The Indianapolis Colts moving down in the 2018 NFL Draft from No. 3 to No. 6 opens up a world of possibilities. The name that continually surrounds the team is NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb. But there is another fantastic defensive player moving up draft boards. Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is a fantastic option for Indianapolis and should rival Chubb for that No. 6 selection
Edmunds, a 6-foot-5-inch, 253-pound middle linebacker from Danville, VA, moved up draft boards following a impressive showing at the 2018 NFL Draft Combine. NFL scouts compare Edmunds skillset and size to that of former Chicago Bear Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher. In his senior season in Blacksburg, Edmunds started all 13 games, racking up 109 total tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. The consistency landed Edmunds on both the First Team All-ACC Defensive team and AP Third Team All-Defensive team. On top of that, he is only 19 years old.
There is a lot of growth still to be had. He is a physical freak with a frame that can skill grow with proper weight work. He is arguably the most explosive defensive player in the draft and has a knack for getting to the ball in a timely fashion. At 253 pounds, he ran a 4.54 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, showing he works quickly in his big frame.
Check out the film below on Edmunds.
Another benefit of Edmunds comes with his 6-foot-5 frame. As you could see in the highlights above, Edmunds is a very elusive ball attacker. His frame is more typical of a outside linebacker but he has the instincts to play both inside and outside. This gives the Colts the flexibility down the road to move Edmunds to the outside if things inside don’t work out or if they need a capable pass rusher.
The comparison to Urlacher also has to do with his frame. Urlacher was a 6-foot-4 linebacker that was perfect for the Bears defense because of his ability to play in coverage. Edmunds showed an ability to play in coverage in college that will translate to the next level.
With the Colts moving into a 4-3 base defense next season, the need for an elite pass rusher is evident. But the defense struggled so much last season because of their mediocre linebacking core. Edmunds would not only sure up a linebacking core that struggled so much last season but he would also bring the leadership to the middle of that defense.
While I’m not saying that the Colts need to take Edmunds at No. 6, he is still a fantastic option and one they should think about. His flexibility and ceiling on the defensive side of the ball make him a perfect fit for the direction of the Colts defense. I would argue that middle linebacker is just as important to the defense compared to a quarterback and the offense. So if you’re the Colts, why would you not go with the best prospect at the most important position on defense? Just food for thought.