Low-End Comparison: Ronald Jones
In exploring a diverse range of possibilities, Ronald Jones, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and now Dallas Cowboy, offers a lower-end comparison of Donovan Edwards’ NFL trajectory. Measuring 5’11” and weighing 208 pounds, Jones exemplifies a lean yet athletic build. He only ran a 4.65-second 40-yard dash coming out, but in college, he showcased commendable speed and acceleration. At USC, he drew comparisons to players like Texas Longhorn, Jamal Charles, because of his explosive home run ability.
Jones never became the receiving threat many thought he had the potential to be. He didn’t win consistently versus linebackers in the open field, which hurt his value. Jones became more of a traditional in-between-the-tackles runner and eventually, Leonard Fournette saw the field more than him, due to his lack of receiving abilities.
While Jones has navigated his NFL journey as a valuable rotational contributor, he has faced challenges in solidifying a consistent starting role. Edwards’ trajectory could mirror Jones’ path if he is drafted by a team with an established running back. He could struggle to carve out a role of his own if a team has a do-it-all back in the mold of someone like Nick Chubb or Christian McCaffery.
While the running back position has become devalued in the NFL, Edwards can prove that he is closer to someone like Alvin Kamara as a receiver than Ronald Jones and boost his draft status. The receiving skill set that he possesses will show that he can be more valuable than just a typical running back. Edwards has all of the potential to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft if he can continue to show evaluators that he is special in the passing game.