David Edwards’ nagging shoulder injury won’t prevent him from taking a shot at the NFL.
The University of Wisconsin right tackle announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he plans to skip his senior season with the Badgers to enter the NFL Draft.
“After careful consideration, I’ve decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft,” Edwards tweeted. “I’ve had the chance of a lifetime to call myself a Badger and it’s hard to leave behind something that means so much to me, but it’s always been my dream to play pro football. I couldn’t be more excited to pursue the opportunity.”
Edwards submitted his name to the NFL College Advisory Committee last season, after his redshirt sophomore year, and received a second-round grade before opting to return.
As of Dec. 24, Edwards said he had not yet received feedback from the committee this year.
Edwards injured his left shoulder during fall camp in August and played through pain over UW’s first 10 games this season. He sat out the final two regular-season contests and last week’s Pinstripe Bowl in an attempt to rest the shoulder and allow himself to regain strength in his left arm.
“I couldn’t play the way I wanted to,” Edwards said earlier in December. “It was an extremely difficult thing to go through. … I think the things that I’ve put on tape in the past and even some things this year, there’s been a lot of good. But as a result of my injury, there’s been stuff on tape that I’m not proud of and things that, quite frankly, make me sick.”
Edwards’ departure means the Badgers will need to replace at least three starting offensive linemen next season, as senior guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel are also likely NFL Draft picks.
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Biadasz has yet to decide if he’ll enter the draft rather than returning to UW in 2019.
Rising sophomore Logan Bruss stands as the most likely to replace Edwards at right tackle, although true freshman Logan Brown could enter the discussion if he impresses during fall camp.
Edwards, from Downers Grove, Ill., took an unconventional path to becoming an NFL prospect at offensive tackle. He played quarterback in high school before being recruited to UW as a 6-foot-7, 245-pound tight end.
The Badgers switched him to tackle prior to fall camp of his redshirt freshman season in 2016. He went on to start seven games at right tackle that year before a breakout season in 2017.