Oh boy, Tech has two brothers coming out this year, both sons of former NFL TE Ferrell Edmunds. Unless the Giants trade down or secure another first round pick, this kid would look ideal in Big Blue, but I seriously doubt that he lasts until Round Two.
EDMUNDS, Fe’Zahn Tremaine
Bench Press Squat Power Clean Vertical Jump
225x24 530 340 32 ½”
Time (10) Time (20) Time (40)
1.65 2.66 4.74
Arm Length Hands Wingspan 20-Yd Shuttle
34 1/8” 9 5/8” 77 ¼” 4.15
2017 Best Games
Delaware, East Carolina, Old Dominion, Clemson,
2017 Worst Games
2016 Best Games
Boston College, East Carolina, North Carolina, Syracuse, Miami, Duke, Georgia Tech, Arkansas
2016 Worst Games
Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Clemson
Edmunds has a well-proportioned frame with an athletic physique that can actually carry at least another ten pounds of bulk without the weight impacting his overall quickness. He has very good upper body muscle definition, tight waist and hips, along with a strong lower body, evident by the way he can firmly hold ground and drive back lead blockers to attack the rush lanes consistently. He has long arms, big hands and a good-sized bubble and good shoulder and neck thickness.
Edmunds has adequate timed speed, but very good quickness and agility to string plays wide and displays the body control and balance to escape multiple blockers and impact the rush lanes. Last season, he made 22 plays for losses (solos/assists) and nine others that stopped ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Thanks to his change of direction agility, he has excellent tools to line up at strong-side linebacker in a 3-4 defensive alignment, as he shows the low pad level and burst coming off the edge and the leg drive to shoot the gaps. He generates a quick first step and and is very active working down the line. He has fluid hip flexibility and movement coming off the snap and valid strength and good knee bend. He is effective extending his long arms to keep blockers off his chest and comes out of his breaks cleanly to make plays in the short-to-intermediate passing game. He is not quick enough to handle receivers on deep routes, but in the second level, he is quite effective using his strong hands to reroute/jam tight ends, backs and slot receivers working underneath.
Edmunds is a highly intelligent and instinctive player, but not the type that will “out-think” himself on the field. He is a quick reactor to action in front of him and easily picks things up well, showing no problem taking plays from the chalkboard to the playing field. There should be no issues with him digesting a complicated playbook. He is simply a smart, instinctive player who does everything the coaches ask and more. He is reliable, works hard in the weight room and is a self-starter. He takes well to hard coaching and is the unquestioned leader of the defensive unit. He reads the quarterback well, as it is rare to see him fooled by misdirection or play action. The move to strong-side (left) linebacker has allowed him to show scouts that he is very capable of locating receivers quickly working underneath. With his natural instincts for the game, some coach will soon become comfortable letting him make the calls on defense, much like the confidence Minnesota showed in Chad Greenway earlier in his pro career. He is quick to adjust on the field and always plays at full speed.
Everyone in the program – coaches, administrators and teammates – all call Edmunds a great character type and focused leader by example. Yes, he does play with high aggression, but is also quick to help mentor the younger players, sort of a “pay it forward” that coach Justin Fuente has instilled in his players. He comes from great family support, as his father, Ferrell, was a standout tight end in the NFL and he has a set of brothers with college football experience – most at the same university. He has no known off-field issues and is the consummate team captain type – never caring about his own success, just that of the team.
Edmunds brings great energy to the locker room and huddle (some joke that he takes on a “screws loose” persona on the field and during his prep days. Saturdays are like a “drug” to him, as he always plays at full speed. He is his own worst critic, as he never gets complacent, but he also knows when he has to step forward as a leader to pick up the team. He gives 110% on every snap, doing the same in practices. Because of his ability to instantly recognize the play developing, it might appear to some that it is “easy” for him, yet, anyone on the staff will tell you that winning at all costs is his “mental tattoo.”
Edmunds is a hard worker in practices, carrying that ethic over to the game. He has embraced the weight room regimen and knows that hard work there will help him add the needed bulk and power scouts feel that he still needs to develop. He is a self-starter and leader by example. He lacks ideal bulk to be a classic NFL defensive end, but shows the flexibility and balance to gain leverage in his play. He represents the team well on and off the field and you need to hide his helmet to keep him out of the game.
