Derek Carr got himself two dynamic weapons in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs will make an immediate impact on a Raiders offense that was starved for big plays in 2019, and Bryan Edwards might end up being the steal of the draft. The Raiders selected the South Carolina wide receiver with the No. 81 overall pick. Edwards is a big, physical, tough receiver who can be a weapon on the outside or move inside and be a "big slot."
His career at South Carolina was filled with a number of marquee catches and ended with Edwards putting his name in the school's record book as the all-time leading receiver. Edwards should have an immediate impact on a receiving corps that lacked dynamic playmakers a year ago.
Will Muschamp, Edwards' coach at South Carolina, knows the Silver and Black are getting a good one.
"Bryan is a good a young man, a clean a draft pick as I've ever been around as far as his character is concerned," Muschamp told Raiders.com. "He comes from a great family, but a really good football player. He's got a great competitive edge about him. He's a self-starter. A guy you're not going to have to worry about as far as motivation and those things are concerned. Very intelligent, can play multiple positions. Got a huge catch radius and he's got really good vertical speed down the field. He's also going to bring a lot to the organization as far as special teams is concerned as well."
"He's leaving South Carolina as statistically the best receiver to ever play here," Muschamp continued. "There's been some great ones -- Sterling Sharpe, Alshon Jeffrey -- that have played here at South Carolina. Robert Brooks who coach Gruden has coached as well. First impression, he's going to light up the room with his smile. He doesn't say much. He's a worker. He's a big, physical guy. He's a difficult matchup on smaller corners and certainly inside on safeties. He's a mismatch type of guy. Because of his physicality, his length, his athleticism, it's not a 50-50 ball with Bryan Edwards. It's more of an 80-20 when he's going up to get the football."
Edwards fell a little bit in the draft due to a foot injury suffered while he was training for the NFL Scouting Combine. That, coupled with a deep receiver class, pushed Edwards to the third round where the Raiders were waiting with open arms.
The 6-foot-3 receiver has all the tools to be a top-flight receiver and he and Ruggs should pair nicely together, giving the Silver and Black explosive weapons they didn't have a year ago.
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Edwards can make catches in traffic and has great run--after-the-catch ability. He should become a favored target of Carr almost immediately. Carr is great at throwing slants and Edwards knows how to use his big frame and leverage defenders. Once the ball is in his hands, Edwards is an absolute load to bring down.
If he can stay healthy, the Raiders should expect big things from Edwards.
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