Connect with us

NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Brian Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Draft Target: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmonds 1

Draft season! Draft season! Draft season! Pardon my excitement, but it's one of my favorite times of the year. We all get the chance to study and speculate about the new crop of rookies coming in and determine their potential fit with NFL teams, and in this case, the Dallas Cowboys.

This draft season, especially, is shaping up to be an exciting one because the Cowboys have clear needs pretty much across the board. That means there is no clear answer as to which direction they will go with any of their draft picks, especially when they're on the clock at 19 in the first round.

There is of course one draft need that has to be near the top of the list, if not #1 overall.

There can be no arguing the Dallas Cowboys absolutely need to address the linebacker position, especially with Sean Lee's continued health concerns and Anthony Hitchens' potential departure via free agency.

Finding linebacker depth through the draft is a must!

A lot of Cowboys fans have already become enamored with former Georgia Bulldogs LB Roquan Smith, and rightfully so.

Smith will likely be the first linebacker off the board when the 2018 NFL Draft gets underway, which means he won't be available for the Cowboys at 19.

But don't be disheartened Cowboys fans, I think there is a linebacker in this draft class who possesses the God-given talent to be even better. Let me introduce you to a linebacker who I believe has Superstar potential.

Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds checks all the boxes for an NFL linebacker. He is one of the more intriguing prospects in this entire draft class because of his versatility to play in any scheme. But, most intriguing is he is slated to be the second youngest (19) prospect ever drafted, only Amobi Okoye was younger.

But don't let his youth fool you; he's a monster on the field.

Tremaine Edmunds is a natural in so many phases of the game, and it has everything to do with his rare athleticism.

Edmunds has the size of an edge player (6'5", 250), but the movement/athleticism of the smaller and quicker linebackers we've seen become popular around the NFL. To put it simply, he looks like a lion, but moves like a gazelle in the open field with his long strides and flexible hips.

Here's an example of his loose/flexible hips in coverage.

Tremaine Edmunds loose hips in coverage - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This isn't a play you would typically ask a 6'5", 250-pound man to make, but Tremaine Edmunds makes it look easy.

On this particular play, Edmunds drops into his hook/curl zone coverage. He then realizes the quarterback has decided to pull the ball down and scramble. He shows excellent field awareness and breaks from his coverage responsibility to make the open field tackle on the QB, despite the referee getting in the way.

This play probably wouldn't have been possible if Edmunds was unable to flip his hips to change direction in order to make the tackle after covering the tight end. He does this with ease.

What I really like about Tremaine Edmunds is his versatility to play in any kind of defensive front/scheme. But, I personally believe he fits best in a 4-3 scheme, which is why I think he makes an excellent Cowboys draft prospect.

I think he fits best in the 4-3 scheme because of all of the different positions he can play. In the 4-3 scheme, Edmunds could play:

MIKE (middle): He has tremendous gap-shooting ability and play anticipation.
SAM (strong-side): He has the ability to stop the run and still drop into coverage.
EDGE: He has the size, athleticism, flexibility, and explosion.

Tremaine Edmunds played all of these positions while at Virginia Tech, and I think he could even play WILL (weak-side) as well, but that's something he wasn't asked to do in college.

But, you don't have to take my word for it.

Edmunds at MIKE:

Tremaine Edmunds read/react - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Here you see Tremaine Edmunds playing the MIKE LB position. He quickly reads and diagnoses the play, shooting the gap to make the tackle for a loss on third down.

It's an excellent play and shows the God-given talent he was born with. You can't teach those kind of instincts.

Edmunds at SAM:

Tremaine Edmunds covering RB - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

On this particular play, Edmunds is lined up at the SAM LB position and has responsibility of covering the running back out of the backfield. Not only does he once again show his loose hips in coverage, but he makes an excellent open-field tackle on third down for a minimal gain to get the defense off the field.

Edmunds at EDGE:

Tremaine Edmunds off the edge - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Tremaine Edmunds was also utilized as an edge rusher, at times, while at Virginia Tech. Here you see him lined up in a two-point stance on the defense's left side.

At the snap of the ball, you can really see his first-step explosion, natural bend and athleticism.

