The Buccaneers finally addressed the offensive line with the fifth-round selection of Tennessee State guard Kadeem Edwards. The Sanford, Fla. native is happy to be back home and eager to prove he belongs in the NFL.
Tampa Bay chose to bolster their offensive line on Saturday by selecting Tennessee State offensive guard Kadeem Edwards with the 134th selection in the fifth round.
Edwards was a four-year starter for Tennessee State and offers great upside as a run-blocker. He graded at least 85 percent for blocking consistency in each of his 34 contests. Edwards also recorded 341 knockdowns and 39 touchdown-resulting blocks over the course of his four year collegiate career. The big offensive guard went to Seminole high school in Sanford, Florida.
The 6-foot-4, 313 pound lineman received an invitation to the exclusive Senior Bowl and held his own in the trenches throughout the week. He’s a big guard that offers a good combination of size and athleticism, but he’s a raw prospect that will need some development. The Tennessee State guard struggles to stay low and maintain good leverage. Edwards also struggles when he gets in space and has issues staying square, but his tools, including his frame and athleticism, were impressive enough for the Buccaneers to draft him with their fifth-round pick.
Edwards was a consensus All-American and unanimous All-Ohio Valley Conference first teamer as a senior, leading the league with 126 knock-downs and producing 14 touchdown-resulting blocks. Edwards also finished his career as a member of the President's List and a member of the All-OVC Academic Team.
Edwards is hoping to fight for a starting job at the guard position with veteran offensive lineman Oneil Cousins, Jamon Meredith along with battling young prospects Patrick Omameh and Jason Foster for a roster spot. Tampa Bay also has Carl Nicks on the roster, although his future after two foot surgeries is still unknown.
Edwards is viewed as more of a developmental project player, and knows he has some work to do, but said he is up for the challenge.
“I need to work on my body that’s first and foremost, my strength and my pad level," Edwards said. "I think those are the key areas that can help me excel in my game, if I improve them."
Edwards also thinks that his showing at the Senior Bowl was enough to show he can play at the NFL level.
“I think the experience at the Senior Bowl helped me out a lot. Major league is not a problem; I’m not afraid of anyone. They put their pants on just like I put my pants on.”
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