Every fantasy owner dreams of hitting paydirt with that late round small school player. A diamond in the rough who they can brag to their friends about and showcase as their “knowledge of the collegiate game”. Owners are scouring the small school ranks looking for the next David Johnson.
When the later rounds come up during your rookie draft, here is a name to tuck away for a rainy day: Chase Edmonds out of Fordham college in the Patriot League of the FCS. He’s not even among the 58 players with draft data in Dynasty League Football April Average Draft Position data.
Chase Edmonds hails from Harrisburg Pennsylvania and ESPN had him listed as 5’7”, 149lbs coming out of Central Dauphin East High School. 247Sports had Edmonds ranked as their 130th overall running back in the 2014 collegiate class. He was a three-star recruit who came into Fordham and immediately produced.
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Statistics from stats.washingtonpost.com.
Coming from a small school like Fordham, it is easy for many fantasy owners not to have a great idea of who Edmonds is. It is likely that your local cable provider didn’t have many Patriot League games on TV. From his freshman to junior year, he steadily increased his yards-per-carry average and was utilized in the passing game. He went three straight seasons over 1,600 yards rushing until injuries derailed his senior season.
I went and watched as much game film of Chase Edmonds as I could and quickly came to realize why he is a deep sleeper on so many lists.
Edmonds is an amazingly agile back. He has that ability to plant his foot, cut and leave defenders off balance or grasping at air when he accelerates. He runs with great balance and when combining that with his quick feet, he is a tough runner to unbalance and get to the ground. Edmonds is slightly undersized but runs with a good forward lean and keeps churning his feet for extra yardage. Edmonds runs with a nice wide base and, on film, you can see he has an ability to quickly sink his hips and redirect. He has really good hands for a running back in the passing game
An obvious issue when you watch his game film is the level of competition. Beating up on Yale and Lafayette is obviously a different world compared to what he will face on Sundays in the NFL. One small flaw in his game, which will be exposed against higher level competition, is his tendency to try and bounce runs outside too often. He can get away with this against lower level competition but NFL athletes will shut down those avenues of attack quickly.
A good NFL running back coach can work on his awareness and help him learn where the running lanes will open. Edmonds will need work in the NFL at pass protection. He anchors well enough but misses his assignment from time to time, allowing a defender a free rush at the quarterback.
Did I mention how much I like his balance and what ability to stick that plant leg and cut?
2016 vs Lafayette
• Good forward lean for extra yards
• Solid build
– Looks to bounce runs outside too often pic.twitter.com/mZcILU3lpL
— Pete Lawrence (@_PeteLaw) April 2, 2018
Looking at Edmonds’ spider graph from Mock Draftable, his upper-level agility is quickly apparent. Unfortunately, almost every single measurable – outside of those associated with agility – is middle of the road. Luckily for us, none of them are inadequate for success in the NFL. He will still be able to tap into the short area quickness to keep NFL-level talent off balance.
In April 2018 DLF ADP, Edmonds is going undrafted. Right now players such as Phillip Lindsey, Darren Carrington, and Darrel Williams are being taken before Edmonds. This is a massive value for owners. He is a relatively unknown player and one you can feel comfortable with stashing as that late-round steal in your home league. When your buddies are chasing lesser talents from big-name schools, you can grab the player that actually was producing.
Chase Edmonds has the feel of a player who is likely going to take some time to grow and flourish in the NFL. He will likely be a bit rough around the edges and need time to refine his game to be successful. It’s likely that Edmonds can be a player for you to target as a priority add post draft or someone who his original owner will sour on if he doesn’t immediately produce.
Chase Edmonds is an interesting talent. Fantasy fans need to see what NFL teams think of him before making him anything more than a fourth-round flier. Draft capital will be key for Edmonds. This will show us just how invested a team will be on a player such as him. If he is a priority undrafted free agent, a player quickly brought in and signed post-draft, or a late round flier will obviously tell us more about how a team values what he can contribute. He will be a solid addition to teams as a change of pace back and can be a good contributor to your fantasy squad if given a chance.
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