Los Angeles Rams 90-Man Roster Preview: Offensive Tackle David Edwards

by Jake Ellenbogen
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The Rams have bolstered their offensive line this offseason leaving them with one of the most depth-filled offensive line groups they have ever had. In the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they selected my eighth overall tackle in the draft, David Edwards. Edwards has already received reps with the first-team in relief for Andrew Whitworth who does take occasional days off in practice. The big news was Edwards taking over as the next-man-up in what many felt was a right tackle through and through.

College Career

David Edwards played in 37 games which included 31 starts at right tackle. The three-start recruit redshirted his 2015 season and went on to become a key piece of the Wisconsin Badgers offensive line. Edwards was named first-team All-America in 2017 and last season he was named first-team All-Big 10. While overall a durable player, it’s worth mentioning Edwards missed the final three games of his career due to a knee injury. Still, though, it was a very impressive career for the eventual Rams fifth-round pick.

Roster Battle

Edwards will likely be competing for the primary backup role to Andrew Whitworth at left tackle. This role is extremely important because, with Joe Noteboom in at left guard, the winner of the backup role could end up being the heir to Whitworth’s throne. Edwards will have to battle the likes of third-round pick Bobby Evans in addition to two undrafted rookies Matt Kaskey and Brandon Hitner. It won’t be easy for the fifth-rounder to fend off the third-rounder but Edwards is already off to a good start having already taken first-team reps at the left tackle position.

Three Plays on Tape

This seems like a simple play but Jaylin Holmes on the right side is playing the edge. David Edwards takes Holmes for a ride and completely steers him out of the way for an easy first-down run on third and short in a game that is getting ugly quick. Plays like this might not even get noticed initially but this subtle win by Edwards guarantees a first down as opposed to the unknown.

Here’s another play in which Edwards completely manhandles Holmes. In this one, though Edwards actually loses the initial start of the play off the line of scrimmage. He, however, does a great job of recovering and using his hips to get around and stay in front of Holmes. Great pass protection rep from Edwards.

This is just a simple rep in pass protection that shows you how fluid of a pass blocker Edwards is. There is literally no crease for the pass rusher to find as Edwards just does a textbook job of mirroring his man.

Biggest Question

Is David Edwards a future starter for the Rams? It’s the biggest question because it seems as though he’s already jumped fellow draft pick Bobby Evans in the pecking order. What does that mean? We truly won’t know until things unfold. Evans has been marveled over his athleticism and his upside but Edwards is considered the low upside guy with a higher floor. Perhaps the Rams look at Evans as the long-term option but we’ve seen in the past that just because a guy with enormous upside like Greg Robinson is going to pan out more than one that doesn’t have as much upside or the overall athleticism as the other, Rob Havenstein. Edwards could very well end up making the Evans pick look like a bad pick whether it was or not.

2019 Outlook and Role

In my measure, Edwards is going to win the backup job behind Whitworth and Havenstein. I think the Rams know what they have in Edwards and they took an extra shot on Evans’ upside for the long-term, however, Edwards is the priority this season. He’s most likely to fill in for an injured Whitworth or Havenstein. While Edwards was more of a right tackle in college, he’s already started his career off with a bang after being worked on as a left tackle. Ifthat is what Aaron Kromer believes it’s the right choice, we’ve all learned to just trust in the man.

Chances of Making Final Roster

A 100 percent lock. Seems weird to call a fifth-round pick a 100% lock but Edwards is the best tackle on the roster after Havenstein and Whitworth so it’s only fair he gets billed as such. Edwards already in his young career could be considered a plug-in-play type of tackle that can help you out in a pinch. Regardless of who makes noise, it’s going to take a lot for the Rams to fall out of favor with Edwards. It would likely have to take off-field issues and a mega dip in his overall level of play.

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