2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tremaine Edmunds

  • Tremaine Edmunds, 6-5/236

  • Linebacker

  • Virginia Tech

  • Tremaine Edmunds Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Very good instincts
  • Versatile size
  • Rangy
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Edge-rush potential
  • Assignment sound
  • Awareness
  • Good hand usage
  • Takes on blockers
  • Excellent length
  • Skilled pursuit defender
  • Gifted pass-coverage linebacker
  • Impressive man-coverage ability versus tight ends and running backs
  • Can drop into zone coverage
  • Ball skills
  • Above-average height and length for a linebacker
  • Tough run defender
  • Good tackler
  • Quick
  • Diagnosis skills
  • Has the skill set to shed blocks
  • Can get off blocks and make tackle
  • Read-and-react skills
  • Fits a 4-3 or 3-4 defense
  • Fits as a 3-4 inside or outside linebacker
  • Always around the ball
  • Quick to the flat
  • Upside
  • Experienced

  • Weaknesses:
  • Vulnerable to play action
  • Can be overaggressive

  • Summary: Over the past few seasons, the Edmunds brothers were impossible to ignore when watching Virginia Tech. Terrell and Tremaine served as excellent defenders for the Hokies. They are fast, physical play-makers. In 2016, Tremaine Edmunds recorded 106 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception. As a junior in 2017, he totaled 109 tackles with 5.5 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and three forced fumbles.

    Edmunds is an excellent run defender. He has good instincts and is quick to read his keys. His rapid reaction skills mean he is always around the ball. Add that in with his explosive speed and athleticism, Edmunds covers a ton of ground with a lot of tackles for a loss or near the line of scrimmage. He is a skilled defender at producing a lot of good down-and-distance situations for his defense. Edmunds gave Virginia Tech a lot of second-and-8s, third-and-7s, and consistently put his defense in good position. Edmunds has the size and strength to take on blockers plus the speed to cover the perimeter. He also is a hard tackler who wraps up ball-carriers and takes them hard to the turf. With his versatile skill set, Edmunds could be a middle or outside linebacker in the NFL.

    Edmunds is also very well suited for pass coverage in today’s NFL. As a professional, he could be an asset as a linebacker weapon to neutralize receiving-threat tight ends in man-to-man coverage. Edmunds has good height and length to match up on tight ends, yet also has the speed to get down the seam. Against running backs out of the backfield, Edmunds is also a good weapon to defend them because he is fast to the flat and is an excellent open-field tackler. He was very good in zone coverage for Virginia Tech over the last two seasons. Edmunds is comfortable in space and uses his excellent closing speed to hunt down ball-carriers. In zone coverage, Edmunds is skilled to pick up receivers coming into his area and keeping them from getting open. He also is a dangerous blitzer and closes ground in an instant. Edmunds should be a true three-down defender in the NFL.

    Even though Edmunds is a dynamic player and talent, there are things for him to improve, but that isn’t surprising considering he is only 19 years old. Edmunds can be overaggressive at times, and that also shows itself in his vulnerablity to play action. Some of that was due to Bud Foster’s scheme, which wants the defense to play fast and attack. Edmunds will have to learn to be a bit more disciplined to deal with play action and not get caught out of position. He also can stand to anticipate more plays rather than reacting, but that is something that should come along as he gains more experience.

    Edmunds is shockingly young for a NFL player and has a ton of upside. For the 2018 NFL Draft, Edmunds is one of the top defensive prospects available. He looks like a lock to be a top-16 selection and easily could go as a top-10 pick.

    Player Comparison: Benardrick McKinney. Edmunds is a very difficult player to find a good comparison to because he is such a unique prospect with his size, speed and athleticism. In speaking with sources, McKinney came up as a similar player, although Edmunds is a rich man’s version, or a McKinney on steroids. McKinney was 6-foot-4, 246 pounds coming out of Mississippi State. Similar to Edmunds, McKinney was a tough run defender with good instincts with size, quickness and athleticism to also rush off the edge. Edmunds is a little taller and lighter, but is more explosive and athletic than McKinney. In the early going of his NFL career, McKinney has been a good run defender who also is a dangerous blitzer. Edmunds could be similar except he brings along more pass-coverage skills than McKinney possesses. In the 2015 NFL Draft, McKinney was a high second-round pick, but he should have been a first-rounder. Teams won’t make that mistake with Edmunds, who will likely be selected early on Thursday night of the 2018 NFL Draft.

    NFL Matches: Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Miami, Green Bay, Seattle, Dallas and Detroit

    There are a lot of teams that could be a fit for Edmunds in the 2018 NFL Draft. Perhaps the highest that Edmunds could hope to go would be to Indianapolis. The Colts badly needs to improve their linebacking corps, and Edmunds would give them a long-term defensive building block.

    Chicago looks like a very likely landing spot for Edmunds. The Bears need one more linebacker to finish off their front seven. Edmunds could be a dynamic player on the other side from Leonard Floyd, and Edmunds also could play on the inside of Vic Fangio’s defense. Edmunds fits in with a lot of other very young high-upside talents who Ryan Pace has drafted in the first round: Mitch Trubisky, Leonard Floyd, and Kevin White.

    The 49ers could consider taking Edmunds. Given all the problems that Reuben Foster has had off the field, along with dealing a lot of injuries, Edmunds could interest John Lynch as the long-term linebacker to build the San Francisco defense around.

    The Raiders have to improve the middle of their defense and the front seven. Edmunds would be an upgrade to their rush defense and pass coverage. He would give them a big upgrade on the other side from Khalil Mack.

    The Dolphins released Lawrence Timmons and need to improve their linebackers. Green Bay also could consider a linebacker upgrade as the team needs more young edge-rushing talent. Edmunds could be a great fit for the Packers.

    It looks unlikely that the Packers would pass on Edmunds, so these teams picking late in the top 20 would probably have to trade up for him. The Seahawks could consider Edmunds as they get younger and turnover their defense. Dallas could use more linebacker talent, and Edmunds could give the Cowboys a long-term complement to go with Jaylon Smith. The Lions would be fortunate to land Edmunds as a linebacker to go with Jarrad Davis.


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