The Bills signed defensive end Lavar Edwards off of the Cowboys practice squad back in December. Edwards has registered 6 total tackles and 1 pass defended in his NFL career. He is 6’4″ and 277 pounds and has a 35 1/2 inch wingspan and 10 inch hands. He ran a 4.8 second 40 yard dash three years ago when he entered the draft.
The LSU alum played on a very talented defense under Les Miles. He was primarily a reserve player because of the starters ahead of him in Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery. He finished his career at LSU with 96 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles.
Edwards was buried on the Cowboys depth chart in 2015. Rod Marinelli loves grooming young pass rushers and he had a few good ones on that roster last year. Edwards played his fair share of snaps in the pre-season. In the four preseason games he played in 125 defensive snaps. The former Tiger, recorded 2 sacks, 3 QB hurries 5 total tackles and 5 stops. It doesn’t sound like much, but in my opinion he didn’t fit the Cowboys cover 2, pass attack scheme.
During the pre-season last year, Edwards seemed to set himself apart from the other Cowboys players against the run. He demonstrated the ability to set a very good edge, and to disrupt any run that went off tackle.
Check out how physical he can be against the run.
He has such long arms that he is able to control the offensive lineman or tight ends with his reach.
Edwards can play either defensive end position and he played DT at times at LSU. Could he be used as a 5 tech DE?
He is a player that brings contact to the offensive lineman.
His strength makes a difference in the passing game too. He is able to overpower offensive lineman to push the pocket.
He rushes up-field on the following play but then converts that speed to power.
Another demonstration of power to push the pocket. He gets up under the offensive lineman and drives him into the face of the QB.
He isn’t the most polished pass rusher, but shows glimpses of a pass rush.
Edwards using a little bend and swipe.
Edwards uses his hands to defend against the cut block then eats up the QB.
On the following play Edwards swipes the lineman’s hands down, pushes past the tackle and sacks the QB
Here Edwards showing his heavy hands and power for the sack.
When passes or screens are thrown he is able to disengage quickly and close on the offensive player.
Here he reads the pass, gets in the passing lane and makes the QB pull the ball down.
He doesn’t have the pass rush moves to set up lineman consistently, but he will fit in pretty well in the Rex Ryan defense.
At times he can cover backs out of the back-field
It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in the Bills’ system. Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli coaches the players on the defensive line to rush the passer, to get pressure quickly. Edwards has been learning Rex’ complex system the last few months. A system where he will be asked to rush and to drop into coverage. It’ll be interesting to see if Edwards can flourish in a system that more resembles his defense at LSU.
With how strong he is at the point of attack is he a player that could maybe play the 5 tech defensive end? He may be a little on the light side weighing in around 280 pounds, but with such strong hands and long arms could the Bills be grooming him to be a 3-4 defensive end? At the very least he will be a solid run stopping defensive end in Rex’ 4-3 under. A guy that can set the edge with the power of Mario Williams, is willing to cover the running back in the flats, and a guy that could bump down when the Bills ask him to. I think that bringing this guy in was a great job by the defensive scouts. By the time next season begins he will have been in the system for a lengthy amount of time. I am hoping he will develop into a player that makes a difference for the Bills.
Max Valles update here.
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