Mike Edwards provided a steady presence as a playmaker in Kentucky’s secondary for three years. His reliability could pay off in next week’s NFL Draft.
One of only two defensive backs in Kentucky’s 300-tackle club, while other SEC safeties stole headlines, Edwards quietly helped Kentucky control the line of scrimmage. Playing deep and walking up into the nickel position near the line of scrimmage to cover the slot, no other SEC safety had more run stops in 2018 than Edwards.
Since his time in a UK uniform, the Kentucky Badger caught a bad break. During an exceptional week in the Senior Bowl, he broke his thumb. The injury sidelined him from NFL Combine competition and forced him to delay his pro day at UK. Despite the setback, NFL Draft analysts have taken notice.
On the NFL Network’s latest Move the Sticks podcast, former NFL Scout Daniel Jeremiah said Edwards is arguably the most reliable pick in the draft outside of the top two rounds.
“Players that you have a role for them, you know exactly what you’re going to get, there’s no guess work,” Jeremiah said.
“Mike Edwards, a safety from Kentucky, he might not be the biggest guy in the world — 5-10 1/2, 205 pounds, ran 4.5 flat. But I just love the fact I can drop him down and play him near the line of scrimmage and I know exactly what I’m going to get from him. He’s somebody who’s going to be a very sure tackler. He’s got some instincts to get his hands on some balls underneath. He’s just going to be a very dependable, reliable player.
“Mike Edwards, probably I’d say fourth round is where he ends up going, maybe he could sneak into the third round. But more than likely you’re talking about a fourth-round guy and I feel great about that pick.”
In extended mock drafts, Edwards consistently falls in the third to fourth round range. One week from today we’ll find out which team is smart enough to make the safe selection.