Oakland Raiders Training Camp preview: Five rookies to watch

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Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders assistant defensive backs coach Rod Woodson (right) supervises drills with cornerback SaQwan Edwards (30) at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

5. SaQwan Edwards, Rookie Cornerback

SaQwuan Edwards, like Josh Harper, was a priority undrafted free agent who played his college ball in the Mountain West Conference – for the University of New Mexico. Edwards is roughly the same size and build as Harper, as well, and the two were matched up opposite each other a couple of times in their careers.

Edwards is a slender, rangy cornerback not dissimilar to Dexter McDonald who, like McDonald, shows up well on tape and did a lot of things in college to impress scouts. He’s an aggressive corner who attacks the football, though he more often than not isn’t going to pick it off (only three interceptions in college) despite his background as a wide receiver himself. He shows good foot speed and upper-body leverage to play well in press and run, though he generally played against lesser competition at New Mexico and was victimized a few times by the MWC’s better receiving talents: Josh Harper had a 10 catch, 3 TD day against New Mexico in 2013 and a 6 catch, 1 TD performance against New Mexico last year.

He is, overall, likely a developmental project as a rookie cornerback, the type of player who would be stashed on most teams’ practice squad. But with the lack of polish and experience in the Raiders cornerback group, that may not be the case for Edwards, who has every opportunity to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster as a cornerback, especially if he can show that he also can do something on special teams. Look for he and Dexter McDonald to share the field for significant portions of the preseason.