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Rams OL’er David Edwards is ready to start...

February 19, 2020 08:00AM
Rams OL'er David Edwards is ready to start


by Bret Stuter

Rams selected OT David Edwards with pick 169 of the 2019 NFL Draft, hoping for a backup. But he proved that he is ready to start in 2020.

The LA Rams entered the 2019 NFL Draft with a shopping list for NFL starters at offensive line, defensive back, and edge rusher. With no first-round pick, the most optimistic hopes would have settled for one starter from the draft class for 2019, and perhaps several special teams players who would compete for a starting role in the future. What the team found in round five of that draft would exceed those optimistic hopes. Offensive lineman David Edwards delivered in 2019 as a starter at right guard. For 2020, he’s ready for an even greater role on offense.

Offensive tackle David Edwards was not the highest-rated offensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft class. In fact, he was a middle-of-the-pack prospect. While many loved his size and run blocking, everyone pointed out that he was new to the offensive line. A quarterback-turned tight end-turned offensive tackle as a Wisconsin Badger made him a bit of an enigma to NFL scouts.

That did not stop the LA Rams from selecting him at the undervalued 169th pick in round five. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 308 pounds, Edwards was the ideal size for offensive line duties.

But scouts simply did not have enough to go on. His play was just raw athleticism, and many scouts dinged him repeatedly for poor technique. While some appreciated his athleticism in run blocking, he was cited again and again for poor technique and fundamentals in pass blocking. Most of the deficiencies were coachable corrections. The LA Rams, boasting an elite offensive line coach, did not shy away from the opportunity to add Edwards to the roster.
#Wisconsin OT David Edwards has been drafted by the LA Rams in the 5th round. If they ever need another QB, David’s got them covered… pic.twitter.com/utsTOEmLvo
— WKOW 27 (@WKOW) April 27, 2019
Clearly, the Rams saw Edwards as possessing starting potential, despite the lack of offensive line experience. And that faith was aptly rewarded in the first half of the 2019 season, as injury forded the Rams to promote him to a starting role. Edwards showed a great deal of intensity is his first start. He remained intense throughout the season.

Raw talent to a solid performer
When Edwards was drafted, the projection centered around a new raw talent for offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to coach up. But from the moment he was promoted to starting right guard for the Rams, things began to click for him. Surprisingly, the offensive tackle flourished as the Rams starting offensive guard for 10 games. He was promoted to left guard when Joseph Noteboom fell to injury and played well enough for the Rams veterans to notice.
“He played really, really big time for us,” – WR Robert Woods said via TheRams.com Stu Jackson</blockquote>
His role soon changed over to the right guard when the team landed guard Austin Corbett from the Cleveland Browns after center/guard Austin Blythe fell to injury. From that point, Edwards switched to right guard, where he remained through the end of the 2019 season.

Edwards was given the grand tour of offensive line roles in training camp when he arrived. His versatility and blank slate was the perfect blank slate needed for Coach Kromer to work his magic, and he definitely did just that. Getting quality starts out of any rookie is huge, but finding quality starts from a fifth-round rookie is hitting the lottery for an NFL team. All from a training camp where Edwards was exposed to almost all offensive line positions to “be ready for anything”.

Home is where the heart is
Edwards played the starting guard position with a lot of heart and passion. That is very impressive knowing that he didn’t have a formal slot on the team throughout his 2019 rookie training camp. In 2020? He has a home. He earned the starting role at right guard with better than expected play and enters the 2020 season training for one, and only one, position.

We had discussed his playing 62 percent of the offensive snaps in our review of the 2019 NFL Draft. Even more impressive is his rookie Pro Football Focus grade of 61.0. That may not be a Pro-Bowl ranking grade, but it’s awfully impressive for a player who spent the entirety of his first NFL training camp learning four offensive line positions. Imagine how well he can perform by focusing on just one position in this year’s training camp.

Offensive linemen typically make huge improvements from their rookie to sophomore season. That happens because they have formed the necessary relationships with teammates, and the second season is all about refining techniques to play at a higher level. With so much focus upon the LA Rams offensive line right now, there is almost no chance for the team to take another step backward.

The Rams may be looking for help on the offensive line, but they have already discovered their starting right guard for the foreseeable future. As such, Edwards’s upside for the 2020 NFL Season is huge, even in Edwards’s own words. Where will Edwards grade fall in 2020? I expect among the 69.0-73.5 range. That’s a solid NFL starter. The LA Rams offensive guard David Edwards is ready to start. The Rams, with so many needs elsewhere, are more than happy to give him every opportunity to do so.

  Rams OL’er David Edwards is ready to start...

Rams43508February 19, 2020 08:00AM

  The only question, which wasn't answered

max232February 19, 2020 09:10AM

  I thought it was...

RAMbler187February 19, 2020 10:17AM

  Re: I thought it was...

3030177February 19, 2020 10:23AM

  Re: Not really......

oldschoolramfan83February 20, 2020 05:19AM

  Re: Not really......

303085February 20, 2020 05:24AM

  Re: Not really......NICE 3030

oldschoolramfan69February 20, 2020 09:26AM

  For sure 3030

fullcurl59February 21, 2020 09:44AM

  Re: Also....3 Wisconsin Olinemen starting!

oldschoolramfan51February 21, 2020 09:46AM

  Re: Also....3 Wisconsin Olinemen starting!

SoCalRAMatic58February 21, 2020 09:57AM

  Definitely RG

Ram_Ruler132February 19, 2020 11:21AM

  Re: I doubt that is settled yet

merlin149February 19, 2020 12:26PM

  Re: I think the issue is

Speed_Kills99February 20, 2020 05:22AM

  Hats off to Snead and the crew

Los Angeles Lenny82February 21, 2020 02:12PM

  thank god it wasn't Austin

ferragamo7964February 21, 2020 03:56PM