rookie drafts and a player that I’m willing to wait on to make an impact.

NFL Comparison

As I’ve mentioned before in previous articles, I try to steer clear of true comparisons. Each prospect is their own individual player and the situation that they land in plays a huge role in the type of player that they become. With that being said, when watching Bryan Edwards, it’s difficult to not walk away envisioning him having the same type of role in the NFL as Michael Thomas. Thomas is 6’3/203, while Edwards is 6’3/212. Thomas is used all over the formation and is incredibly twitchy off the line of scrimmage in his releases, just like Edwards. They’re both strong at the catch point and have incredibly reliable hands. I’m not saying that Edwards is going to finish as the No. 1 WR in fantasy football in two years time, but he can fill that same role for an offense that Thomas does for the New Orleans Saints.

Click here for our complete list of NFL Draft prospect profiles.


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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

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