Bryan Edwards slipped in the 2020 NFL Draft due to a foot injury that kept him out of the NFL Scouting Combine and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that kept teams from being able to examine him in person.
The Raiders greatly benefitted from that slip when they snapped up the South Carolina receiver with the No. 81 overall pick. Edwards could be one of the draft's biggest steals. His big body and ability to leverage defenders make him the type of weapon the Raiders have been looking for and one that will complement first-round pick Henry Ruggs.
Edwards also has put together several highlight-reel catches in his career, including "Mossing" new teammate Amik Robertson when South Carolina and Louisiana Tech faced off in 2017.
I forgot that Bryan Edwards once dunked on now teammate Amik Robertson in a game pic.twitter.com/YFOALplDsz— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 26, 2020
Robertson, a tough, physical corner also was a theft by Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden, who selected him in the fourth round. While a tad undersized -- as seen in the above video -- Robertson's physicality and ball-skills make him a perfect slot corner in the NFL and one who should be wearing silver and black for quite some time.
Back to Edwards.
At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, he's got the size to be a great target on back-shoulder throws and fades, or move inside to be a "big slot" who can use his frame and strength to create leverage and get open on slants and ins.
The thing that should excite Raiders fans the most about Edwards -- aside from the fact that he was draft about 30 spots lower than he should have been and he might end up being a No. 1 receiver in two years -- is that he has an ability to come down with some incredible catches.
His contested-catch ability and catch radius should have Derek Carr, Gruden and just about everyone around the Raiders salivating.
Contested catch over Teez Tabor...dudes catch radius is insane pic.twitter.com/lqi0rGDlKe— John Mollica (@JohnM_98) April 26, 2020
Just throw it up Carr pic.twitter.com/a9kAH2LQh1— John Mollica (@JohnM_98) April 26, 2020
Cutting clips of Bryan Edwards for my last positional video for The Athletic.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 17, 2020
This isn't even a top 10 play of his. Where do I have to pick to get Edwards because I'm willing. pic.twitter.com/OGY8QjJxMU
Edwards also is a YAC king much like Ruggs. He averaged 7.5 yards after the catch which is the fifth most in this class. Edwards trails only CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy, all of whom went in the first round.
He also ran through another new teammate in Clemson's Tanner Muse at the two-minute mark below during a rivalry matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers.
South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards— Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonFF) April 18, 2020
➕17.8 (!!) Breakout Age
➕4% Drop Rate
➕19 career PRs
➕50% receiving TD Share
➖50.7% of rec in 2019 were screens
➖8.5 avg target distance
➖Incomplete athletic profile pic.twitter.com/mJg6lMzyDn
I talked myself into Edwards pre-draft and I think he very well could end up being the best player from what is a relatively strong class. That's no disrespect to Ruggs or cornerback Damon Arnette, that's just how high I think the ceiling is for Edwards if he stays healthy.
He'll probably enter the season as a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, but don't be surprised if he plays a big role in his rookie season and grows into a No. 1 receiver for the Silver and Black. He's got that kind of ability and -- to quote Gruden -- juice.
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