David Johnson is an undebatable stud. He’s bound to touch the ball as much as his body allows in 2018. However, with such a heavy workload comes the risk of injury. Therefore, it’s wise to have an insurance plan…. Chase Edmonds is precisely that.
Edmonds dominated at the FCS level, just as Johnson has at the NFL level. During his 4-year career at Fordham, Edmonds rushed for 5,862 yards and 67 TDs. It didn’t take him long to hit the ground running as he dominated in his Freshman season; a sign that he can quickly adapt to new systems and competition. Not only did Edmonds excel on the ground and between the tackles, but he was more than competent in the passing game. He caught 86 passes during his college career and rarely left the field.
Prior to the draft, I looked at Edmonds and everything looked like Dion Lewis. The shiftiness, the catching, the balance, the size, and the ability to rush between the tackles. Funnily enough, he’s almost like a mini-David Johnson in terms of skillset but slightly smaller in stature. Edmonds measures in at 5’9”, 205 pounds but has quite a strong physical profile. He ran a 4.55 40-yard dash, 19 bench reps, had a 34-inch vertical, and a 122-inch broad jump. His most impressive physical trait is his agility, with a 96th percentile agility score, due to a 4.07 20-yard shuttle, and 6.79 3-cone drill.
Prior to being drafted by the Cardinals, I thought Edmonds had a shot at becoming an instant starter in his rookie season depending on landing spot. It would appear that some members of the Cardinals would tend to agree. Cardinals coach, Steve Wilks, noted that he views Edmonds “as a potential every-down back”. He said, “You want a guy that’s going to be able to step up, give you the same elements from the standpoint of a three-down back that you’re going to be able to use out in space, but most importantly, in pass protection.”
With David Johnson holding out due to a contract dispute in the early phases of camp, Edmonds even got opportunities with the first team offense. There really isn’t much competition behind David Johnson either for Edmonds to battle. DJ Foster and TJ Logan wouldn’t appear to be blowing the socks off of coaches.
Edmonds is one of very few backup RBs that I feel would become workhorse backs following an injury. Eventually down the road, I think if he were to leave Arizona, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land a starting gig somewhere, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.
Edmonds has been going in the 3rd round of most rookie drafts and as a DJ owner, you really should have been eyeing him in your draft as a high upside handcuff. There hasn’t been a ton of hype pieces in the preseason for Edmonds quite yet, so he may still be attainable for a similar pick. I highly recommend you do so before he becomes unaffordable.