111 Comments

Saturday Scout: T.J. Edwards, ILB, Wisconsin

| December 2nd, 2017

Player: T.J. Edwards, ILB, Wisconsin

Game: Big Ten Championship Game vs. Ohio State (#8), 7 PM CT


What They’re Saying

Here is a breakdown of Edwards’ Butkus Award-worthy season from the official site of Badgers football:

Wisconsin’s first Butkus Award finalist, Edwards has been a constant for the Badgers’ outstanding defense once again this season. The Lake Villa, Illinois, native ranks second on the team with 60 total tackles and has recorded 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

Edwards’ four interceptions – including one returned 54 yards for a touchdown – are the most by a linebacker in the FBS this season.

His efforts have been key to a unit that ranks No. 2 nationally in scoring defense (13.1 points per game), total defense (246.4 yards per game) and pass efficiency defense (94.8) and stands No. 1 in rushing defense (79.4 ypg).

From Chris Trapasso at CBS, projecting Edwards to the Seahawks with the 20th pick:

Bobby Wagner has challenged Luke Kuechly as the game’s best off-ball linebacker, and he has made a compelling case to earn that title this season. To give him a young running mate, the Seahawks select Edwards, a smart, polished inside linebacker who, like Wagner, has no problem sinking into coverage to make plays.


Video


What I Think

When I watch T.J. Edwards play middle linebacker for the Badgers, I see a ten-year starter in the pros. I see a defensive captain and signal caller and leader. But if teams pass on him because he’s not playing a sexy position, they are nuts. Think about how much better your defense would be with Luke Keuchly or Bobby Wagner or Lance Briggs in the middle of it. Think about how bad the Bears have been with Danny Trevathan off the field. That’s what this kid’s upside could be.


Why Watch This Week

Watching Ohio State v. Michigan, I was shocked at Jim Harbaugh’s inability to contain J.T. Barrett in the run game. I can’t imagine Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst will make the same mistake and he’ll have the advantage of utilizing the dynamic, versatile Edwards as something of a spy on Barrett. This could be the Lake Villa, Illinois native’s coming out party.

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  • bearfaninde

    What round in the draft?

  • BearDown100393

    A Football Life jumped the shark with last night’s airing on Jerry Jones. Complete infomercial

    • CanadaBear

      None for me, thanks.

      • BearDown100393

        It was terrible

        • CanadaBear

          I really detest Jones so I can only imagine.

          • BearDown100393

            Usually these documentaries show some type of personal adversity, downfall and whether or not the individual overcame. Jones sits behind a desk with a name plate JERRY JONES covering a quarter of the screen. It was scripted from start and to finish and sanitized to the effect that St. Jerr-uh could do no wrong. His sons cry on cue in front of the camera reminiscing dear ol’ dad. He is portrayed as the ultimate faithful husband. Business wise, he is that crazy oil man riskin’ it all to strike Texas Gold. And then riskin’ it all once more to purchase Bum’s Cowboys. He made sure to include footage of ousted Jimmy Johnson (no small ego there anyway) hugging Jerr-ah at the HOF ceremony (the entire narrative was framed on HIM entering the Hall with the likes of Timberlake fawning all over) and declaring his love and devotion. Michael Irvin and Deon gu$h about him. Aikman mumbles something somewhat supportive. And Jerr-uh stuck it to the NFL by “showing he was right in the end” with his team non-league sanctioned endorsement deals. A real big hero. JFC I hate myself for remembering all this.

          • CanadaBear

            I like the part about being a faithful husband. I guess they didn’t hear about the stripper bus!

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 3.0

    I’m excited to see which players we decide to pass on this year. This ILB profile reminds me of the2014 draft. The draft that almost gave SC Dave a nuclear grade heart attack when we passed on CJ Mosely. The Bears select Kyle Fuller and Ego fucking Ferguson. Total Emery nerd ass handjob.

    The players selected after Fuller and before Ferguson is a murders row of complimentary starting lineup contributors on other teams. Look it up and become sickened.

    • fuller is OK, just not a good man coverage corner, best in a zone scheme. I fault Emery more for not moving up to get Aaron Donald. Pace wants a guy, he makes sure he gets him, Like Floyd and Trubisky.

