2015 NFL Scouting Combine Watch List: Defensive Linemen (Part 2)

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Oct 4, 2014; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (15) tries to wrap up Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Jared Crump (88) during the first quarterat Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Mario Edwards Jr, Florida State

Teammate of Eddie Goldman and son of a former Dallas Cowboy, Florida State’s Mario Edwards, Jr. is somewhat smaller than his teammate Goldman, and hasn’t been quite as productive over the course of his college career. He measures well as either a 3-tech tackle or a 3-4 end at 6’3″ and 293 pounds, but has some serious flaws on tape that place him as a potential 3rd round pick.

While he plays with great leverage and tenacity in the run game, especially from the interior, he has struggled to develop as a pass-rusher for the Seminoles, and has a bad tendency to engage lesser opponents in handfights and lose track of plays, all the while showing limited ability with his hands despite clear arm strength. He will have to do well in some position drills if he hopes to elevate his draft stock.

1. Punch & Hand Shiver Drill: This drill allows a prospect to work his way laterally along a simluated offensive line while executing quick hand movements against either standing or prone bags. This drill will be used to measure how well he keeps his body low while executing the rapid movements, as well as the strength and quickness with which he delivers punches and hand shivers.

His primary weakness on tape is his poor handwork, and if he can show off some improved quickness and power with this drill, he can maybe convince teams he has worked to correct this deficiency.

2. Pass-Rush Drill: Edwards is, plainly, not a strong pass rusher, despite having all the speed and strength and quickness necessary to do so. The pass-rush drill simulates rushing a quarterback, and so he must show observers that he has the fundamental techniques of pass-rushing, or at least can show them in a controlled drill with no pads on. Coaches might be willing to work on Edwards if he can show some good moves, especially rip and slap techniques, in this drill.

3. Bench Press: Not that Edwards wouldn’t want to show well in the broad jump as well, but Edwards’ lower-body strength and explosiveness isn’t in question. He seems to have great upper body strength, but on tape often loses matchups with inferior offensive linemen. His bench press might be why, or it may not, and observers will want to see how well he can do in this event to grade his true upper-body strength.

Next: Player to Watch: Henry Anderson