Every draft class seems to have that one guy. That unbelievably rare physical specimen who so far outclassed everyone in college that he never even had to try to “learn” the game in order to be successful. In the pros, that freaky prospect has a choice. Either develop his mental game while continuing to harness his gifts to become an elite player at his position, or keep relying on athleticism alone and likely be out of the league in five years. To be honest, you never really know which one of those outcomes you are going to get when you draft them. It could be Jadeveon Clowney, or it could be Barkevious Mingo.
This year, that “one guy” is Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds. Blessed with a massive frame, long arms, fluid hips, and terrifying speed for his size, Edmunds is the ideal physical profile of a middle linebacker in the modern NFL. If you were to create one in “Madden” from scratch, he is what it would look like. But with all those athletic gifts comes a downside. The 19-year old Edmunds has no idea what he’s doing yet on a football field. Mental mistakes are rampant, as are poor angles to the ball. Less than one half into watching his film, I knew he was a long ways away from being a finished product.
So with a player like this - an obviously elite athlete with massively underdeveloped fundamentals - what do general managers do? Should they draft Edmunds based on the player he is likely going to be this year, or the one they think he can be in three years? That is a question we explore on this week’s episode of “The Film Room,” as well as pointing out all of the little things that are standing in the way of Tremaine Edmunds being one of the best linebacker prospects ever. Enjoy!