2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Donovan Edwards
Last Updated: 8/21/2023
Donovan Edwards is a former 5-star recruit who could start for almost any team outside of Michigan, so even though he has limited touches it shouldn’t be held against him. Last year he stepped in after Blake Corum’s injury and posted three straight games with 110-plus rushing yards and averaged over seven yards a carry in these games. His season-long 7.1 yards per carry led the Big Ten and was top 10 in the NCAA.
Edwards is one of the top dual-threat running backs in the country. As a runner, Edwards offers great patience and vision allowing him to find the correct hole more times than not — no matter what the blocking scheme. As more of a strider, he is best on the edge where he can have a runway to show off his top-end speed. On the flip side, he leaves us wanting more explosion to his game and often looks slow to the line and through the first level of a defense. Even with these short-area speed issues he manages to make defenders miss at times with some nimble footwork — would like to see more though.
Inside the tackle box, he is very underrated as a runner. He marries his quick footwork and vision to navigate through small holes and lanes often emerging for chunk plays. In addition, he is unafraid of contact and has the contact balance and leg drive to push tacklers backward but does not run them over often. There is plenty of room for improvement at the point of contact as he often comes in slow and with his pads higher than we would like.
In the passing game, he has above-average hands that allow him to catch the ball no matter the placement. He is also very smooth in his transitions from catching the ball to becoming a runner allowing him to quickly pick up large chunks of yards after the catch. He has not been asked to run any extensive routes, so we do not have much to go off, but nothing says he can’t develop this skill.
- Top-end speed
- Pass-catching ability
- Contact balance
- Lacks quick acceleration
- Ball security
- Power at point of contact
- Open field elusiveness
- Big Ten Griffin-Grange Championship Game MVP (2022)
- Shared team Offensive Rookie of the Year honors (2021)
- 40-yard dash: TBD
- Vertical: TBD
- Broad Jump: TBD
- Three-cone: TBD
- Shuttle: TBD
- Bench: TBD
- Donovan Edwards seems like the player to enter the league as a committee back who can work his way into a larger role potentially climaxing in a workhorse role. I hope to see some improvement in his overall game this year, but we will likely never see if he can handle a workhorse-type load at the collegiate level — so there will always be questions here.
- Gap/Interior Zone
Donovan Edwards will have multiple paths to fantasy success, but this will be determined by the team who drafts him. He could be relegated to a pure passing down back or become an early down grinder or potentially a workhorse. His versatility is great for football but makes it hard to forecast his future role at this moment in time.
In devy or season-long college fantasy, Edwards is a great mid-round sleeper, he gets overlooked with Corum being on the roster but he offers weekly upside with a fairy-safe floor. He is a player I wouldn't reach on but am happy if he falls to me.