In this series we take a look at 14 players for the Los Angeles Rams 25 years old or younger and who could be considered foundational or impact players.
Player: OL David Edwards
The skinny: Selected in the fifth round of the 2019 draft by the Rams out of Wisconsin, Edwards replaced Joe Noteboom in the starting lineup at left guard in Week 2 against Philadelphia after a calf injury to the TCU product and never gave up the starting job. Edwards drew rave reviews from head coach Sean McVay and then offensive line coach Aaron Kromer for his sturdy play up front. Edwards started 14 games, playing a total of 977 offensive snaps during the regular season and another 25 in postseason play.
Reason for optimism: At 6-6 and 310 pounds, Edwards can play both guard and tackle. A former high school quarterback who transitioned from tight end to offensive line in college, Edwards was solid in pass protection and run blocking last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Edwards ranked No. 17 out of 80 guards evaluated last season, allowing three sacks. “He’s got a great demeanor about himself,” McVay said about Edwards. “This guy understands football. I think it really came natural to him. You could see he’s been trained the right way, going back to his college days. And the versatility I think has been really impressive. He got a lot of experience playing on the right and the left side last year (in 2019). When we brought him in, he was playing all over the place, but I think he’s really settled in. I think left guard is his most natural spot.”
Reason for concern: Edwards suffered an ankle injury in the NFC Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks and did not play the following week against the Green Bay Packers. Bobby Evans started at left guard in his place. So, how Edwards heals up and returns to the field during the offseason will be something to watch. Also, the Rams have a new offensive line coach in Kevin Carberry. And he could see Edwards differently in how he fits up front with the rest of the offensive line group. But Edwards proved he can play winning football in the NFL, and he still has two years left on his rookie deal.
And of course, we can't forget this scene for Hard Knocks last year.