Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. has the lengthy build that NFL teams love to see in a player of his position. He showcased his strength during the combine and also put on a display that reinforced his excellent natural athletic ability. When the ball is snapped, Edwards is good at keeping tabs on where the ball is and knowing how to position himself laterally to have the best chance at tackling the ball carrier.
However, he’s not as great when asked to rush the passer. Mario Edwards Jr. has a high center of gravity and seems to often times lose against offensive tackles of inferior strength and agility to him. It is because of this that I see him as a much better defensive end in a 3-4 defense rather than a 4-3. He’s also a bit slow off the snap and is often found on the losing end of the stick due to a very limited library of pass rush moves.
Mario Edwards Jr. is a player that is a better fit for a certain kind of scheme, but does have the ability to be successful if he’s willing to put in the time and effort to become a more complete player. Sadly, one of the big knocks on Edwards is that he might not have as much of a work ethic or conditioning method to maximize his potential or his value.
Oct 30, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (15) against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 279 pounds
- Arm Length: 33 1/4″
- Hand Size: 10 7/8″
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.84 seconds
- Bench Press: 32 reps
- Vertical Jump: 32.5″
- Broad Jump: 120″
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.44 seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.55 seconds
Mario Edwards Jr. is currently the #69 overall prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is their #8 available defensive end. He’d projected to be a second to third round draft pick.
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Fit For The Vikings
Minnesota will always be looking to add good pass rushers to the team. They could look for younger competition for Brian Robison or just look for players to be able to rotate into games to keep everyone fresh.
As much as I hate to say this, Mario Edwards Jr. doesn’t have the skill set necessary to really fit into a Mike Zimmer defense in Minnesota. While it’s possible Zimmer could work with him and make him a much better fit, I think there are much better pass rushing prospects in the draft that could be available at the time when Edwards is taken. I’d pass on him if I were the Vikings.
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