FAB 3. Bucs Could Be Chasing Edmonds

If you’re a running back there might not be a better name than “Chase.”

As in “make them chase you” or “chasing records.”

It wasn’t necessarily planned this way by his parents, but Chase Edmonds was appropriately named because he turned out to be a star running back at Fordham.

Edmonds did just that – chase – in his four-year career with the Rams. A lot of people chased after him – many were unsuccessful – and he chased some records, breaking nearly every school and Patriot League rushing record, and he came close to breaking the all-time FCS rushing record, too.

Fordham RB Chase Edmonds - Photo courtesy of Fordham
Fordham RB Chase Edmonds – Photo courtesy of Fordham

In desperate need of a running back or two, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are pursuing Edmonds, who is one of the real sleepers in this draft. I had a chance to meet and interview Edmonds after the first East-West Shrine practice when he had a stellar day and was one of the standout performers.

Interestingly enough, he’s friends with Bucs defensive end Noah Spence, as both hail from Harrisburg, Pa.

“Noah is my guy and I try to catch up with him from time to time and see what he’s up to,” Edmonds said. “I asked him for some advice when it comes to agents and he steered me in the right direction. I think it’s cool to have someone from your area make it to the NFL – the big league – that you can look up to. I would love to play for the Bucs because it’s kind of cold up north.”

Edmonds enjoyed the warmth and sunshine during Monday’s practice, but tweaked his ankle on the second day and re-aggravated an injury that plagued him during his senior season. Edmonds rushed for just 577 yards and five touchdowns on 136 carries (4.2 avg.) on a sprained left ankle and a right glute strain.

Not too impressive? Well consider that in his first three years at Fordham he rushed for no fewer than 1,600 yards and averaged 20 touchdowns per season.

In fact, Edmonds rushed for 5,862 yards and 67 touchdowns on 938 carries (6.2 avg.), proving that he could be a playmaking workhorse – at least on the FCS level. Edmonds was hoping that a big East-West Shrine performance would have helped answer questions from NFL scouts about how he would perform against better competition.

“It was nice to be there with some elite competition, coming from the FCS, so I really came out with a chip on my shoulder,” Edmonds said after the first East-West Shrine practice. “I had a rough year injury-wise, so I have some ground to make up.

“I had a left ankle sprain and a right glute sprain and I tried to come back from them too early and it kind of nagged at me all year. If I could take it back and do it over I would, but I learned how to weather the storm. I learned to never have too high of a day or too low of a day. I just try to keep progressing every day I get on the field.”

Casey Muir of Octagon, Edmonds’ agent, said his client was disappointed that he his all-star game practice week was cut short after just one practice.

“He tweaked it on the second day and it’s not worth the injury risk at that point to push through it that week, unfortunately,” Muir said. “He was really bummed about that and was really looking forward to having a big week down there. Obviously, he was off to a great start.

Fordham RB Chase Edmonds - Photo courtesy of Fordham
Fordham RB Chase Edmonds – Photo courtesy of Fordham

“He wants to do his best every time he’s out there, which is what I love about him. Whether it’s training for the Combine or his pro day or the workouts, he wants to kill it every time.”

Edmonds was able to rehab his ankle enough to train for the NFL Scouting Combine and do a full workout in Indianapolis. He ran a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash, benched 225 pounds 19 times and turned in the best 3-cone drill number for running backs with a 6.79. His 4.07 time in the short shuttle was tied for the best at the Combine among RBs, but then he ran a 4.00 flat at his pro day.

“He trained down at Michael Johnson performance in Texas, and they did a great job mixing in the rehab and the training for him,” Muir said. “They got that ankle back in shape and he’s 100 percent. He’s had no problems.”

Edmonds, who measured 5-foot-9, 205 pounds at the Combine, but played at 211 in college. While his frame might seem to be on the slight side, he proved he could carry the load in college with over 900 career carries. He rushed for a career-high 37 times for 179 yards in a win over Georgetown during his junior season.

Edmonds rushed for 200 yards in a game seven times and even surpassed the 300-yard mark twice at Fordham, rushing for 347 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries against Lehigh as a sophomore in 2015. That set a record that he broke during his junior year when he rushed for a Patriot League record 359 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries in a win over Lafayette, which set the record for the most yards per carry (21.1 avg.) at the FCS level.

Edmonds’ play resembles that of the player he admires the most.