The TE trying to block him had no chance, and Edmunds probably would have gotten the sack if not for the slight hold and the QB's ability to get rid of the ball quickly.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

As you can see, Tremaine Edmunds is an intriguing prospect for the Dallas Cowboys, and could probably start right away at the SAM LB position while also providing much-needed depth in other areas.

He's not a polished prospect by any means, he's still raw, but I believe he has the upside to be one of the great ones.

If I were to compare him to a current NFL player, I would compare him to either Anthony Barr (Vikings) or Jamie Collins (Browns). Both players have been successful as inside linebackers as well as edge players in the NFL, and that's what I envision Edmunds will do in his career.

I think Edmunds is going to open a lot of eyes once we get further into the draft process, especially after he puts on a show at the combine. He will likely shoot up draft boards, which means he should be in play for the Dallas Cowboys with the 19th overall selection. I have absolutely zero concerns about taking him there.

What do you think about Tremaine Edmunds as a Cowboys draft prospect?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

Advertisement
17 Comments
  • Mr. Jaguar

    Brian it would be GOD sent if Edmunds is still on the board at 19. But what if Vea the DT is there as well. Who do you select?
    If it was me it would be DT and draft a LB in rd 2. Just my 2 cents.

    • Brian Martin

      I think I’d still have to go LB in that scenario. Edmunds ability to play several positions is just too good to pass up, especially with the lack of depth the Cowboys have there. I think you can find a pretty solid 1-tech later in the draft. But, I wouldn’t be upset if they took Vea. He’s a monster on the interior of the DL.

  • Kevin Black

    I like Edmunds football IQ. He seems to understand what the offense is trying to do each play. That was one of my problems with Roquan Smith. Smith has athleticism, but he was more reactionary. Edmunds seems to start going before the play is finished developing.

    I’d pick Edmunds over Vea or Smith at this point.

    • Brian Martin

      I really like Edmunds football IQ. I still have Smith rated higher, but not by much. It would be a tough call for me if I had to decide between the two if they are both there at 19.

      • Kevin Black

        I put a lot more stock in football IQ than I do athleticism. If you can get both, you’ve hit the lottery.

        When watching Smith play, he seemed too reactionary to me, using his athleticism to make up the time delay. He reminds me of Carter out of NC years ago. Great athlete and did alright in college, but his athleticism covered his football IQ, clearly reacting to the play after it’s developed.

        I haven’t watched much of Edmunds, but based on the videos you show here, he seems to be moving before the play is developed. This seems more much like Sean Lee to me. The bonus is that with his athletic body, he can do more damage and get players much deeper behind the line.

        Give me football IQ every day. Athleticism will wane over time, but football IQ will make you a hall of famer.

        • Brian Martin

          What I like most about Edmunds is his versatility to play different positions, whereas Smith is most likely just a weak side LB. I’m not sure Smith could stand up to playing MLB.

          • Kevin Black

            I noticed he played SAM almost as effectively as Lee plays the WILL. I didn’t see if he was good at shedding blocks. How’s his skill at that?

          • Brian Martin

            He’s still a little raw in that area. He needs to do a better job of finding off blocks, he sometimes lazy, but that will improve with NFL coaching I think.

          • Kevin Black

            Block shedding seems to be an issue for a lot of college players. Is it due to the type of college offenses being so pass oriented?

          • Brian Martin

            The spread offense a lot of college teams use has a lot to do with LBs struggling with stack and shedding. But, I think it has more to do with coaching and learning the proper technique. There is so much turnover year after year in the college ranks that coaches just don’t have the time to stress the importance of fundamentals/technique.

          • DevilDog58

            You know, I think that’s one of the reasons there are so many more concussions in football today. Kids aren’t being taught to break down and tackle with their heads up. Most lead with their helmets or a combination of helmet and shoulder. And so many DB’s just dive head first into an offensive players legs or feet. We were taught to keep your eyes on the opponents number, lead with the shoulder and wrap up, then lift and drive. Fundamentals have gone by the wayside in so many things.

  • EverybodyTalks

    The ironic thing about your article was that everything you said about Tremaine, you could say about Hitchens. They are like clones of each other on several aspects. Imagine the Cowboys with 2 Hitchens or if you prefer 2 Edmunds. The other ironic thing is that, in a roundabout way, we are saying Hitchens is worth a 1st round pick. I mean, aren’t we? I just don’t see how/why we wouldn’t resign him and draft Edmunds. Right now our roster has Lee, Smith and Wilson @ LB. That’s it. Even resigning Hitchens and drafting Edmunds would only give us 5 LBs. After this season, you content with 5 LBs? Me neither. Would they draft 2 LBs? Josey is still in the wings, waiting! Great article.

