As the Las Vegas Raiders‘ first pick in the NFL Draft, Henry Ruggs is about to get all the hype this offseason. However, another wide receiver the team drafted later could have just as big of an impact. Bryan Edwards was the all-time leader in receiving at South Carolina but fell in the draft because of injury concerns. Had it not been for that, he could’ve been selected a lot earlier. According to NFL Network draft analyst, Edwards compares favorably to one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
“He would’ve been in the second round in this draft if he had a chance to be healthy going through the [Combine] process,” Jeremiah said during the broadcast. “He’s somebody that’s going to play the X receiver on the outside at the next level. You line him up, he wins with physicality at the line of scrimmage. You can see his ball skills in the game against Tennessee. He reminds me a lot of Chris Godwin when he was coming out of college. I think this kid has that kind of ability.”
Edwards is a tad taller than Godwin but both players were third-round picks coming into the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star blew up in 2019 and accumulated 1,333 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns. If Edwards can reach that level of production, the Raiders may have found the biggest steal in the entire draft.
Edwards Believes He’s a Playmaker
The Raiders came into the draft looking for playmakers and they’ve found a good one in Bryan Edwards. He’s ready to make plays for the silver and black.
“I feel like I’m a playmaker man,” Edwards said. “I feel like I can make plays with the ball in my hand. I can win 50/50 balls. I can help this team win.”
The team didn’t have a wide receiver who could win a lot of 50/50 balls last season. If Edwards is right about his ability, he could become a touchdown machine for Las Vegas.
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Mayock Thinks Edwards Will Complement Henry Ruggs
One of the most interesting things about the Edwards selection as that he’s almost the opposite of first-round pick Henry Ruggs. He’s tall and strong while Ruggs is small and quick. General manager Mike Mayock thinks the two will form a formidable duo.
“I think they complement each other,” Mayock said of Ruggs and Edwards on Friday. “I think when you look at Ruggs, I love the fact that Jon Gruden knows how to use him. Not only will he run vertical, and trust me he will, but we’ll also have some manufactured touches for him. Whether they are jet sweeps, screens, just an ability to get him the ball in space and use that speed. Now, Bryan Edwards is a different cat. Bryan Edwards is a guy you can go three-by-one, you can put him on the backside, let him run down the red line, throw back-shoulder fades, regular fades, slants. All the big-body throws where you think you can win. He’s physical, he’s tough, he’s got great hands.”
Going with Edwards in the third round made a lot of sense. The Raiders now have speed for days with Ruggs and also have two really big wide receivers in Tyrell Williams and Edwards. Derek Carr has a set of very diverse wide receivers to throw to and it should be a lot of fun to watch this offense role.