“I watch Devonta Freeman,” Edmonds said of the Atlanta Falcons’ running back. “I think I’m built like Devonta Freeman and my game and his game are similar. I like how he uses his quickness and burst. He keeps his pad level low. I like Devonta a lot.”

What makes Edmonds appealing to the Bucs is not just the fact that he’s an accomplished runner. He’s also a capable receiver and he could replace Charles Sims in the third-down, change-of-pace back role that head coach Dirk Koetter likes to employ. Edmonds caught 86 passes for 905 yards and seven touchdowns at Fordham, and averaged an impressive 10.5 yards per catch.

“People now want backs that can do everything,” Edmonds said. “I’m modeling my game after that, and I think the best backs are the most versatile backs. Look at Le’Veon Bell. He does it all – David Johnson, too. I’m just trying to keep working on my hands and being a complete, versatile back.

“I think of myself as a slasher,” Edmonds said. “I’m not 220 pounds or anything. I’m a slasher who can catch the ball out of the backfield. That’s the number one thing I’m trying to improve on – being a weapon out of the backfield and working on pass pro. That’s huge in the NFL. I understand that you can run the ball like A.P. (Adrian Peterson) in his prime, but if you get the $20 million man (quarterback) to your left or to your right hurt, you’re on the bench.”

If the Bucs draft Edmonds it won’t be as the team’s feature back. Edmonds is a late Day 3 pick and it’s highly likely Tampa Bay will draft a bigger name running back somewhere in Rounds 1-4. It could be Penn State’s Saquon Barkley or Georgia’s Nick Chubb or San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny or North Carolina State’s Nyheim Hines.

While those running backs may be better known, they’re not necessarily more accomplished. Don’t sleep on this kid named Chase.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

28 COMMENTS

  1. Will Pewter Report be live streaming during the draft like last year?

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    • They announced on the “Bear Necessities” podcast that they will be.

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      • Thanks, I must’ve missed that while listening

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  2. Scott, I’m guessing that the girlfriend didn’t work out if you were going to watch rounds 3-7 in the basement all day? My first draft hook as a Hurricanes fan was Testaverde-to-Tampa and I became fascinated with all things draft after that. Speaking of drafting a wide receiver; my favorite Hurricane entering the draft this year is WR Braxton Berrios. He’s in the 7th-free agent area, but the kid is clutch. He reminds me of Wes Welker. He beat your Seminoles on the last play this year. He did that all year. Great returner as well. I hope the Bucs keep an eye on him.

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    • Agreed. Barrios is the perfect “slot” receiver and runs very good routes. I’d love him in the 7th. And if we go with safety and line in the first two rounds, Mark Walton if available in the fourth would be a great grab. His injury screwed his draft status. Kid can catch out of the back field as well

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      • He may not last until the 7th… I saw a draft board on an NFL board that had him going in the late 5th… I like Walton as a later pick up if they don’t address RB early.

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  3. Scott the WR from USF I can’t remember is name but he is 6″5 and ran 4.4 I think. Do you think the Bucs are interested in him at 6th round or 7th.

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    • WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling/USF 6-5 206 4.37

      Scantling is 6-5 206 has Mike Evans measurables and RAC ability – something the Bucs are missing. Scantling had a blistering 4.37/40 with a good Combine performance. 13 other USF players, but Scantling not at Bucs local workouts today!

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      • I like MVS too. I could see the bucs adding a potential KR/PR late. Could be at WR or maybe a 2nd RB or DB.

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      • Mac that is very surprising!

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  4. Berrios was always making plays for the Canes.

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  5. Been looking at it more objectively lately and hard to see why a team would choose us as a trade up option for a QB. After Denver at #5, the next team that might need a QB is Miami @ #11. If Buffalo @ #12, Arizona @ #15 or NE @ #23 are wanting to move up ahead of Miami, they just simply need to get to anywhere from #6-#10. Obviously the lower they they go the less it costs. Don’t think anything will happen until draft day when we’re on the clock, but depending who’s on the board, think Licht might be working the phones regardless.

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    • Good analysis. I’d maybe add GB at 14 to the mix. What the bucs need is 2 or more of those teams wanting to leap frog each other, and we’re the top lilypad at 7.

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      • If Denver passes on a QB, Indy would really be the top lilypad at #6, but agree on your thought. In a trade down scenario, it would actually help the Bucs if a couple of the top teams passed on QB’s where a couple of them are still sitting there at #7. Seems like one of the more unpredictable drafts in years, should be fun.