      • Hell yeah. I was screaming at the TV to move up and get Donald.

        He practically fell into Emery’s lap, and he was too busy getting a cucumber out of his ass to make the move.

        Fuck.

        • CanadaBear

          He figured he would fall to him or else had no interest in him. Who knows with PE? He traded up for Alshon so he wasn’t afraid to trade a pick or two.

          • He did what most GMs do. They fall in love with “their” guy and put blinders for surprise tumblers like Donald.

            It was painfully obvious at the time that Donald was an all-world beast with the ONLY knock on him being size.

            But I said it at the time that he was the closest thing to Tommie Harris I’ve seen in a while.

            His 10 yd split was almost identical. Crazy fast burst that was faster than even some Safeties.

            But nah, Bears don’t want AP ballers.

          • CanadaBear

            Just about everyone felt the same way about Donald except Irish. Too small for Irish.

  • BerwynBomber

    Harbaugh’s inability to contain Barrett’s running seemed like a coaching 101 mistake, and yes, it was shockingly bad. But I wonder if an ILB is up to that task. Seems like an SS or SS/LB hybrid would be better suited for the spy position.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky

      Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan sure isn’t living up to it’s billing. He was to be their savior.

      Just goes to show how rare the continuous success of coaches like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, etc really is. To a lesser extent even second tier guys like Dantonio at Michigan State or Brian Kelly at ND tend to impress with the way they can bounce back from a shit season and at least enter the fringe of the playoff conversation in a single off season.

      Harbaugh in year three, was supposed to be a contender. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s lost his recruiting edge. He just can’t seem to come up with a QB with the “it” factor. That’s everything in the college game.

      • Bender McLugh

        and Ohio State seems to have two QB’s with the ‘it’ factor, at least this season

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          Hell, they won the National Championship with their #3 making his 3rd start.

        • BerwynBomber

          Nah, they’re just loaded with NFL draft-ready talent. As usual. Their QBs are often superb athletes first, QBs second.

      • BerwynBomber

        Harbaugh, IIRC, hasn’t won a single big game since assuming the HC job at UM.

        I wonder if he has lost his coaching edge. The OSU/Michigan game was really the first time I had watched UM all year. Even beyond the mindless decision of refusing to put a spy on Barrett, UM impressed me as a sloppy, predictable team. In all phases — O, D and STs. They looked poorly coached.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          It’s beginning to look like Andrew Luck was more about Andrew Luck than Harbaugh and perhaps a tad over rated. San Francisco was a championship level defensive roster run by Fangio, and Kap was the right guy at just the right time to run the RO and caught the league a little off guard. To Harbaugh’s credit, he was smart enough to do that, but he also benched Alex Smith in favor of Kap, if I remember correctly. He did have a hell of a run there, but I wonder how things would have looked long term, had he stuck with Smith, a more traditional QB.

          Either way, the prospect of Harbaugh in Chicago has certainly lost it’s luster.

          • BerwynBomber

            From what I heard Luck was more a Shaw recruit than a Harbaugh one. (Shaw, of course, was Harbaugh’s OC at Stanford.)

            Good point about Kap vs. Smith. Good idea short-term not so much long-term.

            P.S. the other thing about Harbaugh is whether he would wish to cede all GM matters to Pace. I have my doubts he would.

          • Maybe. Smith isn’t exactly lighting the NFL up right now and still may be replaced by Mahomes. Has Smith even won a playoff game?

            Kap has won more playoff games than Smith, and was a good throw away from winning a SB.

            Maybe Harbs saw Smith for what he is.

            A Dalton level QB who’ll get teams to 9-7 but doesn’t have the firepower to win it all.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Cmon Butch. You really gonna say you’d take Kap over Smith?

          • At that time Kap and the R/O was somewhat novel in the NFL.
            Maybe Harbs wanted to take advantage of that at the time

            Kap also could run like a deer and was willing to throw deep.

            He put up like 200 yds running vs the puke in one playoff game if I remember.

            No way Smith woud’ve gone toe to toe with Vadgers.

            I like Smith. I think he can let loose, but for some odd reason, he goes on long stretches where he doesn’t (like now)

            It’s sorta the Dalton equation.

