A lot of praise and hype has surrounded the Las Vegas Raiders’ first-round pick, Henry Ruggs III. Be that as it may, Bryan Edwards could end up being the best receiver of the 2020 draft class.
It’s easy for people around the league to forget about Edwards considering how deep this year’s receiver class was. The top three prospects alone received so much coverage and of course, the Raiders landed one of them. That said, Edwards should’ve been a first-round pick in his own right but didn’t get the same media hype as his cohorts.
At the University of South Carolina, Edwards had arguably one of the greatest individual careers. It’s noteworthy that Edwards actually surpassed two other greats in Gamecock’s history: Alshon Jeffrey and Kenny McKinley. As far as the NFL, Edwards has been compared to one of the best wide receivers of the last 20 years, Anquan Boldin. Perhaps that comparison is indicative of how much of an impact Edwards might have out of the gate.
Did The Raiders Land Anquan Boldin 2.0?
Many folks don’t care for rookie comparisons before said player has even stepped foot on the field for a game. In spite of this, Edwards resembles Boldin in many ways. First, both are physical specimens, Boldin was 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds for most of his career. Meanwhile, Edwards is 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds going into his rookie year.
If we’re gauging Edwards’ potential with Boldin’s rookie year, it’s possible the Raiders hit the jackpot. But is he the best receiver in the whole class? In the context of what it could mean for the Raiders, let’s say he ends up as Boldin 2.0 alongside Ruggs, a Tyreek Hill clone, and Hunter Renfrow then the answer’s yes.
In Boldin’s debut season with the Arizona Cardinals, he averaged 13.6 yards per reception, averaged 6.3 receptions per game, and totaled 101 receptions. Even if you’re not a fan of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, being the current starter could bode well for Edwards in this comparison. Boldin caught passes from Jeff Blake and Josh McCown, and Carr’s a superior and far more accurate passer than those two. It’s also being reported Edwards is getting first-team reps, even over Ruggs which says a lot.
Edwards will be using his physicality on the outside to go after passes the way Boldin once did. Like Boldin, Edwards isn’t afraid to block defenders, which will pay dividends in the running game as well. Even without much hype and missing out on the first round, Edwards could end up being the star of this receiver class.
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*Top Photo: Ben Margot/Associated Press