The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the third day of the 2014 NFL Draft still needing help along the offensive line, and they didn't delay in patching up their depth issues in the trenches by selecting Kadeem Edwards of Tennessee State with their fifth-round pick.
Here's how the pick of Edwards grades out.
Edwards is a small-school prospect from Ohio Valley Conference school Tennessee State. (You may remember TNST as the school from which Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was drafted.) And like most small school prospects who get drafted, Edwards was dominant at the FCS level, earning First-Team All-American FCS honors his senior year, and placing on the First-Team All-OVC his final two seasons.
He's a big, strong guard who has all of the size and tools a good coach can use to turn into a good player at the position, according to NFL.com. Sports Illustrated ranked him as the seventh-best guard in the draft (ahead of Brandon Thomas of Clemson) and said he has great strength, punch and footwork. His body isn't in perfect shape, and he's not an ideal athlete from a quickness perspective, but those things can change in an NFL weight room, and with proper coaching.
Like the Buccaneers' first two picks, Edwards is the right pick in the right spot. There were a few bigger names at guard, but Edwards was the guy the Buccaneers coveted, and they made the move to select him. This isn't a steal, as most draft boards have Edwards as a day three prospect, but it's a reasonable pick and a smart move to build depth.
The Bucs needed a guard, and they got a guard. We won't know for sure how Edwards fits the blocking schemes the Bucs will run until we see Jeff Tedford's offense in motion, but Edwards has the strength and size to thrive at guard in the NFL. He just needs to be developed to be an NFL-caliber technician at the position.
A solid pick to snatch up a smart, hard-working small-school prospect and shore up the depth concerns along the offensive line. Edwards isn't a big name, but his tape was solid enough to catch the eye of the Buccaneers' scouts.