The 2018 NFL Draft is roughly a month away, meaning prospects are meeting and visiting with teams to get more familiar with one another. The NFL Combine and Pro Days are mostly in the books, meaning prospective NFL players have very few chances left to improve their draft stock.
How did the Combine and Pro Day affect Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds? Well, if you ask ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the effect was negative.
Edmunds flashed at the 2018 NFL Combine, running a 4.54-second 40-yard-dash and measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 253 pounds. Everyone knew Edmunds was a bit of an anomaly, with few players possessing such measurables. But because of those traits, Kiper believes teams are viewing it as a negative.
“Edmunds hasn’t really projected quite as high as many thought he would,” Kiper said on Wednesday. “I think what affects Edmunds is that he’s such a freakish talent, you’d expect more dominant play week in and week out. I don’t think teams necessarily saw that, even though he had over 100 tackles and made a lot of plays. He shows a lot of versatility.
As a junior in 2017, Edmunds was a productive linebacker. He finished the season with 109 total tackles, his second-straight season with 100 or more tackles. He also registered 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, which is nothing to scoff at. However, Kiper said that with Edmunds’ natural talents, teams expected more production from him in his 29 career starts.
“I think maybe the freakish numbers worked against him in that regard,” Kiper said. “You thought he would be Lawrence Taylor out there, just making plays everywhere in every game, and it wasn’t the case. That’s why I have him dropping down to 12 to the Buffalo Bills. Roquan Smith from Georgia has moved a little bit ahead of him.”
In Kiper’s latest mock draft, he has Edmunds being taken with the 12th-overall selection by the Buffalo Bills. Kiper is projecting Roquan Smith from Georgia to go at No. 10 to the Oakland Raiders, two spots ahead of Edmunds.
Kiper Still High on Settle’s Draft Stock
Defensive tackle Tim Settle is another Virginia Tech prospect with the potential to be taken in the early rounds of the draft. Settle played just two seasons for Virginia Tech, declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore. Settle had a productive season in 2017, registering 12.5 tackles for loss and four sacks, but struggled at the NFL Combine. He finished at the bottom end of his position group in every test and struggled in drills.
However, at Virginia Tech’s Pro Day, the 6-foot-3 and 329-pound lineman felt better about his performance. Kiper, who has been a fan of Settle since he declared, still believes that he is a day-two prospect.
“In terms of Settle, I like him. I think I got him in there before anybody else, in terms of once he decided to come out,” Kiper said. “I think he’s a top-10 caliber defensive tackle. Big body along the interior, decent quickness. I’d say third round is where I would think he would come off the board.”
Terrell Edmunds Boosts Stock With Strong Combine Performance
Lastly, Kiper noted that safety Terrell Edmunds has caught his attention while viewing Virginia Tech film. The middle Edmunds brother impressed scouts with a 4.47-second 40-yard-dash and second-place finishes in both the broad jump and vertical jump. Edmunds has 31 career starts under his belt, and because of his experience and talent, Kiper sees Edmunds as a potential mid-round selection.
“He’s still a developmental safety, but with his numbers, his potential, you could see him coming off the board in the third or fourth round,” Kiper said.
The 2018 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m. and runs through Sat., April 28. The first two days of draft coverage can be seen on ESPN, the NFL Network and FOX, while the draft’s final day can be seen on ESPN and the NFL Network.