Key and Diagnostic Skills
This is Edmunds’ best asset, as he always seems to be in position to make the play. He is outstanding with his diagnostic ability and when he locates the ball, all regard for his own safety “goes out the window” in his quest to make the play. He is disciplined in run containment (see 2016 Boston College, East Carolina, Miami, Georgia Tech games) and charges hard coming off the edge to disrupt the pocket. He comes off the snap with a good, strong rise and is very forceful using his hands to shed when engaging the lead blocker. He is very intuitive, quick to read and react, especially on action in front of him. He might not be quick enough to be utilized in deep pass coverage, but he is always around the football when he keeps the action in front of him. He shows urgency when around the football and determination to create havoc once he gets into the backfield (is tied for the school season-record with 18.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage- see 2016 Boston College, Miami, Duke games). He will get tied up at times when challenged by much bigger blockers, but he is becoming much more comfortable using his hands and spin move to avoid, rather than take on offensive tackles when in pursuit of the quarterback. He has above average instincts coming off the snap, and keeps those hands very active to get past offensive tackles when coming off the edge.
Playing Strength and Explosion
Edmunds has good natural strength, with a strong upper body and an even stronger hand punch. He is more likely to be utilized as a strong-side linebacker in a 3-4 alignment at the pro level, as he lacks the “sand in his pants” to take on 330-pound blockers as a defensive end, but if you look at his main competition, he has fared quite well, despite being out-weighed by an average of 72 pounds vs. offensive tackles since being inserted into the starting lineup in 2016 (has a lot of Von Miller in his game, if the coaches unleash him, as expected, in 2017). He can be “caught looking” past the blocker in attempts to get to the ball, but he has the balance and loose hips to recover and get back into the play. When you first make “eye contact” with Edmunds, you might think that he would be more of a speed/space type of player, but he showed that he can handle lead blocks (see 2016 Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech, Arkansas games) and knows how to use his hands to throw offensive linemen to the ground (has a very good hand jolt and efficient rip and swim moves). When asked to cover short area receivers, he can punch and extend vs. tight ends, as he uses those hands to leverage or reroute. He has the ability to split tackles and outstanding ability to knife down the line. He shows impressive strength at the point of attack, sqeezing and leveraging blockers well. He struggles to disengage when working in-line, but has the speed to defeat tackles coming off the edge. He plays stout, but when working around the pile, he does not have the bulk to prevent the bigger blockers from absorbing him.
Edmunds can make plays at the opposite side of the field, but lacks the explosive burst when he is working in space. He is much better making plays moving down the line or coming off the edge, as he does play with all-out hustle, demonstrating the straight-line power and low pad level to slip through blocks and pressure the pocket or give chase in the backfield (see 2016 Boston College, Syracuse, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame games). He plays with a relentless motor and gets through traffic with active hands, above average balance and sheer determination. He has the functional lateral agility to deliver when competing with his hand down, but there are times where he can fail to generate the burst in slants and if he does get too upright in his stance, he will be washed out when a blocker is able to lock on. He has enough lateral range to avoid blockers, but has to continue to keep his hands inside his frame and active when he has to take on the offensive lineman on and shed.
Use of Hands
Edmunds has natural hands, but with just one interception to his credit, you have yet to see that high school tight end-like hands develop enough for him to be a ball thief at the next level. On hi pick, he did snatch the ball cleanly (see 2016 Arkansas game). He is quite effective using his strong hand punch to shed blocks, but it is his ability to jam/reroute receivers that will earn him success when utilized as a 3-4 strong-side linebacker at the next level. He has no problem holding up tight ends and slot receivers in the short area passing game. He is an active, fend-off type of defender that will shock-& -jolt vs. offensive linemen, as he also knows how to deliver a blow and is quick to get placement when trying to grab and jerk on the opponent’s jersey. When he keeps his pads down and hands inside the framework, he can clear blocks and get to the ball regularly (see 2016 Syracuse, Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke games). Even when his pad level gets high at times, he has a very good punch and extention to defeat the blocks. He uses his hands well with good placement, but does struggle some to shed and escape at times (mostly when working in-line). He has very good rip and pull moves, along with the ability to get active with his hands when attempting to separate vs. the blockers on inside running plays.
