The value that Tremaine Edmunds has to the Buffalo Bills defense may be a bit overrated, one analysis outlet says.
In its ranking of linebacking corps around the league, Pro Football Focus had some critical words for the 23-year-old Pro Bowler. The outlet graded the Bills around the middle of the pack in the NFL, saying that Edmunds may not be as good as his reputation would imply.
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Edmunds More ‘Hype’ Than Production
The analytics outlet ranked the Bills linebacking group as the 14th-best in the NFL, giving good reviews to Matt Milano but noting that A.J. Klein wasn’t quite so productive. The outlet reserved the harshest criticism for Edmunds, saying that he has an issue with missing tackles.
The Bills would be much higher than this on name recognition, but Tremaine Edmunds has been more hype than overall production thus far. His highlights are spectacular, but so are his lowlights, and he has yet to finish a season with a PFF grade higher than 60.0. He’s also missed 57 tackles in three seasons.
Edmunds’ rookie year was his most productive, with the 20-year-old racking up 121 tackles and two sacks to go along with two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He has failed to match that production in either of the two subsequent seasons, though still managed to earn Pro Bowl nods both years.
Some of the drop in production could be outside of Edmunds’ control. Many have pointed to the loss of defensive lineman Star Lotulelei — who opted out of the 2020 season due to fears of COVID-19 — as one of the major factors in the team’s struggles on defense last year. Lotulelei often occupied two blockers, creating more opportunities for edge rushers and linebackers.
Not all are quite so critical of the Bills linebacker. Sports Illustrated’s Bills Central ranked him as the 5th most valuable member of the team, pointing to his versatility in defending against the pass and run. The outlet noted that both he and Milano can stay on the field when the team is in nickel coverage.
Bills Invest in Edmunds
The team’s front office may also share a different view than PFF. The team invested a lot in him at the start, trading up to the No. 16 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft to take him, and in May announced that they had picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. As USA Today’s Bills Wire noted at the time, Bills general manager Brandon Beane showed interest in getting Edmunds locked down on a longer-term deal, though that has not yet come to pass.