Bryan Edwards Lands with Raiders in NFL Draft

Oct 19, 2019; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Bryan Edwards (89) celebrates a reception against the Florida Gators at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft came to a conclusion on Sunday after an exciting three-day virtual experience was televised from multiple remote sites due to the coronavirus outbreak.  On Friday, Bryan Edwards, a wide receiver from the University of South Carolina, was drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders in the third round of 2020 draft with the 81st pick.  Edwards became the first Gamecocks athlete selected by the Raiders since the 1971 draft when they took Jimmy Poston, a defensive tackle.

Edwards played for South Carolina for all four years of his college career, deciding to finish out his schooling after his junior year instead of declaring for the draft. In his junior year, he recorded 55 receptions for 846 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.

Last season, he played in three fewer games but posted 71 receptions for 816 yards and six receiving touchdowns in addition to two rushing plays for 22 yards. Edwards injured his knee at the end of the season and missed the last two games. He also broke his foot preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine but rehabbed in time to perform.

Edwards was a consistent and core part of the South Carolina offense the whole time he was there. He finished out his collegiate career with 234 receptions for 3,045 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also notched six rushing plays for 41 yards.

Edwards was a Freshman All-American and SEC All-Freshman selection in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded the Gamecocks’ Offensive Most Valuable Player award and in 2019 was named second-team All-SEC.

Edwards performed fairly well at the Scouting Combine, receiving a prospect grade of 6.34 out of 8.0 from NFL.com; he is projected to be a starter within his first two seasons. Edwards was used on all three levels of offense as he is able to create space to release against the press and finish a crowded catch. He has good physicality standing at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds and his nine-and-a-half-inch hands are quick for sudden throws.

The coaching staff of the Raiders will need to work on his route running and work with him on his wiggle and toughness at the catch and run options, as well as teach him to use his size more efficiently on contested catches.

The Raiders entered the draft needing to fill wide receiver, cornerback, and edge rusher positions on their roster, so Edwards will fit in well and he should be able to transition to the next level with ease.

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