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2019 NFL Draft: LB T.J. Edwards scouting report

The tackling machine should have little trouble finding a home in the NFL.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There has been no more important player on the Wisconsin defense over the past four seasons than T.J. Edwards. The heartbeat of the a unit that was amongst the top in the country in 2016 and 2017, Edwards served as the quarterback of the defense that has produced plenty of NFL talent.

The question will now be how easily will Edwards be able to translate his collegiate success to the NFL field. Edwards thrived in the Wisconsin Badgers’ 3-4 defense as an inside linebacker, but the ability for players to be versatile at the next level is crucial to their success early on allowing them to play special teams and stick on a team in their rookie season.

T.J. Edwards

Height: 6’0
Weight: 230 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.77 seconds
Vertical jump: 32.5”
Broad jump: 9’4
Short shuttle: 4.15 seconds
Three-cone Drill: 6.99 seconds
Bench press: 16 reps

*Height, weight and bench press measurables taken from NFL.com Draft profile as Edwards participated in the NFL Combine; all other results are from Wisconsin’s pro day in March.

Strengths: Extremely high football intelligence. Muscled up build, particularly thick through the upper body. As dependable a run-stopping linebacker as there is in this class. Does a good job disengaging offensive linemen at the second level. Exceptional form tackler. Excels in the box and in traffic. Above average awareness in underneath zone coverage.

Weaknesses: Average at best athletically. Lacks the long speed to play sideline-to-sideline. Was rarely asked to play man coverage in college.

Summary: If this was 2003, T.J. Edwards would be a top 50 pick. Edwards’ career will be determined on how well he is able to make up for some of his athletic shortcomings at the next level. Likely a 3-4 inside linebacker only. Can he stay on the field on third down when the offense goes empty or 10 personnel? Will do everything right in the building and off the field. Should be an excellent special teamer. Lost 10-15 pounds leading up to the draft—will it make him quicker?

Round projection: Round 5—Round 7