College: South Carolina
Strengths: Kalimba Edwards is likely only bidding time as South Carolina’s outside linebacker. By all accounts, he’ll be a defensive end once he reaches the NFL, and a pretty good one at that.
Fundamentally sound, Edwards is a bright player who delivers consistently on every down. He’s extremely athletic and deceptively strong, able to get tremendous push off the line of scrimmage. He’s one of those “always around the ball” kind of players, who makes big plays both up and down the field.
Edwards is strong off the block and has the tenacity to stay after a play. As a result, teams have a tendency to run their offense away from Edwards’ side of the field.
Some have compared him favorably to Jevon Kearse, because he has the closing speed to eat up QB’s in the pocket, and the speed to run them, and/or their running back, down from behind.
Areas of concern: Edwards doesn’t possess linebacker-like speed, and he can get beat in coverage, so he’s not the prototypical, every-down linebacker. He’s also not very instinctual — he knows and understands the game, and plays smart, but doesn’t react as well as, say, OU’s Rocky Calmus.
But don’t misunderstand: that he might be a step or two slow as a linebacker doesn’t mean that he’s slow. He has the speed to blow by starting left tackles in the NFL.
Is he sponge-worthy?: He’s arguably the best linebacker in the country, and will likely be one of the best defensive ends available in next year’s draft. Such versatility would be ideal for a team like the Texans.
Edwards will need to bulk up a bit to play end in the NFL, but he’s still growing into his rangy frame, and has athleticism to spare. Scouts unanimously praise Edwards’ upside, and agree he can get to the quarterback from either the outside or the three-point stance. If Dom Capers does indeed institute a 3-4 defense, Edwards could be his crown jewel.
Right now, he’s easily a top ten pick, possibly top five, and grades, as a defensive end, closely to UNC’s Julius Peppers. And remember — he’s a linebacker. So, yes, the Texans will definitely be interested.
Kalimba Edwards Return to The War Room
Kalimba Edwards’ State Michael Smith of the The State in Columbia, SC, updates us on the progress Kalimba Edwards is making with his injury.
A Little Music, Please The Advance Scout‘s Keith Weiland takes a look at South Carolina LB Kalimba Edwards.
All-America linebacker gives Gamecocks lift on and off field Lou Holtz thinks Kalimba Edwards is a good football player, and an even better person.
Grace Under Pressure Lengthy profile of Kalimba Edwards by Coaches Illustrated.