With Saulsberry Suspended, Broncos Add Edwards

Patrick Smith

Texas Tech Guard is big and nasty.

Yesterday, Denver Broncos Practice Squad Offensive Lineman Quentin Saulsberry was suspended 4 games for violating the NFL's Policy on Performance Enhancing Drugs. Today, we find out that his roster spot has been filled by Lonnie Edwards.

Edwards is a 24 year old, 6-4, 320 lb. Offensive Lineman out of Texas Tech University. A 3-year letterman for the Red Raiders, Lonnie made 35 starts (33 consecutive) on the Offensive Line during his college career, including 12 at Left Guard in 2011.

His Line coach Matt Moore described Edwards as one of his most physical players and one of the strongest guys on the team.

The Draft Report from Sports Illustrated says:

Three-year starter at left guard awarded all-conference honors as a junior.

Positives: Strong small-area blocker who displays good quickness. Blocks with good lean, works to get leverage on opponents and keeps his hands active throughout the play. Immediately gets into blocks, stays square and is a solid position lineman who seals defenders from the action. Anchors in pass protection and has a strong, thick build.

Negatives: Haphazard in his movement and plays off balance. Lacks footwork in space.

Analysis: Edwards has good size and power and is a solid run blocker who best fits a ball-control offense.

I also found a scouting report from the National Football Post:

A thick, girthy offensive lineman with natural thickness through both his upper and lower half. Plays with a mean streak, has a passion for the game and likes to get after it as a run blocker. However, doubles over at the waist into his stance, sits high and plays straight-legged. Displays decent natural power on contact, but doesn't create much leverage for himself and his weight is always over his knees as he lunges into contact and struggles to maintain balance. To his credit he stays upright for the most part, but doesn't stick well through contact and is easy to slip. Works his hands hard, but isn't overly coordinated initially into contact. Is a better counter puncher when engaged, but struggles to uncoil with coordination and really deliver a jolt -most likely because he's often off balance-. Is limited in space and isn't a guy who can routinely reach defenders off his frame and breakdown on contact.

Displays better bend in his stance in pass protection, however, gets upright initially off the ball. Again, works his hands well as a counter puncher inside, which helps with leverage and his ability to anchor with a little consistency through contact. However, isn't real fluid laterally and struggles to reach initial quickness off his frame. Doesn't have the recovery speed to make up for a false step and mirror, and isn't a real natural shuffle and slide player.

Impression: A tough, try hard kid who doesn't have the bend to gain leverage and struggles to hold his own athletically even at the college level.

Draft scouts pegged Edwards as being a late round to CFA pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He went undrafted and wasn't even invited to the Scouting Combine in March.

Lonnie seems to grade out as an excellent backup Lineman and fits the big nasty Lineman stereotype. Perhaps Broncos Line coach Dave Magazu can turn him into Manny Ramirez's upgrade. I wouldn't get my hopes up though.

Go Broncos!

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