    • Brian Martin

      I think Edmunds is going to be better than Anthony Hitchens. I think he has Superstar potential. I do think however that the Cowboys should probably double dip at LB in the draft. They definitely need depth at the position.

      • EverybodyTalks

        Very possible, a superstar. I hope so, especially if we draft him. All I’m saying is that Tremaine will take time to develop in the NFL. We will still need the experience of a veteran, like Hitchens. I sense folks think Anthony is of little value. Maybe I am being over sensitive, With Lee at 32, we need to hold on to Hitchens, even if we draft 2 LBs

        • Brian Martin

          I would love to keep Hitchens, but I think somebody else will offer him more money than the Cowboys can afford.

          • DevilDog58

            And I think that’s because our GM (or lack of one) pays average to above average players like superstars. I never understood why Jones gave Tyrone Crawford that huge contract.

          • Brian Martin

            At the time it looked like a good signing, but Crawford never progressed in his development. Unfortunately, that’s just the way things go sometimes and what worries me about signing DeMarcus Lawrence long-term. His back surgeries are a huge red flag for me.

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target for Cowboys

Sean Martin

Published

on

Sean's Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target for Cowboys

By now you know that the Dallas Cowboys have not prioritized the defensive tackle position at the Draft in some time, a point made prominent with the amount of talent available at DT in this 2018 class.

Despite not being as high on him as most, Florida's Taven Bryan would fit what the Cowboys are doing defensively under Rod Marinelli very well. Bryan is a disruptive player at the 3T position, where the Cowboys currently have a decision to make on RFA David Irving.

Even if Irving and Maliek Collins are back in the fold for 2018, Taven Bryan would be a great addition to this front seven - thanks to his raw athleticism and motor.

Let's take a closer look at how Bryan fits the Cowboys' defense.

Bryan2 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

"Bryan excels at not giving his man much of a blocking surface area – playing with good pad level and impressive bend for a DT."

This film clip and quote comes from my full scouting report on Florida's Taven Bryan at Slant Sports. Far from a finished product, Bryan shoots gaps and beats guards off of the line with ease. This is a player with rare traits at the 3T position, bending well while playing with enough strength throughout his entire frame.

"Using a smooth upper body paired with quick footwork and burst, Bryan is frequently shooting gaps to finish in the backfield."

When I watched Taven Bryan, I was reminded of current Cowboys DT Maliek Collins in 2016. As a rookie, Collins played the penetrating 3T spot with similar burst and power.

With the Cowboys now preferring Collins at the 1T position, Bryan could fill in on day one as an interior force with the upside to become one of the league's best match up weapons up front.

Bryan1 - Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

Unless a blocker across from Bryan works quickly into his frame, this is a player that is going to generate push and flow to the football with elite speed and balance.

"Taven Bryan allows his frame to be controlled too often, effectively getting washed out of any play where his blocker can squat against the speed rush and shoot their hands inside on Bryan."

Cowboys Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence proved that he is the "alpha" of this defensive line in 2017. Building this unit around Lawrence will yield positive results for the Cowboys, especially if they can find a long-term 3T to play alongside him.

One with as high of a ceiling as Taven Bryan becomes an intriguing option, especially considering the Cowboys' ability to play him in a rotation early in his career.

"Unleashing Taven Bryan as a gap-shooting 3T DT is the best way to see this prospect reach his ceiling..."

The Cowboys' 19th overall pick may be a bit rich for Taven Bryan, but this is a prospect to look for in the second round, where Dallas holds the 50th overall pick. A second round DT on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, Bryan should outplay his draft status regardless of the pick if put in the right situation to use traits that would greatly help the Dallas Cowboys.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Florida DT Taven Bryan A Disruptive Target for Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


Continue Reading

NFL Draft

2018 NFL Draft: How Early Should Cowboys Consider Tight End?

Sean Martin

Published

on

Looking on the Bright Side of an Ugly Dallas Cowboys Loss
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With Tight End Jason Witten set to enter his 16th season for the Dallas Cowboys, it has become an annual offseason tradition to discuss the team's need for young talent at TE. In a down year for the entire Cowboys offense, Witten caught the fewest passes (63) he has since 2003 - his rookie year.

