The NFL running back landscape has been changing the past few years. That has opened opportunities for players that typically wouldn’t have them. One of these RBs for you to keep tabs on will be entering the draft from Fordham University. Let’s check out the Chase Edmonds Rookie Profile.
When checking out Edmonds’ film, there’s a lot to like. Edmonds does a good job of letting blocks develop in front of him, and is patient when his lineman are pulling through a hole. With his size, he’s not going to be banging it between the tackles 20 times a game. However, if a crease opens up Chase has great vision and can get through to the second level without hesitation. He has solid burst and good enough long speed. Here’s where Edmonds can win in the NFL: in space. When the middle of the field is clogged, Chase does a great job of sinking his hips and using a jump cut to create space from defensive ends and bounces it outside. When reaching the second level he does a good job setting up linebackers and using subtle moves to create more yards. He understands angles and uses his vision to look for opportunities to extend the play. Considering his frame, he has good balance through contact.
However, I have some worries. If the DL wins the battle up front and gets penetration Edmonds lacks the ability to create from behind the line of scrimmage and will lose yards. Due to his frame, his pass protection is questionable, although he can use cut blocks effectively. From what I could see, Fordham mainly used him on screens and dump-offs, so he’ll have to develop his route running if he wants to see the field more often.
Whenever we’re looking at small school prospects, we want to see them dominate their competition. Edmonds checks that box. As a true freshman, he put his name on the FCS map by rushing for 1838 yards and 23 touchdowns, chipping in 19 catches. That production continued for the next two years, racking up 1648 rushing yards and 20 TDs his sophomore year, following that up with 1799 yards and 19 TDs his junior year, catching 31 and 25 passes, respectively. His senior year was hampered by hamstring and ankle injuries, but this all puts him fifth all-time in FCS rushing yards (5862) and fourth in rushing TDs (67).
Checking in at the NFL Combine at 5’9″, 205 pounds, Edmonds has a smaller, compact build. His 4.55 forty time is a little disappointing given his size, but not awful by any means. However, what caught my eye with his testing were his agility drills. To state it simply, he killed it. Among the RBs, Edmonds had the best 3-cone at 6.79 seconds, tied Justin Jackson for the best 20-yard shuttle at 4.07, and logged the third best 60-yard shuttle at 11.63. What does this mean, you might ask? According to PlayerProfiler, this gives Edmonds a 96th-percentile agility score. Is that good? It seems alright.
Overall, I can absolutely see Edmonds carving out a role for himself in the NFL. Teams are (slowly) becoming more creative in their use of running backs and getting players in space. This Fordham Ram could succeed in that niche. True three-down workhorses aren’t the norm anymore, and teams are realizing RB production can be replaced. I could see him eventually having a Dion Lewis, James White-esque impact. For fantasy purposes, I’d like to see him go somewhere like the Titans, Texans, Eagles, or Patriots. Even if Edmonds lands in a perfect spot, he’s not going to rocket up dynasty draft boards. He’ll be a nice value in the late rounds of your rookie drafts, or even a waiver pick up later in the year.
Let me know your thoughts on Edmonds and any other players you want to see Rookie Profiles on!