As the NFL Draft steady approaches, Niners Live takes a closer look at linebacker Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech; is he worthy of the ninth overall pick (assuming the 49ers don’t trade down)?
Why are we here?
San Francisco 49ers’ promising young linebacker, Reuben Foster, was recently charged with felony domestic abuse by the Santa Clara DA’s office. Foster is expected to serve his much-anticipated suspension for violating the NFL’s code of conduct policy and his roster spot is in jeopardy.
Looking at Edmunds career production
Edmunds is a 6′ 5′, 250 lbs, freak of nature from Virginia Tech. During his three-year collegiate career, he’s amassed 213 tackles, 33 for a loss, 10 sacks (5.5 coming in 2017), one interception, five passes defended and three forced fumbles.
Taking a Closer Look at linebacker Tremaine Edmunds
The 49ers like speed, athletism, versatility, size, youth/upside and most importantly, bang for their buck. Edmunds is fast and athletic, which he’s shown on tape and at the combine where he ran a 4.54-second 40-time. And if you didn’t want to move on from Foster just yet, who would you draft? Tremaine Edmunds.
Why? Because of Edmunds’ versatility/experience of playing the middle linebacker; aka, the “MIKE” position. The 49ers could attempt to satisfy all concerned parties regarding Foster’s legal troubles, by selecting Edmunds.
Important to call out: Based on his size, Edmunds is an ideal fit for the strong side linebacker position (aka, the “SAM” position), where the 49ers technically have an opening. Last year’s starter at the “SAM” position, Eli Harold, is getting an opportunity at the “LEO” position, to take advantage of his athletic ability, speed, and to help generate a better pass rush in 2018.
Edmunds has sideline-to-sideline speed, lateral quickness, efficient tackling skills, and shoots gaps with conviction and explosion. He also has good agility and physicality. He’s also a violent disruptor while displaying coverage/pass rush ability; something that the 49ers covet.
The 49ers would also hope to get some added pass rush out of Edmunds on third downs. Is Edmunds capable of generating double-digit sacks and consistent pressure, year in and year out? Is he a boom or a bust?
Does Edmunds address the 49ers’ true No. 1 need of an elite level prospect that’s a pure pass-rusher? These are the questions in play. No pass-rusher, “no rings.”
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, player break down specialist, Co-Editor, Sequoia Sims