By: Derek Havens
Last week, the Patriots signed second-year linebacker A.J. Edds.
Edds was cut by the Miami Dolphins after one season, but he did not play last season due to a torn ACL suffered in training camp. The Dolphins drafted Edds in the fourth-round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Iowa, and was a teammate of rookie linebacker Jeff Tapinian.
Edds is 6-foot-4, 246 pounds and was a solid prospect coming out of Iowa. In a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons this year, he had seven tackles and one sack; a flash of what he could do at the NFL level.
My good friend, and NFL analyst for NEPatriotsDraft James Christensen, weighs in on the newly acquired linebacker below. As always, Christensen offers some great insight on Edds. Be sure to check out his website and also follow him on Twitter here.
Here is Christensen’s analysis:
To understand what AJ Edds the NFL player will be like, one must look at AJ Edds the college player.
Edds was a fantastic linebacker coming out of the University of Iowa. He played for Norm Parker, a defensive coordinator that is a bit different from the rest. The Hawkeyes rarely use sub-packages, such as a nickel or dime formations, opting instead to keep their 4-3 alignment even on obvious passing downs and against spread formations.
What this means for NFL teams, specifically the Patriots now after Miami parted ways with him for a 3rd-string TE Donte Rosario, is that Edds is a guy that has tons of experience going up against TE’s, RB’s, and even WR’s in the passing game.
Another thing that Iowa defenses rarely do is blitz. In a pre-draft interview, Edds told us that:
“In our defenseive scheme the linebackers are rarely asked to apply pressure via blitz. Because of this I would acknowledge that rushing the passer is likely one of my biggest areas for improvement. That said, when asked to come on a blitz I did a pretty good job of hurrying the QB or coming up with the sack. Pass rushing is nothing more then desire and a player can excel in this area through determination and attitude.”
When you add these things up, you get a fantastic for the Patriots at the “Sam” linebacker position – a guy who can cover TE’s, can shed blockers, and get after the quarterback when asked.
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