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  6. Like Penny as well, but both WalterFootball.com and NFL.com have mentioned Penny might be a bit slow learning the playbook. Know that’s one thing that ultimately doomed McNichols, curious if they’d take a chance on Penny if he has similar issues.

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  7. I think Pettis would be a great 4th round pick if we have already addressed either running back or corner. He would be able to learn behind Humphries and Djax this year. And just focus on improving our return game for now. Then next year when we need to pay our guys and Djax and humphries are let go I thnk a core of Evans, Godwin, and Pettis would be a great group of guys that can stay together for 3 more years at least for about $7 million a piece on average.

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  8. When I was 16 my big brain would’ve wanted to watch the draft, but if a girl came to my cave looking to please I’m afraid my small brain would’ve took over! Like the kid from Penn. He didn’t let one ball hit his body, strong soft mitts on that boy. I hope it is Barkley, but I’m afraid it will be James. Not that it would be bad, but people don’t pay to watch safeties. Barkley would have much more impact touching the ball over 20 times a game. Good info Scott, nice job.

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  9. I’d still like to see a trade of D. Jackson and even McCoy for more picks. Patriots have perfected maximizing trade value of star players with one or two good years left to get premium draft picks. Both guys are over 30 and will not be part of the team when we are in a position to make a serious playoff run.

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    • Looking at the roster, what’s keeping us from making a serious playoff run this year??

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      • D line might be better but old and still thin. D backfield is weak. On O line – LT , LG are suspect, hoping Dotson can still perform at a high level. Pretty sure we’ll get a good RB this draft and some good additions, but I just think we’ve still got quite a few soft spots. I’ve also been advocating that I’d move on from McCoy, not crazy about D. Jackson in the locker room and we’ve got great young talent in receiving corps. I know I’m the outlier here, but those two guys are just about done and have good trade value today.

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        • IMO Djax is not as good as Godwin!

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  10. Scott
    No wonder it took you so long to get married!

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  11. Scott, you can get drafted twice… Bo Jackson… Rare, but could happen again.

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  12. Great Fab 5 Scott.
    I think there are several other clear options for the Bucs to get some cap space for Winston, Marpet, Alexander and Smith extensions.
    JR Sweezy will most likely be released this year(If Bucs draft Nelson or Hernandez) or next year. Will Gholsten is another almost certain cap casualty after this year.

    So if the Bucs cut/trade the following after the 2018 season:
    Gholsten $3.75M
    Sweezy $5.125M
    Jackson $10.00M
    McCoy $13.00M

    That would free up an additional $31.875M to extend and resign Winston, Alexander, Marpet and Smith.

    Additionally, throw in the $20.922M option the Bucs will give Jameis, $20.00M in additional cap space added and the $9.00M the Bucs have available. All of this would give the Bucs $49.922M available for these four Bucs core players and the 2019 draft picks.

    I know the Bucs do not like to do it, but they may have to do signing bonuses for proration purposes to sign these four core players.

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  13. ANSWER? NO. please NO..Hell NO!!!!!!!! Shore up this pityful Defense. The worst (arguably..visually in the NFL!!) I’d go DE, RB, and the rest Defense. Ok…maybe Hernandez at Guard if he is there. But Nelson? I would not take him with my top pick. Yes, he is a long term solution and he will be good. BUTT..when has a guard ever changed the outcome of a Bucs game? I’m tellin yas all..If koetter and his sidekick, pressbox Smitty do not have a winning season? They will be dumped…like a bad habit!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. I would be shocked if Glazer’s gave a green light to use next year’s 1st,2nd, or 3rd rounds picks for any type of trade tool in this year draft.

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  15. Love Penny.

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  16. Hmmmmmmmm. I’ve always enjoyed the Draft and have watched it from start to finish for the past 35 plus years on ESPN. At 16 years old and a girlfriend wanting to give me a birthday gift; I’m pretty sure that battle between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other would have been an easy victory for Satan. I could miss a pick or two……….maybe even an entire round.

    I like the current broadcast format whereby the first round is on Thursday evening, the second and third rounds on Friday evening and the remaining four rounds on Saturday afternoon. At least we get a bit of a break to review. Now I flip back and forth between ESPN and NFL network.

    Nothing will top the “Who the Hell is Mel Kiper?” Draft.

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