When assessing an NFL prospect for the draft, all talent evaluators are enamored by one thing that isn’t a skill or a statistic; and that’s upside. With any young and promising talent, focusing on their upside is typically the measurement used to determine how their talents could potentially translate to the pro level.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, no prospect will be younger than Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds will be a little less than two weeks shy of his 20th birthday (5/8/98) when he hears Roger Goodell call his name. With that being said, he’ll potentially be the second youngest prospect ever drafted in the first round of the draft.

Amobi Okoye was the youngest ever at 19 years and 10 months when he was selected 10th overall by the Houston Texans in the 2007 NFL Draft. Okoye in his respective draft year was oozing with upside, but held tremendous rawness to his fundamentals. The same cannot be said for Tremaine Edmunds, he played through games at Virginia Tech looking like a pro-ready prospect while still in his teenage years.

In this article, I’ll be explaining why this promising Hokie prospect has a bright future ahead, and that’s there is “No Ceilings” to his potential.


Tremaine Edmunds is natural in so many phases in his game, and it begins with his rare athleticism. Billed at a colossal 6’5”, 250-pound frame, Edmunds is expected to be a Combine monster. He moves like a gazelle in the open field, using his long stride and flexible hips

Here’s a clip of Edmunds flipping his hips and dropping into coverage, he’s still able to come back downfield and make this play on the scrambling QB:


Edmunds’ rare athleticism doesn’t just stop with his mobility in space. His tackling angles are what originally sold me on him as an intriguing prospect. He has elite closing speed when tracking down ball carriers and also has plenty of ability to meet them face to face with his smooth angle flow from sideline to sideline. Edmunds deserves a casting opportunity in the live action “Lion King” film upcoming, he’d pass the role for a young Simba stunt double:

Covering sideline to sideline means you’re capable of making a play across the entire field, nobody in this class does it better than him:


Edmunds is going to stand out and rise up boards strictly for his flash and smoothness on highlight films. But the details of his game are why he’s a bonafide first round talent in my book. The details are always in the fundamentals, I’ve recognized Edmunds do certain things that made me stop and say, “Wow, he could to be really special.” Edmunds’ instincts and play recognition are what’s going to separate him in comparison to every other linebacker prospect in this 2018 class; and more importantly, help him translate to the pro level with relative ease. If Edmunds passes on a football and live action career, he could always fall back on being a doctor; because his ability to diagnose an offense is Ph.D intelligence:


Lastly, but certainly not least important; Edmunds certainly has the ability to contribute across the board on defense. His versatility only benefits his stock, as it would be doable to insert him in the majority of defensive fronts/schemes and still maintain production. I expect Edmunds to excel most in a 4-3 defense: Reason being, in the 4-3 Edmunds could play:

MIKE (middle): Due to his elite gap shooting and play anticipation.
SAM (strong-side): For his even abilities to stuff the run and still manage to dip out and scan in coverage.
EDGE: Clearly for his athleticism, flexibility, and explosion. All traits needed to rush the quarterback.

Here are some examples of Edmunds showing that versatility while at Virginia Tech





In conclusion, Edmunds could very well be a five-tool player at the linebacker position. His athleticism is going to push him into the doors of the NFL, expecting his name to be called out very quickly in April. However, his consistency and longevity as a pro is going to come from his instincts, and appearing to be one of the most intelligent players on the field on either side of the ball. He’s not the perfect prospect, he’s still raw and definitely could use fine tuning before being labeled as a great one. The young man is certainly on the fast track to success though, and checks all the boxes to at least roll the dice on him early in the draft.

As you’ve noticed, I’ve implemented many Lil’ Wayne references throughout this piece. When Lil’ Wayne began his career, he was just Dwayne Carter, a 15 year old from New Orleans with some upside as a freestyle, wordplay rapper. Wayne took that upside, molded it from the image of his mentors and became one of the most versatile, electric, decorated, and well-renowned rappers in the history of music. History will write itself for Tremaine Edmunds, but the history could potentially see a parallel.

Tremaine Edmunds has become one of my “Brand Guys” for 2018, and hopefully he becomes one of yours as well.


About The Author Cagen Cantrell

Cagen is 19 years old and originally grew up in Columbus, Ohio up to his pre teen years, before later residing in Chino Hills, CA and now currently resides outside of Los Angeles, CA. His favorite teams to follow correlate with his roots, as he is a Cincinnati Bengals and Ohio State Buckeyes fan; but also enjoys following UCLA during their season. Cagen had a brief amateur career playing the game of football during high school and in college. He played one season at East LA Community College as a running back. Cantrell's former writing history came in 2016 when he was a writing and scouting contributor to Paulo Figari's website NFLDraftSquad. While contributing there, he covered west coast prospects, and completed dozens of scouting reports for that season's mass draft guide. Cantrell looks forward to the opportunities presented at Breaking Football, and is ecstatic to help his colleagues deliver fresh insights towards the NFL Draft and the entire game of football.