Round 3, Pick 81: Bryan Edwards, WR
The Raiders held two picks in a row in the third, and following the selection of Lynn Bowden Jr, they decided to go receiver back to back and pick up Bryan Edwards out of South Carolina. This was the first pick of the draft that Raider fans pretty much unanimously approved of.
Edwards was high on many analysts boards. He was a big, tough, and physical receiver at the college level and had the potential to develop into a starting possession receiver. His route-running and ability to get separation was the main question mark for him.
Those concerns did however seem to ring true his rookie season. While he did make some big plays, and at opportune times no less, he just couldn’t consistently get open. He finished the year with only 11 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown. 9 of those 11 catches were for first downs, which is why I mentioned him making plays at opportune times.
His tendency to make catches in the clutch continued this past year, except he was far more productive in general as well. Edwards finished 2021 with 34 receptions for 571 yards and 3 touchdowns. 26 of those 34 receptions were for first downs.
It doesn’t seem like he will ever develop into ideal starting material as he didn’t adequately take advantage of the increase of opportunities he was given due to Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs being out.
Regardless, the pick was still logical at the time and he does have the chance to show he can be a number 2 option and part of the future for the offense next season.
- 2020 Performance Grade: C
2021 Performance Grade: C+
- Pick Grade: C+