Prior to the No. 81 overall pick, the Las Vegas Raiders didn't have a lot of big-bodied, physical bruisers at the wide receiver position, but after they submitted the pick that changed quickly.
After selecting Lynn Bowden Jr. with the No. 80 overall pick, the Silver and Black chose Bryan Edwards out of South Carolina, and he brings a go-up-and-get-it mentality to the wide receiver group.
Following the Raiders decision, NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah compared Edwards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Chris Godwin, who had a remarkable season in 2019. That's some lofty praise out of the gate, especially as a third-round pick, and I will take that to the bank.
"He would've been in the second round in this draft if he had a chance to be healthy going through the [Combine] process," Jeremiah said during the broadcast. "He's somebody that's going to play the X receiver on the outside at the next level. You line him up, he wins with physicality at the line of scrimmage. You can see his ball skills in the game against Tennessee. He reminds me a lot of Chris Godwin when he was coming out of college. I think this kid has that kind of ability."
During his training, Edwards broke his foot, which impacted where he'd land in the draft. So, to hear Jeremiah, a well-respected analyst in the NFL community, say he had a second-round draft grade on Edwards speaks volumes.
Overall, Jeremiah has been impressed with what General Manager Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden have been able to do at the position during the draft.
"When you look at what the [Las Vegas] Raiders have done, Henry Ruggs to be their Z receiver, someone who can really take the top off the defense," he continued. "Then you come back with Bowden who can be a wildcat-quarterback-gadget guy, use him in the slot, put him in the opposite slot from Hunter Renfrow, and now you've got Bryan Edwards to be that X receiver to compete with Tyrell Williams."
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Edwards isn't afraid to get physical with opposing defensive backs, in fact, he welcomes it. During his four years as a Gamecock, Edwards totaled 3,045 yards, 234 receptions, and 22 touchdowns. His 234 receptions are the most in South Carolina's history 48 consecutive games with a reception.
It's no secret, NFL analysts and college football spectators value the SEC above other conferences — even though the PAC-12 is the conference of champions, but I digress — which is why it's noteworthy to point out that Edwards physicality was met by some of the meanest cornerbacks in all of college football.
Competition brings out the best in people and with 10 wide receivers on the active roster now, Mayock and Gruden want to see who rises to the occasion. The Raiders had a revolving door at the position last year and they clearly want to make sure that doesn't happen again. Also, Carr will have plenty of weapons to throw to in 2020.
With the 81st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select wide receiver Bryan Edwards.