The Las Vegas Raiders have no shortage of offensive weapons to write home about following their offseason acquisition of All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams, but the team's star tight end, Darren Waller, is still singing the praises of a pass catcher who recently departed Sin City.
Bryan Edwards will be taking the field for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022 thanks to a mid-May trade between the two clubs, and Waller believes his former teammate has all the tools at his disposal to excel.
"I really like Bryan a lot just as a human being and as a football player," Waller said in an interview with Austin Boyd of Heavy.com. "(His) contested catch ability is elite, and I feel like he can only continue to grow as a player as he gets more and more opportunities -- you see it in the games where he got opportunities."
Edwards never shined as brightly in his chances as the Raiders likely foresaw when the team selected him in the third round of the 2019 draft. Still, the South Carolina product flashed enough potential to generate interest from the wideout-starved Falcons, whose leading returning wide receiver from last season, Olamide Zaccheaus, tallied 31 receptions.
Edwards possesses a field-stretching ability that the Falcons wide receivers room sorely lacked during quarterback Matt Ryan’s final year with the team. Marcus Mariota will be the new man under center, and he will benefit from Edwards' career mark of 17 yards per reception -- a whopping 3.9 yards per catch more than Atlanta's best wide receiver in that category last year.
"A change of scenery -- it can be one of the best things that can ever happen to you," Waller said. "It's not necessarily about what happens along the journey, it's more so about your response to what happens. And I feel like he's somebody that is mentally and physically capable of responding in a big way, and I'm excited to follow his career and see how it unfolds because I think great things are in store for him."
At this point in his NFL journey, Edwards is flying under the radar compared to the No. 8 overall pick in April's draft, WR Drake London, and second-year TE Kyle Pitts. Those two cornerstone pieces rightfully stand out as the primary beacon for Falcons fans seeking hope in the gloom of the post-Ryan era.
However, if he responds to his personal change of scenery in the way his former teammate knows is possible, Edwards could very well carve out a role and reach his ceiling during his career's second act.