Name: Mike Edwards
Position: Defensive Back
Size: 5’9″ – 189 lbs
40 Time: 4.56 seconds
Vertical Jump: 36″
College Career: Edwards began with a very successful high school career winning three letters and reaching 3 conference titles, one regional title, and a state championship. He was named first team all Ohio. He was recruited to and signed by University of Tennesse right out of college. However, following an uneventful freshman season, Edwards was kicked off the team after being arrested for attempted armed robbery with a BB gun. He began to resurrect his career with the Coffeyville Community College Ravens (Kansas) and transferred to Hawaii in 2011. In his two years with the Warriors, Edwards had 86 tackles, 3 interceptions, 26 passes breakups, and 3 kick return touchdowns (2 for over 100 yards). He was named the 2012 Team MVP.
Scouting Report: Edwards is an athletic play maker with fluid hips. A track standout in high school, Edwards is able to flip and run while still keeping pace with speedy wideouts. He has good acceleration that allows him to play tight man coverage. This acceleration also helps him close on the ball and make plays. While his position of strength is cornerback, Edwards has added value as a potential safety because of his acceleration, closing speed, and ball skills. However, Edwards’ size (5’9″) limits him in both roles. Though small, he is tough and does not get bullied by larger wide receivers. While he won’t back down, he can be over matched at the line in press coverage or during jump balls. Edwards occasionally struggles to diagnose wether the play is run or pass and can be overly aggressive at times. He has displayed poor hands, knocking down balls that should easily be picked off. Edwards has great return ability and utilizes his straight line speed and lateral agility to make would-be tacklers miss.
Where He Fits: In short, it will be difficult for Edwards to make the Jets 53 man roster. Edwards’ main position is cornerback which is considered a strength of the team, sporting a deep pool of talent. Cromartie, Milliner, Wilson, and Berry round out the top of the depth chart while Lankster, Trufant, Darrin Walls, Eric Crocker, and Donnie Fletcher, are nipping at their heels. Rex Ryan has made no secret of wanting depth at the cornerback position and loves to flood the field with talented defensive backs. However, Mike Edwards is 1 of 11 cornerbacks vying for a spot this summer and will have to beat out the likes of Lankster and Trufant who have had success in Ryan’s scheme.
Yet, Edwards’ value as a potential safety and kick returner combined with the shallow depth at safety, Joe McKnight’s tenuous roster spot and Kerley’s butterfingers on punt returns, means Edwards may yet find a home with the New York Jets. The competition will be tough but as Edwards has shown, he is a competitor (a trait Idzik and Ryan are coveting this offseason). I am of the belief that Edwards will not make the 53 man roster but will land on the Practice Squad because of his toughness and value as a returner, possibly being activated when facing pass heavy teams.