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Tremaine Edmunds has size, physicality, and versatility but is he what the Redskins need at LB?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

Boston College v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Tremaine Edmunds, LB
School: Virginia Tech | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 250 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late 1st early 2nd
NFL Comparison: Anthony Barr

College Statistics

Player Overview

Tremaine Edmunds was a 4-star recruit from Danville, VA before he committed to Virginia Tech. At the time of his recruitment, Edmunds already had the physical measurements of a good portion of college linebackers at 6-3 / 215. He continued to grow at Virginia Tech and Edmunds imposing size now at 6-5 / 250 is one of the reasons he turned the heads of coaches, scouts, and fans alike who have interest in a linebacker this upcoming draft. Edmunds moves very well for a guy his size at this position. There is no ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane’ comparison to be made here either at Edmunds is easily one of the most physical linebacker prospects in this draft and arguably the best in his tackling fundamentals which are reflected on the field as well as in the stat sheet. Edmunds size also makes him very versatile on the field. Virginia Tech used him as an inside linebacker and outside linebacker and overall Edmunds performed well at both positions which gives him added value and coaches options on where to play him as well as a backup plan. Edmunds was a finalist for the Butkus Award this year and was named 3rd team All-American as well as first-team all ACC.

Strengths

  • Excellent movement ability for a guy his size at the position - good athleticism overall including good burst in closing speed.
  • Fundamentally excellent as a tackler. Will wrap up and rarely misses target once he’s locked on. Converts speed to power very well and can completely stop the momentum of the opponent.
  • He is overwhelmingly the hammer and not the nail - can very aggressive in his gap responsibilities and blitz assignments which have lead to impressive TFL and sack numbers.
  • Capable of man coverage and can be fluid in space can run stride for stride with a good number of TEs and tailbacks out of the backfield.
  • Versatility to play inside and outside with some potential EDGE qualities.

Weaknesses

  • Hesitation and lack of confidence in his instincts are his biggest weakness. Instinct can be false and he’s out of the play, instincts can be second-guessed and he's late.
  • Gets stiff in zone coverage and doesn't have a complete feel for the space around him.
  • Hammer quality gets turned into nail quality if he doesn't have a relatively clear path to the ball in pursuit. Currently does not possess adequate block disengagement moves to fight through scrums (especially laterally) and still make plays with consistency.
  • I did not see that impressive worker bee quality in Edmunds. I’m not insinuating anything about his work ethic here - only more times than not once he’s out of the play he’s out and doesn't attempt meaningful backside pursuit.

Let’s see his work:

Other Tremaine Edmund videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Edmunds is going to intrigue defensive staff it both base schemes. Can he be an inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense? Yes. Can he be an inside linebacker in the nickel package? Yes, in fact, Virginia Tech operated out of the nickel package a lot. The big questions regarding his fit on the Redskins can be broadly placed in two buckets - what coaches are looking for at the position and what fans are screaming for at the position.

How many times have we (fans) begged for a meaningful investment in the position that ticks all the boxes but most importantly ticks the above average athlete/can cover TEs and RBs box? Here is the nuance to that point - Edmunds is definitely an above average athlete for the position but would you still want him covering Ertz and Engram among others after what you’ve seen? I have a bit of fear right now at that idea. Would you want him in the middle of your defense in a goalline situation? I have confidence in that idea.

Is he what the coaches are looking for? He certainly is physical, versatile, and I believe will have no problem coming in and performing decently as the 2nd starting middle linebacker. The Redskins certainly have lacked power at the position for a while now. And Edmunds would certainly be an upgrade over Spaight, Compton, and Vigil. But do we know the coaches aims and goals for the position and if they align with ours?

Edmunds is the quintessential representation of upside. Coaches are going to look at him and have fantasies about what he could be after he gets a couple years under his belt. Right now, however, he is a bit raw and any team (such as the Redskins and its fans) that may expect quality and consistent play instantaneously might ultimately be disappointed with his adjustment initially. The ceiling is very high for Edmunds - should the Redskins invest top draft capital in this player and trust their coaching process?