            Dalton will get you a WC, but his limits will likely get you booted from the playoffs (unless paired with a historic/hot D)

            So if I had to build a team from scratch, might go Dalton.

            IF I was close and wanted a SB, Kap (at that time) may have been the better option.

            It’s sorta what the Donkeys did.

            They had Grease, who was Dalton-esque, but they could never get over the hump.

            So they brought in this spunky new kid with some legs and rocket in arm in Cutler.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Smith was the hottest QB in the league in the early part of the season

          • CanadaBear

            My issue with Harbaugh is he wears everyone out. Just like BMarsh, at some point everyone is sick of the sight of them. It takes way too much time and energy to deal with their BS.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            He sure seems to be an asshole

          • CanadaBear

            I think it’s great that he’s ultra-competitive but that doesn’t mean he has to be an ultra-asshole. Ditka was the same way and at some point he managed to implode the entire org.

          • Yeah, but sometimes LOSERS NEED a kick in the ass, not the Tresty cumbaya or Fisher ‘meh’ treatment.

            I think the Bears need a fiery HC to turn the culture around.

            No more fucking Fox zombies or Tresty cub scouts

            Bears need maulers and ballers.

          • CanadaBear

            I don’t give a damn about their demeanor as much as I want a smart, progressive coach that commands respect and can hire a staff of like-minded individuals.

          • BearDown100393

            So is Ditka

          • SC Dave

            I guess were I to try to put my finger on why I have never been on the Harbaugh train, this would be it.

            Say he comes on, as two or three decent years, pisses everyone off, and gets fired.

            The calls to fire the GM would be deafening.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He tries to be Mike Ditka, without having any of his CV or character.

          • BearDown100393

            Fire Khakis dot com locked up.

          • Harbs luckiest coach to land on talented rosters?

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            No. That wouldn’t be fair to his success. I just never bought in to the fact that he’d be the magic bullet for the Bears.

          • The list this yr for hot-shot OCs is SHORT though, as Biggs points out in his article.

            No Shannahan/McVay type in this HC crop (oh, if only Fox were fired LAST Nov…)

            Biggs does point out a candidate that I think would tempt Pacebot:

            NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger suggested Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, 39, is a rising star. The Eagles blocked the Jets from hiring him as their offensive coordinator in January. Is he ready for the next step, which is more like a leap?

            “That’s the guy,” Baldinger said last week before calling the Bears-Eagles game. “Sharp, sharp, really sharp. Like he’s the smartest guy in the room. He would be unbelievable with a young quarterback. Everywhere he’s been Flip has been good. High energy, nonstop. If you’re looking, he’s head coach material. He’s like McVay.”

            http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-bears-biggs-essentials-20171202-story.html

          • Irish Sweetness

            Alex Smith was terrible though.

            The Luck love I never got. I don’t watch college ball so I never saw him, but based on his NFL play overall … he’s just a dude – not a bad one, but just a dude.

            Fangio? Like Buddy’s roster .. it’s hard to mess that up. A nice balanced 4-3 was the way to go at Miami that year. Vic gets the credit that his players earned. I never understand that stuff.

            Harbaugh? Did he win a superbowl? Isn’t that the litmus test? Why would he win one now?

        • leftcoastdave

          I think this points to the quality of the programs which have been systematically built up over the years. It ain’t a one man show and it needs continuity over time.

          • BerwynBomber

            Meyer took over OSU after the Luke Fickell years and did just fine.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Wasn’t it Jim Tressel?

          • BerwynBomber

            Was and then he got caught in some sort of scandal and resigned or was fired. Then Fickell, IIRC, coached them for a couple of years to .500 level records. Then they gave the world to Meyer.

          • BearDown100393

            Tattoos and autographs

          • leftcoastdave

            The point I am making is that Harbaugh has not been able to build a system and he has had three years so far to do it.

      • SC Dave

        Swinney has been pretty damn good at Clemson too.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          For sure.

  • CanadaBear

    Apparently Phi likes Alshon.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/NFL/7441

    • ButtonShoes

      4 yrs/52 mil? That’s all it took?! GODDAMMIT.

      • BearDown100393

        For Alshon, Philly > Bear$

        • CanadaBear

          He really wanted out. I’m guessing it was the losing that made him want out so bad. If that’s the case, can’t blame him.