Since 2003, the Cowboys have drafted seven tight ends, most of which suffering the same fate in Dallas. Playing behind the future first-ballot Hall of Fame TE in Witten, the only players that have sustained any success behind him remain current tight ends James Hanna and Geoff Swaim.

Geoff Swaim

Dallas Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim

A sixth and seventh round pick respectively, Hanna and Swaim don't exactly excite anyone expecting the Cowboys to upgrade their passing game in 2018 and beyond for Quarterback Dak Prescott.

For all of the buzz about the Cowboys using their current 19th overall pick on a WR (a decision I would be against), where is the ideal spot in this draft to target a TE?

This year's draft class at TE is a top-heavy one, with some big time pass catchers available at the top of it. If the Cowboys are serious about adding a legitimate middle-of-the-field threat on offense, they could consider the likes of Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki, or Ian Thomas with the 50th overall pick in the second round.

Of course, Cowboys Nation continues to hold out hope for Rico Gathers to revolutionize the TE position in Dallas as their last pick in the 2016 draft, but the Baylor basketball convert has done little to prove he's motivated to rise up the depth chart anytime soon.

Doug Nussmeier is the Cowboys' third TE coach in as many seasons, joining the staff for 2018 with no previous experience in this coaching role specifically. Nussmeier does bring extensive experience alongside Cowboys OC Scott Linehan, as well as nine years as an OC himself with Fresno State, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, and Florida.

It is safe to say that Nussmeier understands the importance of the TE position for a QB, especially a young one like Prescott - who has inconsistently used Jason Witten as the "security blanket" he became known as under Tony Romo.

If recent draft history holds up, the Cowboys will wait until the later rounds to possibly address tight end. The impact a top player from this class could immediately have in Dallas needs to be considered though, making TE an intriguing draft need as early as the second or third rounds.

Tell us what you think about "2018 NFL Draft: How Early Should Cowboys Consider Tight End?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


Continue Reading

NFL Draft

The 1 Player Cowboys Should Consider Trading Up For

Kevin Brady

Published

on

1

The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2018 NFL Draft needing help in multiple areas. Of course, they could use new blood on the interior of their defensive line, in their linebacker corps, and in their receiver room. Their most important need to fill in the first round, however, seems to be left guard.

If the Cowboys could find an immediate starter at left guard, a dominant player who can function as an effective run blocker and allow Dak Prescott to trust his left side once again, their offense would be back in business. We typically think of the Cowboys offense, and their line in particular, as a strength. But down the stretch in 2017 that simply wasn't the case.

As I've discussed before, there should be realistic options available with the 19th overall selection, particularly Georgia guard Isiah Wynn. There is one player in this NFL Draft class they should consider moving up for if the price is right, though.

That player is Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson.

Make no mistake, Quenton Nelson is the best prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft class. He is a massive, yet athletic interior offensive lineman who cemented himself as the best guard in college football during his senior season with the Fighting Irish.

Nelson plays with an edge that you love from offensive linemen, especially from those you will be asking to run block often. He doesn't just open holes, he embarrasses defensive tackles. He doesn't just smartly use body positioning and footwork, he finishes his blocks and snatches souls. Plus, he shows the athleticism and agility to get to the second level to seal off linebackers.

Quenton Nelson works well in pass protection as well. Often labeled a weakness in his game coming out of high school, Nelson has shown vast improvements in his footwork, awareness, and balance in his pass set while at Notre Dame. He would be a day one starter in Dallas, and would take the Cowboys' offensive line back to their 2014-2016 form.

But how realistic is it that the Cowboys would move up for Nelson?

Well, not very realistic at all. In fact, I'd say it's more likely the Cowboys move back to take Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn than it is they give away future assets in such a Day Two-rich draft. If, for some reason, Quenton Nelson falls to around the 12th overall pick however, there could be an opening for the Cowboys to come up and snag him.

I don't condone trading up often whatsoever, but Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson leads a very short list of players I'd move up for if I were the Cowboys. Trading up for a guard seems like flawed logic, but considering the importance and impact he would have for this team, Quenton Nelson is well worth it.


Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).




Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending