Preseason is a time where the veterans tune things up for the regular season. They don’t overwork, but they make sure they are ready to go for the regular season. But for rookies, and unknown fringe players, the preseason is a lot different, and that is where some of the best stories come from.
We are going to take a look at one of those players this morning. Here is a guy that has 13 tackles for his career after coming into the league in 2010. He may or may not make the team by the end of the day, but if any fringe player is going to make the squad, this guy is. I am talking about linebacker A.J. Edds.
After recording 226 tackles as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes from 2006-2009, A.J Edds put in a good time in the 40 yard dash at the Combine. 4.71 seconds is not elite speed, but it is not bad, especially for a linebacker. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Miami Dolphins. Edds was expected to make an impact as a coverage linebacker, before he tore his ACL. He went through the Colts and the Patriots before impressing Rex Ryan at a tryout and earning a spot with the Jets this summer.
With 25 tackles over the four games of the preseason, Edds showed he is a guy that is always around the football. He certainly made his case. Here are his listed strengths and weaknesses, courtesy of his profile from the NFL Combine:
STRENGTHS: Edds possesses good length and above average strength for the next level. He’s a tough, competitive player. Was the vocal leader of his college defensive unit. Plays with good instincts and a high level of intelligence. Has been productive during his career.
WEAKNESSES: Edds needs an expanded pass rush package to be a more effective blitzer. He’s inconsistent reading route progressions. Not great in zone coverage and may really struggle against athletic targets in man coverage. Needs added bulk to more consistently deal with the inside power running game.
Here is some tape on Edds from his Iowa days:
Both this tape, and what we have seen so far in New York have made it evident that A.J Edds can play. If he is healthy, he can contribute. Whether it’s with the Jets or not, Edds will likely get a shot to play, and a well-deserved one.