The Eagles signed undrafted free agent linebacker T.J. Edwards back in March in a rather unheralded move. The four-year starter at Wisconsin was seen as a solid player, but nothing more than a training camp body. Or so everyone thought at the time.
Bleacher Report recently unveiled their annual list of the Most Exciting Undrafted Free Agents for 2019 and Edwards caught their attention. He’ll have to beat out at least one veteran linebacker — guys like L.J. Fort, Paul Worrilow, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nathan Gerry — to make the Eagles’ final 53-man roster. That’s a tough chore and unenviable task for Edwards. However, stranger things have happened and the players listed above are far from Pro-Bowl caliber.
Bleacher Report praised the 6-foot-1, 242-pounder for his “high motor” and “surprising ball skills.” He finished his senior season with 112 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Most scouts seem to think his decision to skip the Senior Bowl hurt his draft stock.
The Philadelphia Eagles may have landed one of the steals of undrafted free agency in the form of former Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Edwards. The 6’1″, 242-pounder possesses a physical mindset that should mesh perfectly with the Eagles defense.
“Stout four-year starter who shows up and does his job each week as a banger in the box with surprising ball skills to flip the field,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote of Edwards.
Edwards’ high motor regularly got him involved for the Badgers. In 2018, he racked up 112 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. While he isn’t likely to produce those kinds of numbers as a rookie, he should slot in as a backup inside linebacker who can start in a pinch.
Pro Football Focus was also quick to praise Edwards and ranked him high in their list of undrafted free agents. The website did a deep dive on the Wisconsin linebacking group in 2018 and states that Edwards never allowed a single touchdown when he dropped back in coverage. In four years at Wisconsin, he averaged 7.0 tackles per game and finished with 10 interceptions and 25 pass deflections. He also played college ball with Eagles running back Corey Clement, another undrafted player.
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Edwards actually started his football career as a “pretty bad” high school quarterback, one that Wisconsin took a chance on due to his blocking ability. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, Edwards never played linebacker in high school and moved to the spot only because the coaching staff at Wisconsin noticed him make a few blocks on film while playing quarterback.
“I was a low-level recruit so they weren’t tracking me too much, but I was a good kid, didn’t have any off-the-field issues,” Edwards told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Glad I threw those blocks. Really, they were just running back cut-backs, and I just happened to run across the field and make a block once in a while and they noticed it on my junior year film.”