5 stats to know about Chicago Bears LB T.J. Edwards

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The Chicago Bears signed veteran linebacker T.J. Edwards to a three-year $19.5M deal. The deal makes sense, and most across the NFL landscape see this as a bargain deal. So, what is there to know about the Bears new starting linebacker?

5. The NFL combine contributed to T.J. Edwards being undrafted

T.J. Edwards is an impressive story coming into the NFL as a UDFA. Four years later he signed a new deal with his hometown team. However, Edwards is an underdog by NFL standards, but not many are surprised by his come-up.

With the NFL combine happening just a week or so ago, this is a nice reminder that while the events matter, you also have to cross-reference what you saw on tape. Edwards was a star linebacker at Wisconsin and racked up 366 tackles over a four-year career with the Badgers. Despite being good enough for the Big 10, he went undrafted, mainly because of his athleticism.

Check out his combine looked in 2019.

By NFL standards he is small, slow, and lacks the explosion needed to hang. One thing that went in his favor was the size of linebackers had shrunk. In the 90s, he really would have been too small to hang in the NFL. However, the Eagles knew the game was getting smaller, and faster, and gave Edwards a chance.

As for the faster, Edwards does not have long speed but did at least show something in agility. It shows he can change directions quickly. When you add that with the fact that he processes football quickly, you have legitimate play speed.

The agility and play speed showed at Wisconsin and slowly overcame his poor testing numbers in the NFL. It shows that while this stuff matters and no one is saying Edwards should have gone in round one, you have to combine the two, and someone should have taken a chance earlier based on what he did at Wisconsin.