Going into the 2020 offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders needed to add playmakers at the wide receiver position. Therefore, nobody batted an eye when the team added two in last year’s draft. Bryan Edwards, whom the Silver and Black took with one of the picks they got in the ‘Khalil Mack’ trade, had first-round grades. At the time, it looked like a good value pick.
Bryan Edwards was solid before injuries
Edwards had a solid training camp and was trending ahead of the 2020 season. In fact, he got the starting nod, along with fellow rookie Henry Ruggs III, against the Carolina Panthers in the season opener. In the first three weeks of the season, the South Carolina product recorded five catches for 99 yards. Moreover, it seemed like he and Derek Carr had good chemistry.
Nevertheless, they couldn’t keep fostering this connection as Edwards sustained an ankle injury against the New England Patriots in Week 3. This lesion sidelined Edwards for the following five weeks. To add insult to injury, he lost his starting job to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. From here on out, it became hard for Edwards to find snaps in an offense that had adapted to playing without him, recording just four catches for 43 yards from Week 9 to Week 16.
The Raiders have reasons for hope
The tide changed against the Denver Broncos in the season finale. In that game, Edwards posted two catches for 51 yards and his first career touchdown. The score, a 26-yard strike from Carr before the end of the first half, was exactly the type of play fans expected to see Edwards make all season long, as he simply ran a go route down the sideline and made a catch through traffic with a defender all over him.
#Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards finally getting something going.
First touchdown of the year. pic.twitter.com/rD3sg6hfYZ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 3, 2021
These are the types of plays that will be expected from him and with a full offseason to get healthy, learn the offense and build a repertoire with Derek Carr, look for both Edwards and Ruggs to have big seasons in 2021. The Raiders will be counting on it.
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