Arizona Cardinals’ Chase Edmonds is ready to learn in rookie season

Sep 7, 2018, 2:03 PM
Arizona Cardinals' fourth-round draft pick Chase Edmonds (29) runs drills during rookie camp Friday...
Arizona Cardinals' fourth-round draft pick Chase Edmonds (29) runs drills during rookie camp Friday, May 11, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Waiting patiently in the shadow of the Goliath is a young stud in the making.

With the 134th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals took a flier on Fordham running back Chase Edmonds to play behind All Pro halfback David Johnson. Edmonds is prepared to fill whatever role his new team asks of him as he learns from one of the best in the business.

His respect for both Johnson and running backs coach Kirby Wilson cannot be understated.

“Coach Kirby, he’s coached some GOATs,” Edmonds said in an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Big Red Rage. “He had AP in Minnesota, he had Le’Veon [Bell] in his rookie year and now he has David Johnson. It’s a blessing for me just to sit behind David and learn from coach Kirby at the same time.”

Edmonds provides the Cardinals with a multitude of helpful skills outside of his rushing abilities. The rookie is a noted as a high-upside pass-blocker with a great understanding of the offense outside of the run game alone. He’s aware that great modern running backs are required to do more than just run the ball.

“10-15 years ago you lined up in the I formation, ran power and gave your running back thirty carries a game. Now, the running back position has evolved so much,” Edmonds said. “You’ve got to have a running back that can catch the ball. Can he run routes? Can he pass pro? Can he identify what the defense is trying to do and really know how to protect that quarterback?”

This kind of thinking is what’s set Edmonds apart from other prospects to Arizona offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who’s taken a special liking to the 22-year-old.

“As a runner, you see his skill set, that’s on tape, but the way he’s picked up the protections is outstanding,” McCoy said. “The one thing I really love about him though is he’s probably asked the most questions in meetings out of anyone on our team.”

By all accounts, Edmonds is a student of the game. The forward-thinking mindset exemplified by the newcomer is an invaluable asset to Arizona’s offense.

Selecting an under-the-radar prospect from a small school may come off as a risk, but the fundamental knowledge instilled in Edmonds by Fordham’s coaching staff is crucial in developing his well-rounded style of play. During his days in the Bronx, Edmonds spent time with his quarterbacks to improve his ability to read defenses, specifically safeties.

“At Fordham, I didn’t play special teams. I was with the quarterbacks when special teams were going on,” Edmonds said Thursday. “Really learning how the back four, what they’re trying to do and how the safeties in the coverage really tells you where pressure’s coming from. It helped me a lot.”

While his role with the team has yet to be defined, Edmonds seems to be a vital member of the Cardinals’ core going forward. His mind alone gives him the potential to be something special.

The Cardinals begin the season against the new-look Washington Redskins on Thursday evening in Glendale. Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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Arizona Cardinals’ Chase Edmonds is ready to learn in rookie season