Round 2: T.J. Edwards, linebacker – Wisconsin
At the moment, it doesn’t look like the Minnesota Vikings will be able to afford to bring back Anthony Barr unless they decide not to bring back Sheldon Richardson or one of the other high-priority free agents.
Edwards wouldn’t be a direct replacement for Barr. In fact, the Vikings would likely need to open competition between Eric Wilson, Ben Gedeon, and Edwards for the starting spots at linebacker as well as add depth and competition in the unit.
The six-foot-one, 244-pound linebacker out of Wisconsin makes sense for several reasons. As a four year starter, he showed the potential to be both a pass rusher and a tackling machine. During his 2018 campaign, he racked up 112 total tackles with 11.5 of them coming for a loss and three being sacks.
In the passing game. Edwards broke up 15 passes and had 10 interceptions in his final three seasons at Wisconsin, returning one of those picks for a touchdown. Mike Zimmer could see him as a valuable asset as both a linebacker and a special teams player until he’s ready to be inserted into the starting lineup.