Bryan Edwards looks like a completely different player for the Raiders in training camp. According to one source at camp, “Edwards is dominating every single defensive player. He is not guardable right now. He looks like a star in the making.”
As Edwards enters year two, the 6-3, 212 pound wide receiver has been working extremely hard and is hungry to prove his critics wrong.
“He reminds me a lot of Davante [Adams],” Derek Carr said during Wednesday’s presser. “Edwards is running with the ones a lot, and he’s making a lot of plays… I think the early mornings of working together, you have to put the work in, there is no secret around any job. You want to be good at something; you have to work hard at it. And he works extremely hard. I’m very proud of him.”
As the Raiders practiced in full pads for the first time Wednesday (they practiced in “shells” Tuesday), it was Edwards that shined and made multiple plays in camp. In one play during team drills, Edwards got a step on Amik Robertson. As the ball was in the air, Robertson, who was in position to make a play on the ball, wasn’t able to get there. Instead, Edwards jumped into the air and caught the pass over Roberston.
Edwards has the talent and body size to be special. His 6-3 frame allows him to go up and make catches over smaller defenders. “You see his strong hands. Sometimes he’ll catch a ball, he’s so strong he doesn’t bring it to the body where they can punch it out. He’ll just hold it away from him. Not many guys can do that, but he can,” Carr said of Edwards.
Edwards had 15 targets in 11 games in his rookie season, an overwhelmingly disappointing start to his NFL career. “Last year is last year,” Edwards said during Spring Camp. “I can’t change it. I had some injuries and things like that.” An ankle injury suffered in Week 3 caused Edwards to miss the next four games, and lingered on as the season continued. He really wasn’t able to get his footing in his rookie season.
If Edwards can stay healthy, Jon Gruden believes Edwards could be a number one wideout in the league. “[Bryan] Edwards has great ability,” Gruden said on NFL Network. “He’s got great ability. I’m excited about him. You see he looks like T.O. He looks like one of the number one wideouts in the league.”
Jon Gurden may be jumping the gun a little bit, comparing a player who has 15 career catches to a Hall of Famer, but when Edwards was asked about Jon Gruden comparing him to Terrell Owens, Edwards had some interesting comments.
“Anytime you can get compared to a guy like that, I feel like it’s a huge honor. I’m just trying to come in here and work every day, no matter what’s said about me. And just come in here and be the same guy and make as many plays as I can for this team.”
When Edwards was later asked about who he looked up to, he didn’t mention Owens. Instead, he mentioned guys from his home state. “Definitely AJ Green. Alshon Jefferey. Deandre Hopkins.”
There is no question that Edwards has the capability to be a great player in this league. With his frame and athletic ability, not many players in the league can match up with Edwards. But he does need to go out and show it during a live game, something he has yet to do.
Heading into 2021, Edwards is likely going to be starting as the “X” wide receiver, opposite of Henry Ruggs, so he’ll have every opportunity to prove himself and show all of his doubters that he should not have fallen to the 81st pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
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