The Broncos need a receiver. We know it, they know it, and Elway has made sure the whole league is aware that he plans to address the group this spring. Fortunately, this upcoming Draft class looks historically loaded at the position.
There’s a real possibility that Elway double dips at the position. After all Pat Shurmur leans heavily on three receiver sets, so it’d make sense to have talent from the top to the bottom of the receiving corps. If they do so, there’s a few sleepers in this class that could provide a lot of return on investment. One such player is Bryan Edwards.
- Good size for the position at 6’3” 215 lbs.
- Solid athleticism.
- Good play strength.
- Knows how to beat press.
- Adequate route running, needs to improve here.
- Adequate tracking the ball.
- Ideal frame to body for the ball.
- Adequate catch radius. Outside of frame is a work in progress.
- Very good after the catch, does not go down easy.
- Top end speed a question. Looks solid and explosive on film.
- Injury means measurables will be a mystery before the draft.
- Experienced player with a lot of production, knows tricks of the trade to maximize skillset.
What I’ve heard/read:
Bryan Edwards projects as a strong candidate to serve as a complimentary starter at the NFL level. Edwards may be best off as a “big slot” target, he frequently won his routes from the slot as a middle of the field receiver and struggled most with separation when trying to press and sell vertically on the boundary. Edwards shows some strong nuance to aid his route running ability and has physically dominant tendencies at the catch point. If he can sure up his hands, his ceiling grows.
South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards is quite possibly the quietest, yet most productive, prospect you will come across in the 2020 NFL Draft. Edwards is leaving South Carolina with an array of school accolades, including: most consecutive games with a reception (48), career receptions (234) and career receiving yards (3,054). He also sits third in career touchdowns with 22, which is only one behind Sidney Rice and Alshon Jeffery. His 48 games with at least one reception means he caught a pass in every single game he played in at South Carolina! Believe it or not, Edwards ranks third in SEC history with 234 career receptions and fourth in the league all-time with 3,045 yards.
The Rookie Scouting Portfolio (RSP)Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room No.224: WR Bryan Edwards (S. Carolina) Differentiating Leverage And Power
Bryan Edwards is a 6’3″, 220-pound wide receiver prospect with excellent speed. He’s an explosive player and with explosion often comes power. It’s obvious that a 6’3″, 220-pound receiver will display moments of power on the field.
Consistently productive, four-year starter with size to fight for tight-window throws and speed to challenge over the top. Edwards is capable of eluding press for quick releases into routes and strong enough to fight back against grabby coverage at the top of the route. His quick acceleration creates early vertical windows for quarterbacks, but he needs to get better at bodying up and controlling the 50/50 catch space. While he should be able to polish up his route-running, the hands may always be hit or miss. He’s a projectable “HWS” (height-weight-speed) prospect with WR2/WR3 potential.
Why he fits
Edwards is experienced and offers the kind of size, speed, and power to excel with the ball in his hands on slants, screens, and quick hitting routes. While his route running and catch radius will need to improve to become a top tier downfield threat, the talent is there to grow into a legitimate number two or top tier number three option in time.
Unfortunately for Edwards, a foot injury derailed his post-season circuit and he was not able to address concerns in the Senior Bowl or workout at the Combine. This prevented him from answering questions in a way someone like Denzel Mims did, but his film offers enough promise to suggest that the best may be yet to come. If he’s available in the fourth round of the NFL draft, the upside is hard to ignore.