Amid the entertaining 2022-23 NFL season, there have been multiple former Badgers making an impact on their respective teams. With 33 active players in the NFL, Wisconsin is surely running deep, especially for Denver and Pittsburgh who have four Badgers each. However, there is a team with one former Badger in particular who is making a name for himself on the only undefeated team left.
Eagles’ linebacker TJ Edwards has come a long way from his days as a Badger. After bursting onto the scene for the Dirty Birds last year, Edwards is on pace to have 156 total tackles.
A Former Badger Taking Over the Eagles Defense
The former Badger finished his four year career in Madison recording 112 total tackles and three sacks before entering the 2019 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Edwards wasn’t drafted and the Eagles signed him as an undrafted free agent following the three day event. He joined a transitioning defense that had Nigel Bradham slated to start.
Edwards played all 16 games in 2019 as a rookie and started four as well. He recorded 30 combined tackles and showed flashes of his capability to take over as the starter. In 2020, Edwards progressed with 70 combined tackles, five tackles for loss, and two sacks. Last year, Edwards took an enormous jump as he was responsible for 130 total tackles, one sack, and one interception. He effectively solidified his role as the starter for the foreseeable future after displaying his tackling ability.
The most effective part of Edwards’ game has been his tackling. The Eagles have one of the better defenses in the NFL this year, with Edwards, Nakobe Dean, Darius Slay, Jordan Davis, and Fletcher Cox piecing it together. Perhaps the diamond in the rough has been Edwards, who can possibly transform into an All-Pro candidate.
Edwards Quietly Pushing All-Pro Status
Through six games this year, Edwards has already recorded 55 combined tackles. He also has three pass defenses and two sacks. Currently, he is projected to record 155.65 tackles, 8.49 pass defenses, and 5.6 sacks, along with 11.32 tackles for loss. These are quite the lofty numbers due to his hot start, but Edwards could solidify himself as an All-Pro if his numbers end near his projections.
Current Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell was a 2021 NFL All-Pro. His statistics from last year are 146 total tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, two sacks, and four tackles for loss. What he was able to accomplish last year is similar to what Edwards is currently projected to do. The fourth year linebacker should be up for an All-Pro spot if he is able to continue down his current path.