Over the next month or so, we’ll be looking at each of the Jets’ draft picks and undrafted free agent signings in detail. We continue today with a breakdown of their third pick, Chuma Edoga.
The 21-year old Edoga is listed at 6’3” and 308 pounds and was selected by the Jets in the third round with the 92nd overall pick. Edoga started 26 games in four years at USC, 22 of which came in his last two seasons. He was a second team all-Pac-12 selection last season and a stand-out performer at the Senior Bowl.
Edoga was regarded as a five-star recruit having played high school football in Georgia and ultimately decided to enrol at USC.
He saw plenty of playing time in his freshman year, playing in 13 games with two starts. While he played slightly less as a sophomore, he started another two games.
As a junior, Edoga became a full-time starter. He started 12 games in 2017 and another 10 in 2018. He was named as a second team all-Pac-12 selection at the end of his senior year.
Edoga was a standout at the senior bowl, as he performed well in the game, but also shined in practice as we was voted as the overall player of the week. He had some mixed results at the combine and in his pro day workouts, though.
The Jets moved up one spot in the third round to select Edoga with the 92nd overall pick.
Now let’s take a look at what Edoga brings to the table, divided into categories.
Edoga is quite short for the tackle position, but has long arms and an adequate wingspan. He reportedly played at around 295 in 2018, but was up to 308 for his combine workout and 315 for his pro day.
In those workouts, he had a decent 40-yard dash (sub-5.2 seconds) and broad jump (108 inches) but his vertical (24.5 inches) and bench press (21 reps) were sub-par.
On film he shows explosiveness out of his stance, athleticism when running downfield and good quickness when changing direction. However, he doesn’t dominate with strength.
Edoga started at right tackle during his last two seasons, but has seen action – including two starts – at left tackle during his time with the Trojans. He was primarily working at left tackle during Senior Bowl week too, and Mike Maccagnan has said the Jets feel confident that he can play the position at the NFL level.
Maccagnan also suggested Edoga might be an option to see some reps on the inside, although he didn’t see action at guard in college. He was initially listed as a guard on recruiting websites coming out of high school though.
Edoga put together some impressive pass protection numbers over his last two years. According to Pro Football Focus, he gave up only six total pressures in 2017 – although three of these were actually sacks. He was even better in 2018, with no sacks and only four pressures surrendered.
Edoga showed some good glimpses of his pass blocking potential in USC’s bowl game against Ohio State at the end of the 2017 season. This required him to block against several NFL prospects, including Nick Bosa. As you can see, he handles Bosa well here.
While he makes good use of his almost-35 inch arms, Edoga’s best attribute in pass protection is his feet as he’s quick to get into his stance and has the quickness and explosion to recover well and mirror his man.
The main areas Edoga needs to work on are his anchor against bull rushes and power moves and also his finishing, as sometimes he can let his man get past him late in the play. In the Senior Bowl, he allowed Jaylon Ferguson to record this sack having initially repelled him – although this was in large part due to Daniel Jones holding the ball for too long.
Edoga has a lot of potential as a run blocker, relying on his athleticism and natural abilities. However, once again his base is a slight concern as he doesn’t always get much of a drive at the point of attack, although he does a decent job on this play.
In space, Edoga seems to understand angles and can dominate smaller defenders when he has a leverage advantage on them.
During the 2018 season, Edoga was called for three holding penalties while run blocking and needs to resist the temptation to let his hands get outside.
Edoga’s ability to get downfield is impressive and he was able to spring Andy Isabella for a touchdown during the Senior Bowl with this excellent downfield block.
There are a few technical flaws in Edoga’s game, although in most cases these are minor things which could make a big difference to his effectiveness if they can be tweaked successfully.
In pass protection, the common theme is that his footwork is excellent but his hand fighting techniques need work. He’s inconsistent with his hand placement and strikes. He could also improve his anchor with some slight adjustments.
As a run blocker, his lack of height can give him a natural leverage advantage, but he has a tendency to lean into contact when moving forwards which can allow his man to get off the block.
Once he locks up a smaller defender he can dominate them though. He does an excellent job here of picking up the block in space, keeping his hands inside and resetting his hand placement and moving his feet to maintain a leverage advantage as he drives his man down the field.
Penalties were a major concern for Edoga following his junior year where he had 13 of them. He had developed a reputation as someone who was constantly being flagged for a false start.
In 2018, he played with much better discipline, with only six penalties, four of which were for offensive holding.
Edoga barely played on special teams in college, seeing limited action as a blocker on the placekicking unit earlier on in his career. He didn’t play special teams at all over the past two seasons.
Edoga is regarded as smart and someone who understands his assignments. There are some good examples on film of him transitioning smoothly from assignment to assignment both in the passing game and when run blocking.
However, there was confusion on the line at USC sometimes. On this play, Edoga is expecting one of the interior linemen to pick up the stunting end and he ends up getting to the quarterback cleanly.
Despite his efforts at the Senior Bowl, reports from the combine indicated there was concern from some teams over Edoga’s attitude. Matt Miller from Bleacher Report reported that several teams had concerns over his respect, attitude and work ethic.
At USC, he was regarded as a player who didn’t work hard in the weight room and there were concerns over his discipline due to his high penalty count and the fact he was suspended one game for a team rules violation in 2016. There was also skepticism over him missing practices due to a stomach virus but still being healthy enough for gameday.
There is some suggestion he was starting to mature in 2018, though. USC head coach Todd Helton took Edoga under his wing and praised his improved attitude in his senior year, which led to improved on the field play. His effort and body language were still inconsistent though, as you can see here.
His ejection, early on in a game against Utah State, has also received a lot of attention. On the play, he slapped an opponent who had pushed him at the end of a play and then shoved aside an official who tried to restrain him. Was it as bad as it sounds, though? Judge for yourself.
Edoga has had a few injury issues during his time at USC. He had wrist surgery at the end of his freshman year and missed one game as a sophomore due to illness. He also missed two games last year because of a sprained ankle.
In an ideal world, the Jets will be able to develop Edoga to be their left tackle of the future. He’s been compared to Kelvin Beachum – perhaps due to their shared lack of height – and Beachum could be an excellent mentor because he’s such a good technician.
USC ran plenty of zone blocking schemes over the past few years, so he should be comfortable with the system. Also, reuniting with the likes of Sam Darnold and Deontay Burnett should help to ease the transition.
The main adjustment Edoga would have to make is to stay on his block to the whistle and finish strong, especially if Le’Veon Bell will be dancing around in the backfield.
Edoga is a player whose natural athletic ability, frame and footwork make him a promising prospect who could be an NFL-caliber left tackle if all goes well. His performance at the Senior Bowl in particular was extremely impressive.
He needs some technical refinement and some strength work to make it at the pro level, but won’t be under any pressure to contribute immediately with the Jets in 2019.
The potential for attitude issues are probably the biggest concern, as a poor work ethic would hold him back from realizing his potential. However, if the Jets can get him to buy in, this could end up being a tremendous pick.