Three-star offensive tackle Jake Edwards is the epitome of a raw blocker. Hailing from Heard County High School in Franklin, Ga., Edwards has all the tools and the frame to become an explosive blocker at tackle. He is sufficiently tall, plenty strong and one of the quickest offensive linemen in the entire class of 2014. However, Edwards’ system fit and his technical flaws cast him as a work in progress with more concerns than positive qualities as a blocker.
Edwards is a punishing and powerful run blocker from a three-point stance. Bred in the triple-option offense, Edwards has strong legs and is agile up to the second level of the defense. In other words, Edwards has a history of blocking speedy linebackers effectively and is more than capable of leveraging defensive ends against their own body weights. Running a 40-yard dash in 5.25 seconds, the 6-foot-4, 270-pound tackle is sneakily athletic. Edwards is adept at finishing blocks with a pancake, getting up and then seeking out another defender. Edwards also has immense upper body strength, likely the root of his propensity for de-cleating defenders.
Though Edwards naturally can do all of the unlearned facets of the position, the learned facets – technique and scheme fit – are still lacking. Most noticeably, Edwards needs to lower his center of gravity when he is blocking. Edwards relies more on his arms than his legs to block, which will create problems against quick defensive linemen who use their hands well. Edwards’ hips lack the level of flexibility contained by elite offensive linemen, which causes him to bend with his waist and stomach more so than with his hips. With his chest and his head down, Edwards often cannot see where he is going once he reaches the second level of the defense. Additionally, having played in a run-first, option-based offense at Heard County High School, Edwards has not been exposed to very much pass blocking. When he was, he attacked far too often, not yet confident enough to rely on the more passive style.
When a high school player fits the kind of profile that Edwards does, coaches look at the player as a piece of clay. Edwards is just that. He is big, fast and he shows flashes of brilliance with punishing displays of run blocking ability. However, he is raw. The fact that Edwards is unpolished is enough to almost guarantee a redshirt at least some point in his career at the University of Georgia. But being raw does not mean that Edwards is a lost cause. His natural ability combined with the weight he will undoubtedly put on once he joins the team at UGA makes him a prime candidate to eventually work his way into the stable of rotating offensive linemen for the Bulldogs.