          • BearDown100393

            He figured out Pace quickly. And bolted.

          • CanadaBear

            I’m guessing Foxy and Nathan Lane had something to do with it.

          • BearDown100393

            All of it

          • AlbertInTucson

            He bet on himself and came up with $27M, guaranteed.

          • CanadaBear

            $13 mil/year with $27 mil guaranteed. Wish he was still a Bear but I’m happy for him. He was always a gentleman while he played for the Beloved and that trait is missing in a lot of NFL WR’s.

          • Bender McLugh

            Good for him

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Doesn’t usually work that way in the NFL. Good for him.

          • He pretty much got the same $ Pace supposedly offered him.
            Remember the talk was he wanted Julio $, so he gambled on himself and got what he was already offered.
            Maybe the more accurate account was Alshon wanted that from the Chicago Browns

          • SC Dave

            Or, the rumor was false all along.

            The Occam’s Razor solution.

          • I was always pragmatic about Alshon.

            If Pace didn’t offer Alshon a $12M/yr type deal, he is a greater idiot than I fear.

            To me that was a fair deal for a tier 2 type WR with spaghetti hamstrings.

            Oh well.

            Wentz is making that entire WR corps look good, including Aghlor who has seemingly resurrected from the dead.

          • FresnoBear88

            Qb situation. We were shit with Cutler and he foresaw the future of the Bears… I admire his brilliance

    • BerwynBomber

      Roseman seems like the anti-Ted Thompson when it comes to building around his franchise QB.

      • CanadaBear

        It’s weird how he got pushed out by Kelly and then came back. That doesn’t happen very often.

    • So basically, Alshon got the $12M/yr Pace offered him, just elsewhere.

      And Pace signed Wheaton/Cruz/Wright

      As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

      • CanadaBear

        Might want to recheck your math.

        • If you divide $52M by 4(yrs), = $13M

          I’m not math major. but avg about $12M per yr. How they got there is just details:

          According to PFT

          Here’s the full breakdown of the new deal:

          1. Signing bonus of $6.25 million.

          2. $1 million prorated base salary for the balance of the 2017
          season, fully guaranteed. (His existing 2017 salary was unchanged.)

          3. $6.5 million option bonus for 2018, fully guaranteed at signing.

          4. $1.25 million base salary for 2018, fully guaranteed at signing.

          5. $250,000 workout bonus for 2018, fully guaranteed.

          6. $11.75 million base salary for 2019, guaranteed for injury at
          signing. It becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2018 league
          year.

          7. $250,000 workout bonus for 2019, fully guaranteed.

          8. $12.75 million base salary for 2020, $1 million of which is
          guaranteed for injury at signing. The $1 million becomes fully
          guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.

          9. $250,000 workout bonus for 2020.

          10. $12.75 million base salary for 2021.

          11. $250,000 workout bonus for 2021.

          12. $1 million in incentives, and $3 million in escalators. (Of the
          $4.5 million in incentives under his current deal, Jeffery had reached
          $250,000.)

          http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/12/02/alshon-jeffery-will-have-26-million-fully-guaranteed-by-march/

          • That Guy

            Don’t forget Alshon did that stupid thing taking a cash payout against a percentage of his future contracts. I’d bet dollars to donuts that every time he goes into contract talks, he wants the team to pay him extra for the amount he has to pay out to the company that advanced him the cash.

          • FresnoBear88

            Fuck man brain kill

      • SC Dave

        Mr. Muhammad was not wrong about the Bears being the place where WRs go to die.

        Mr. Jefffrey chose life.

        Congratulations, Alshon.

        • Dis Guy Trublinsky

          Hmmmm. Don’t know about that. Alshon started as a Bear and outside of some nagging injuries did really well as a receiver in Chicago. He’s the same receiver in Philly as he was here. Just not hurt. Not really fair to throw him under Muhsin’s umbrella.

          Edit: although Johnny Knox would argue the point vehemently.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky

            Muhsin Muhammad: “Chicago is where receivers go to die.”

            Johnny Knox: “Hold my beer.”

          • Russian Hacked Pacebot 3.0

            Johnny brought it upon himself by fumbling

          • FresnoBear88

            Cold blooded… still cringe to this day

          • SC Dave

            I have never seen that play, and never will.

