Edwards hasnt earned many accolades during his Missouri career, failing to earn a start until his junior year and now gets overlooked among all of the talented defensive backs the Tigers see in their first year in the SEC. His NFL size and length on the outside, however, force opposing coaches and receivers to be ready each week for his physical play - and intrigue NFL teams looking for big corners possessing the athleticism to stay with veteran receivers downfield.
A first-team all-state defensive back from Texas (65 tackles, seven interceptions, 15 pass break-ups as a senior), Edwards was overlooked by in-state programs so he became one of a dozen Longhorn State prospects (including tight end Michael Egnew, linebacker Zaviar Gooden, and defensive end Jacquies Smith) to sign with Missouri. He played in 13 games as a reserve in his redshirt freshman season (20 tackles, one interception, two pass breakups) and also as a sophomore, though he played more consistently in 2010 (36 tackles, five for loss, one interception, six pass breakups). Edwards missed two of the first three games of 2011 with a hamstring injury, but started 11 overall (55 stops, one interception, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles).
Edwards started every game in 2012, registering two interceptions and five pass breakups. At Missouri's pro day, Edwards ran the 40 in 4.56 and 4.57 seconds. He had a 33 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-2 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.21 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.88 seconds. Edwards did 15 lifts of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Possesses NFL size and length on the outside. Has quick feet to adjust to inside or outside routes when playing on the line. His height and length make him difficult to throw over the top of; good hand-eye coordination to knock away passes at the last second. Adequate closing speed to hit receivers quickly after the catch when playing off, can watch the quarterback and reach the spot on slants to break up the play or make the interception. Holds the edge well against the run when uncovered, gets leverage on tight end and fullback blocks to force plays inside. Sheds receiver blocks outside to make tackles on outside runs. Strength and long arms make him a secure tackler in space.
Acceleration and pure straight-line speed are question marks; will need to prove he can stay with quicker receivers in trail coverage and recover adequately after a double-move. Plays a lot of press-bail and off coverage, backpedal looks high and choppy. Also needs to smooth his transition or receivers will separate too easily at the top of their route. Has the tools to press effectively, but he doesnt have much experience.
Edwards escaped the notice of Texas schools despite being an all-state pick as a high school senior out of Arlington, and didnt start until his junior year with the Tigers. His size on the outside is coveted by NFL defensive coaches, however, and his strong performances late in his career wont be overlooked especially if proves throughout 2012 that he has the quickness and speed to handle pro receivers.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.