Edmunds might be the most technically sound tackler in the 2018 NFL Draft Linebacker Class. Yes, you would like him to pile on hits and play as if his “hair is on fire,” but he works well in containing the run when operating in tight areas and he is a classic wrap-up tackler – with arms inside his frame, low pad level and the skills to attack the outside leg of a ball carrier to impact the runner’s forward progress after the initial hit (see 2016 Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech games). He is not as effective maintaining balance working in space and speedy tailbacks can beat him in the open field when he takes a side rather than square up and wrap. When he hits a ball carrier, usually he will bring his man down right at the spot. He has functional body control and above average power to face up and wrap up with explosive strikes to punish. There are times when he will get too narrow with his base in space and is better off playing along the line of scrimmage. He has a punishing hand punch, but when he tries to grab-tackle rather than wrap, the quicker backs can escape his initial hit. He does show good body control making plays on the move in the short-to-intermediate areas, but he is much more effective playing in close quarters, as he seems much more decisive breaking down vs. plays in front of him. He has more than enough strength to jolt on contact. He shows solid wrap-up tackling technique and hip snap to push back lead blockers and close inside rush lanes. He just needs to work on adjusting and finishing the play when working in space.
While Edmunds has good ability working down the line, he does appear tight at times opening his hips when in space. He has shown steady improvement taking angles in pursuit, but this area can still use some more work. He can punch and extend vs. lead blockers and holds his ground firmly when operating at a proper pad level vs. offensive linemen. Where he has his most success is when he uses his hands to shed and then get in front of the play to wrap-tackle. He keeps his feet and can string plays out in short area pursuit, as his low pad level allows him to generally take away the cutback. But, when he gets out of control or upright in his stance, he does not have the blazing speed or sudden change of direction agility to recover. Against the inside ground game, he is much quicker attempting to fill. He is tenacious enough and active with his hands enough to defeat combo blocks or keep opponents off his chest. If he gets a quick read on the play, more often than not, he will make the tackle unblocked. He is willing to take on the lead blocker and shows good balance working inside, but when he gets high in his pads or leaves his chest exposed, an offensive lineman is quick to latch on and negate his forward progress. You can see on film that he has a lot of “Mike Vrabel” in his game, as he plays downhill going to the sidelines and is quick to turn, run and close.
The Hokies scheme does not expose their linebackers to much man coverage, so most of Edmunds’ success in passing situations comes from using his hands as weapons to jam or reroute receivers in the short area. He does not have the recovery skills when a receiver gets behind him, but he excels at anticipating the count and quarterback, as you will never see him bite on play action or misdirection. He has more than enough field vision and awareness to pick up tight ends, slot receivers and backs into the second level, but without great change of direction agility or flexibility in his hips, he won’t get the depth with proper angle and position to take on opponents racing into the deep secondary. He is better suited in short area man coverage, but when playing the intermediate zone, he does show a feel for routes. You’d just wish he’d get more opportunities to compete for the ball in flight (just one interception and three pass break-ups in 2016). While he has yet to register many interceptions, he has the large, soft hands to reach and pluck the ball outside the framework.
Pass Rush and Blitz
Edmunds has been developing the skills and balance to be a very efficient edge rusher, as he is slippery moving past lethargic offensive tackles playing off the perimeter. He also generates very good “numbers” working in-line, as he flashes very quick hands and strong inside moves to get through the gaps and impact the pocket. He is very good at anticipating the quarterback’s moves and excels when “dogging” inside. Once he gets into the backfield, it appears as if he gets quicker, doing a very nice job of flushing out and chasing down the quarterback. Where you see much better suddenness from Edmunds is with his pass rush (see 2016 East Carolina, North Carolina, Miami Duke games). He flashes enough hand usage to shoot the inside gaps, and has a nice array of moves to get an outside shoulder on a pass blocker. With his ball anticipation and short area explosiveness on the blitz, he has more than enough ability to flush and chase the quarterback down (see 2016 Boston College, Miami, Duke, Georgia Tech games).
CAR BANKs-ex New York Giants…Both Banks and Edmunds made/make a nice living with their downhill ability, field smarts and raw power facing up to bigger blockers. Edmunds’ steady play is exactly what Tech needed last year, but to truly appreciate his talent, the coaches need to “take off the chains” and let him roam the field more often, as there is not a more instinctive linebacker in the college game than this rising star. When playing close to the line of scrimmage, he demonstrates very good balance closing on the pocket. He might lack the size or bulk to be an every-down rush defensive end in a conventional defense, but is very consistent attacking the backfield and ball carriers when taking on lead blockers and impacting the rush lanes, making him an ideal fit for the flank strong-side position in a 3-4 defensive scheme.