PRO 2020 Rookie Spotlight: Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina

Rookie Spotlight: Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
Height: 6’ 3” (unofficial)
Weight: 215 lbs (unofficial)
Hands:
Arm:
40 yard dash: 4.48 (unofficial)
NFL Comparison: Demaryius Thomas, Rueben Randle, Chris Godwin

Pros
– very athletic
– diverse route tree
– run after catch specialist
– leaping ability
– sticky hands
– broke out at a very young age
– dominant team-share of production as a senior
– still very young, will only be 21 for most of his rookie year in the NFL
– brings potential value in return game
– son of two military parents

Cons
– trouble creating separation at times
– could be more physical for his size at the catch-point
– missed a few games in 2019 with a knee (meniscus)

2019 Team Market Share Numbers

Team Receptions: 26%
Team Receiving Yards: 31%
Team Receiving TDs: 50%

Scouting Notes: Bryan Edwards has upside written all over him. He possesses some freaky athletic characteristics like being able to leap up and snatch the ball one handed at any given moment. The fun only just begins when he gets the ball in his hands though, as he’s a more dangerous man with after the catch, utilizing his shiftiness and power to escape the grasp of would-be tacklers on a regular basis. While he’s a totally different archetype of player, he reminds you of former ‘Cocks teammate Deebo Samuel in this manner. Pro Football Focus made note that he’s broken at least ten tackles after-catch in each of the last three seasons. He’s a gliding runner who picks up speed as he goes, so with his considerable size behind him, he’s a force to be reckoned with when he’s got a full head of steam. The best part about Edwards is that he’s useful all over the field — and has been for his entire time in college, coming on the scene as and turning in the second-best true-freshman season in school history behind just Alshon Jeffery, and having played in every game that season. Edwards was one of only six true freshman at SC since 2009 to start the very first game of his career. He came to South Carolina with impressive Nike-verified performance metrics from the Opening: a 4.53 40-time, a 37.7″ vertical and a 4.3 short shuttle.

Running slants or screens inside or going deep outside, he’s a valuable asset in the passing game, and he’s a solid gunner on special teams. Edwards didn’t put up mind-boggling numbers as South Carolina, mainly due to more than suspect QB play, but he is their career leader in receptions (234) and receiving yards (3/045) – though guys like Alshon Jeffery and Sidney Rice didn’t play all four years. It should also be noted, though, that when giving context for team-share of production, he was more productive in the 2019 season within the context of the USC offense than Van Jefferson, Chase Claypool, Denzel Mims and Collin Johnson were in within the contexts of their own attacks. Edwards would be even more productive if he handled press coverage better, something that should be possible considering his imposing size. And though he’s adept at getting up and over defenders and besting them once he’s back on his feet, Edwards sometimes has trouble with contested catches when he has hands on him, but his hands are very dependable overall. Per PFF, Edwards only dropped 3 balls on 74 catchable targets in 2019.

Fantasy Outlook: Edwards athletic prowess and utility on multiple levels will make him an easy player to draft. That being said, he’s going to need to develop as a receiver, and he’s going to have to learn how to be more physical before the catch. In a crowded receiver field, he needs to be better against the press to be a top prospect. That being said, I could see him being an every week PPR stud, if he lands in the right spot. I could see him thriving on a team like Oakland that lacks real firepower at the receiver position.

From the South Carolina Athletic Department:

2019 Team Captain

2019 Steve Wadiak Most Valuable Player Award

2019 Steve Spurrier MVP Award – Offense

2019 Most Explosive Player Award – Offense

2019 Tenacity Award – Offense

2019 Second-Team All-SEC (Coaches)

2019 Third-Team All-SEC (Pro Football Focus)

2018 Strength & Conditioning Award

2017 Steve Spurrier MVP Award – Offense

2017 Harold White GPA Award – Offense

2016 Athlon’s Freshman All-America Second Team

2016 Athlon’s SEC All-Freshman First Team

2016 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

CAREER
School record-breaking wide receiver… set the school records for consecutive games with a catch (48), making a catch in every game in which he appeared, career receptions (234) and career receiving yards (3,045)… also ranks third in school history with 22 career receiving touchdowns, one behind Sidney Rice and Alshon Jeffery… led all Power 5 schools and was third among all Division I receivers in career receptions and career receiving yards… logged eight career 100-yard receiving games and had 25 career games, including nine in 2019, with five or more catches.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like all rookie profiles, this one will continue to be updated through the winter and spring with intel as we acquire it. When applicable/available, these profiles will be supplemented with transcriptions of scouting combine interviews with the players following the event, new photos and videos as well as other media we can gather through our offseason pursuits of fantasy dominance. 

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