2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Mike Edwards
School: The University of Kentucky
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 202 pounds
Round Projection: 3-5
In profiling Edwards, while not gamebreaking, he possesses above-average burst. For instance, Edwards provide outstanding burst off the edge, Furthermore, he can blitz from deeper than the line of scrimmage. As a result, quarterbacks cannot anticipate the blitz. Additionally, the blitz also helps in deterring the running game. When Edwards gets the edge, the tackle misses the initial block. Under those circumstances, the running back is alone, one on one with a free rusher.
With Edwards, the trait that pops most remains his discipline. While many safeties will guess, sometimes incorrectly, he remains disciplined. That is to stay, if the scheme calls for Edwards to stay in his zone or man, Edwards will not freelance. In that case, quarterbacks face trouble in looking off Edwards to vacate a spot.
Whether lining up in the slot, the edge, or deep middle, Edwards’ fluidity allows him to never stay out of any play. In coverage, he will open his hips to shadow receivers. Before that, the all-important backpedal looks quick with lower pad level.
During his career in Lexington, Edwards made significant strides versus the passing game. After tallying one interception and only two PBU, he returned with a better feel for the ball in flight. First, the depth perception of breaking up passes without incurring a flag. More importantly, Edwards’ hands improved in securing the pick. Anticipation combined with burst, and the proper angle led to ten interceptions, two scores and twenty-three PBU.
Although, Edwards is not a pop/impact tackler, he makes his presence felt with textbook approach. With quick hands, solid pads and leg drive, he makes the quick stop. Not to mention, Edwards will slide across the blockers face and evade the block to stop the ballcarrier.
Granted, Karl Joseph ended 2018 by showing why the Raiders drafted him in the first round. With that said, they still need another safety, one that can occupy the slot receiver or in zone. Paul Guenther’s defense likes great range from their safeties. While Joseph does make up ground, Edwards’ knack for interceptions could flip the field. The Raiders, as currently constituted, lack secondary depth. Edwards currently, profiles as a late day two, early day three selection.