          • SC Dave

            I guess my point is that the Bears have pretty much never had a top-notch receiver that lasted more than a couple of years. BMarsh was good, but we know that story. Alshon was good, but he left -in essence died as a WR *in Chicago*.

            My dad liked Ken Kavanaugh, and I think Harlon Hill was great until he wrecked his achilles, but that’s pretty damn thin for as old a franchise as Chicago is.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Name a Bears’ receiver we had that was more all-round dangerous than Bmarsh ….

          • SC Dave

            Harlon Hill, *easily*. Understand a little history, Irish.

            How many seasons with the Bears did BMarsh lead in yards per catch? In TD?

            *Look* at this shit:

            https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HillHa00.htm

          • BearDown100393

            Exactly. He refused to die so he left Chicago.

        • Russian Hacked Pacebot 3.0

          Not really correct but whatever.

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      • willbest

        He got 13 million a year from Philly. I guess it looks more like 12 million if he only makes 10 this year and doesn’t get any of his performance escalators.

        But it seems like a no-brainer to me. Why get 12 million catching from Glennon when you can get 12 million catching from Wentz.

        • Alshon just wanted out. Could’ve been worse I guess. Could’ve joined the Puke like Pepp.

          Fuller might bolt too.

          That’s what happens when a decrepit coach stinks up the locker room.

          • FresnoBear88

            Coach GM President and Owners.

            Forgot commas

          • Malice Halice

            4real, atleast Fuller got some decent film this year to try to explain his role. I’d pass on Fuller tho. He needs a Revis type comrade to help him look good.

          • BerwynBomber

            But Fuller could stick if Fangio is tossed. But gotta imagine there will be no hometown discount.

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  • CanadaBear
  • AlbertInTucson

    Back to earth. Tiger +3 today.

  • BearDown100393

    After many years, Lucas Oil Field finally hosts a football game.

    • AlbertInTucson

      …and has to be repaired mid-game.

  • SC Dave

    Wisconsin too slow to beat OSU.
    Clemson, as I expected, dominating Miami.

    The Tigers are really good. So weird they lost to Syracuse.

    • madscout12

      That happens when you have to travel. Imagine Bama going up to NY in October/November instead of playing Mercer.

      • SC Dave

        Ohio State knows they won’t, and build teams accordingly.

        And seemingly good enough to beat Wisconsin.

        Of course, there is still another half to go

      • SC Dave

        And I’d *really* prefer that the Badgers win. But just not seeing it.

        Heroics by Van whoeverheis notwithstanding

    • BerwynBomber

      Nobody in the Big Ten recruits like OSU. Not even close.

      Wisconsin might have two or three pros among their starters. OSU probably has close to ten.

  • SC Dave

    Gotta say so far Bosa > Edwards

  • FresnoBear88

    Go Fresno State! And fuck the Mccaskeys!

  • FresnoBear88

    All seriousness at the breaking point with the franchise. When the fuck does the nightmare end. I see the story being rewritten all over again…sigh

    • SC Dave

      Who knows, Fres.

      Watching the tiny sliver of minor league FB that I do, I want Baker Mayfield.

      It would be easy to imagine him beating out Trubisky.

      • That Guy

        Baker Mayfield is Johnny Manziel 2.0

        • SC Dave

          Maybe. Maybe not.

        • BerwynBomber

          Could be. But Manziel was never near the passer was that Mayfield is.

  • SC Dave

    Wisconsin QB sucks

  • Irish Sweetness

    Are we really still talking about Alshon? Dude wanted out / get paid like Mike Tyson.

    We’d still be 3-8 with Alshon and his 3 targets per game.

    • SC Dave

      Alshin was orders of magnitude better than any Bears receiver/prospect you’ve ever written about on this blog.

      And you’ve had a long time to do it.

  • Malice Halice

    Would u guys be willing to entertain the idea of switchin between the Browns going to da AFC north n let dem come to da NFC north? Or, swapping with the Colts n goin to da AFC south?

    • SC Dave

      I am willing to do nothing proposed that uses ‘da’ when it should be ‘the’.

      Illiteracy always loses.

    • CanadaBear

      No way.

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