Lavar Edwards came on strong for LSU as a freshman in 2009, but he failed to up his game a great deal the following three seasons. While he will definitely get a mid-round look, there are some concerns about his ability to produce at a high level in the National Football League.
Of course, a lot of this has to do with the defensive scheme that LSU ran and the fact that they rotated their defensive linemen in and out a great deal. That being said, the talent is definitely here.
Let's take a look at five things you must know about Edwards heading into the 2013 NFL draft.
Full Name: Lavar M. Edwards
Birth date: April 29, 1990
Hometown: Gretna, La.
High School: Desire Street Academy in Baton Rouge, La.
Major: General studies
According to Rivals.com, as a recruit, Edwards was ranked 33rd overall in Louisiana coming out of Desire Street Academy. He chose his home state Tigers over Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee, all of whom had given him scholarship offers.
He was teammates with current Washington Redskins tight end DeAngelo Peterson in both high school and college.
2009 (Freshman): 12 games, 23 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble
2010 (Sophomore): 13 games, 21 tackles, four for loss, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and one touchdown
2011 (Junior): 14 games, 26 tackles, 4.5 for loss and one sack
2012 (Senior): 13 games, 26 tackles, seven for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception and one touchdown
Edwards redshirted as a true freshman in 2008, which wasn't that bad of an idea. LSU already had current NFL player Tyson Jackson and former Seattle Seahawks seventh-round pick Lazarius Levingston ahead of him on the depth chart.
The talented defensive end did make an impact his redshirt freshman season after Jackson moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs. He recorded two sacks and 23 tackles in a part-time role.
In 2010, Edwards took over for the injured Sam Montgomery and started seven games. He helped anchor a defense that ranked second in the SEC in scoring and 11th in the nation. Interestingly enough, that unit possessed seven current NFL players and a handful more who are about to make the jump this upcoming season. Talk about being stacked.
Many were expecting big things from Edwards this past season, but he really didn't live up to expectations. While he did record 4.5 sacks, it just wasn't the breakout campaign that many had expected from him.
All statistics provided by CFB Stats
Weight: 277 pounds
Arm Length: 35.5"
Hand Size: 10.0"
Broad Jump: 119.0"
40-Yard Dash: 4.80
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.51
Three-Cone Drill: 7.03
Vertical Jump: 33.0"
While Edwards really didn't stand out a great deal at the combine, he did show us enough to make him a mid-round possibility for a team in need of a run-stuffing presence. His 40-yard dash ranked 11th among defensive linemen, while the 7.03 time he put up in the three-cone drill ranked him eighth at that position.
Not too shabby.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports filed this report immediately following Edwards' pro day performance:
Defensive end Lavar Edwards stood on several of his marks from the combine but was able to improve his 40-yard dash (4.78) and bench press (21 reps). Although he hasn't received the same attention as the Tigers' other pass rushers like Mingo and Sam Montgomery, Edwards is very much in the top-100 discussion.
Generic drills don't mean a whole lot for defensive linemen in their postseason performances; instead, it's all about looking at them on tape and drawing a conclusion. In Edwards, I see a solid mid-round prospect.
All measurements and combine numbers provided by NFL.com
Lavar Edwards was attending high school in Gretna, La. when Hurricane Katrina brutalized the south. His family was among one of many who were impacted by one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the United States.
As was the case with many teenagers affected by the tragic storm, Edwards found his entire world turned upside down (via The Times-Picayune)
By the time Edwards got to LSU with the 2008 recruiting class, he'd already experienced tougher times than could be simulated on the practice field. He grew up in the Ninth Ward and Gentilly and after Hurricane Katrina struck, went on a three-location odyssey, from Austin, Texas, through Florida and finally landing in Baton Rouge where his school, Desire Street Academy, relocated.
It really is great to see so many of these young men lift themselves up from the circumstances of that tragedy to become successful just a few years later. Edwards is no different.
It appears that Edwards' ceiling as it relates to the upcoming draft is the third round, while his bottom is likely the end of the fourth round.
Bleacher Report's Ryan Lownes sees Edwards as someone who can rotate all along the defensive line.
4.(114) LaVar Edwards - DE - LSU - Another solid fit for the #Cowboys new 4-3 defense, Edwards can rotate at LDE, RDE, & 3T. #NFLDraft32in32— Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) April 17, 2013
A base 4-3 scheme seems to fit Edwards' skill set better than a less traditional 3-4. He is much better against the run than he is at actually providing a consistent pass rush from the outside. Therefore, the Dallas Cowboys seem to make a lot of sense.
Joshua Cornwall, also of Bleacher Report, had the following to say in his scouting report of the LSU product.
Edwards is good at getting off his block and making tackles on running backs in the backfield or around the line of scrimmage.
His 20 tackles-for-loss in very few opportunities speaks volumes to that idea. He has the size to eat up smaller backs and bring down bigger backs with relative ease.
The overriding theme here is that Edwards can be a solid rotational player in the NFL and will be solid against the run. We saw this during his time in Baton Rouge.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist here at Bleacher Report. Vincent is the head sports editor over at eDraft, co-host of Draft Sports Radio, which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. ET, and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus.
Go ahead and give him a follow on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL.