The Colts recently attended the workout of Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards. In his four seasons with the Moutaineers, Edwards totaled 5008 yards rushing on 755 carries with 65 rushing touchdowns. As a passer, he threw for 10,392 yards, completing 65.1 percent of his passes, with 74 touchdowns and only 33 interceptions.
Camps are split on Edwards, who ran a 4.41 second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in March, as to whether he would make more sense as a receiver/return specialist/Wildcat option or quarterback at the next level.
At 5-foot-10 inches and 187 pounds, he is certainly undersized to play the position in the NFL. Recent history — from Antwaan Randle-El to Seneca Wallace to Troy Smith and Pat White — that players who were effective both running and passing the ball as quarterbacks in college face a rough transition to quarterback in the NFL and that most, if not all, will be relegated to other positions that do a better job of maximizing their athletic abilities.
Edwards seems to be such a rare athlete that he would be better utilized at receiver or return specialist than he would be at quarterback. Given the fact that the Colts have shown a propensity for drafting taller, less athletic pocket passers in the past — Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, and Curtis Painter were probably the tallest guys in their middle school, but none of them would win any track meets — and the fact that they have a need in the return game would suggest that they are not targeting Edwards to throw passes but rather run back kicks.
At present, though, he seems determined to make a run of it at the quarterback position, following in the footsteps of Wallace and Baltimore's Troy Smith, players that refused to be labeled simply as athletes and preferred to be classified as unique talents.
The issue for Edwards' draft stock is that he's currently rated higher as a receiver — with some sites giving him a fourth- or fifth-round grade at that position — than he is as quarterback, as Scout.com has him rated as the 16th-best quarterback and the 271st-best player overall. At 271st, he would either be a fringe seventh round prospect or a priority free agent.
Indianapolis certainly could select him with one of their compensatory selections under the assumption that another team will not pick him up with an eye to converting him to another spot on the field. But, if they do pick him up and he seems to have his mind set on taking snaps from under center, the Colts coaches would need to drastically alter the offense in order to tailor it to his abilities.
The Indianapolis offensive linemen have historically been tall, so it would behoove the staff to roll Edwards out in space where he would better be able to survey the field and possibly tuck the ball and run.
The Colts could also implement some Wildcat packages for Edwards if they were to take him, but that would constitute another change in scheme, albeit a less drastic one. With the Mannings and Sorgis of the world, Indianapolis would not have to fundamentally change the way they run the offense.
They could give Edwards a shot at a receiver or returner job, but the competition at those spots is stiff enough that his heart would truly need to be in the fight for him to stand a chance of winning out. That means that they would need to assess Edwards both physically and psychologically in order to find out if he fit into their plans both as an athlete and as a person.
He certainly has talent and could undoubtedly help the team, but at this point it is a question of whether or not he wants to help the team the way Indianapolis wants him to help the team.
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