Carsen Edwards was a great piece to a bigger whole for the Purdue Boilermakers the last few seasons. The junior point guard from Texas was a sparkplug for a team that made 2 straight Sweet 16’s and won the Big Ten regular-season title in 2017.
Fast forward to this year, and the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is the top chef, and his shooting numbers are cooking up as we enter March Madness. In 8 of his last 10 games, he scored at least 20 points, inlcuding a 26-point outburst Thursday versus Conference USA champion Old Dominion in the first round.
Edwards is averaging 23.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists a contest for Matt Painter’s Boilermakers, who face defending national champion Villanova tonight in the NCAA Tournament second round (8:40 p.m. EST, TNT).
With such production, how’s he looking as an NBA prospect for this summer’s draft? Let’s look at his projections, mock drafts and stock.
Carsen Edwards Draft Projections & Mock Drafts
Jeremy Woo of SI.com places him as an early second-rounder at No. 34 overall. He raves about his instant-offense potential.
For two years now, Edwards has been the driving force behind overachieving Purdue teams that relied heavily on his scoring gifts. He can be a bit of a divisive prospect with his lack of positional height, but he‘s strong and explosive and can really make tough shots in tight spaces from the outside. Edwards should be afforded the room to consistently get his jumper off in spite of his height. His potential as a microwave scorer can’t be discounted, and while playmaking will never be the primary sell with him, some of his turnovers and mistakes are excusable based on how much time he spends with the ball in his hands. If Edwards can be a threat handling in screen situations as well as away from the ball, he should be able to maximize his chances of finding an NBA niche.
Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype aggregates 5 different mocks from Bleacher Report, SI.com, ESPN, The Athletic and NBA Draft. He shows Edwards as his No. 39 player, with all but Bleacher Report fitting him on their lists.
Aran Smith’s NBA Draft Net has the Sacramento Kings taking him at No. 41, pairing Edwards, an automatic outside shooter, with slasher/ball-handler De’Aaron Fox.
ESPN’s Draft Board has him as the No. 8 point guard and No. 48 player overall, which means with a tournament bump he’s a potential early second-round pick.
Carsen Edwards Scouting Report
There’s some concern that Edwards fell into too many funks against good teams. Against Big Ten co-champion Michigan State, he scored just 14 and 11 points in each meeting (well below his averages).
However, that narrative doesn’t hold. He scored 24 points against the tree-like defense of Florida State, 40 against Texas (a top-20 defense per Kenpom) and 36 against the Wisconsin Badgers in the dreaded Kohl Center.
He’s just a damn good scorer, but he does hit his averages on high shot volume. He takes a whopping 37.3 percent of Purdue’s shots, which is 6th-most in the country. That leads to some underwhelming shooting percentages (43 percent from 2, just 33 percent from 3).
On the plus side, he’s a disciplined yet still-aggressive defender. He ranks nationally in steal rate, nabbing at least one a game. Even when taking risks, he commits just 2.3 fouls every 40 minutes.
In short, he’d be an excellent guard off the bench for a flurry of points, while at the same time not being a defensive liability. Late first-round is probably his ceiling.