Anthony Edwards NBA Draft Profile
Updated: Mar 2, 2020
Standing at 6'5" and weighing 225 pounds with 6'9" wingspan, Anthony Edwards looks every bit the part of your prototypical NFL wide receiver. The Georgia guard has had an up and down freshman campaign by most standards, but this hasn't dampened the enthusiasm surrounding Edward's draft status. Let's take a look at the reasons why Anthony Edwards better by Bulldogs fans as "Ant-Man" may find his name being called first during the 2020 NBA Draft.
If there is one thing that most draft evaluations on Edwards are in agreement on, it's that he passes the "eye test." Edwards is a specimen, who immediately jumps off of the screen when you watch his film. Edwards isn't afraid to use his frame in space and exert his will in the low post on smaller defenders. Edwards played pee-wee football for much of his youth before following his older brother, Antoine, onto the court. Edward's love for the gridiron bleeds through on the hardwood, it as if his body gravitates toward contact. Whether his finishing through contact in the open court or clearing out the opposing teams starting center with a box out, Edwards constantly leverages his unique blend of explosiveness and strength to neutralize the opposition. Edwards has also shown flashes of his potential as a perimeter shooter. Edwards is currently shooting 31% from the three, but this number is deceptive; his shooting woes serve as a reflection of his decision making more so than his shooting mechanics.
One of the areas Edwards has impressed me most has been his aptitude as a primary ball-handler, he uses his terrific first step and broad shoulders to his benefit on the perimeter. Edwards, like most freshmen dealing with double teams and zones, doesn't always make the right decisions, but he seems to have an above-average feel for the game. Edwards isn't afraid to back defenders down, using his height to scan over the defense and pass out of double teams. Despite his hulking frame, Edwards is surprisingly nimble on his feet and shows terrific lateral quickness. It's not a stretch to think that in this day and age of "small ball" that Edwards could become a capable defender guarding the one through three and some small-ball fours.
Many fans were wondering how the number one recruit in the nation ended up signing to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. Anthony Edwards was quoted in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying, "After God, family is the most important thing to me. If they're not happy, I'm not happy. We're real, real tight because we've gone through a lot of stuff. Nobody can break our bonds." Edwards's desire to be closer to home and his family was a big reason he chose Georgia over college basketball's bluebloods. The inseparable bond between Edwards and his siblings was forged in tragedy. In 2015, at the tender age of 14, Edwards lost his mother, Yvette Edwards, and his grandmother Shirley Edwards to ovarian cancer. The loss of his mother and grandmother forced Edwards to grow up fast. Teachers, coaches, and former teammates at Edwards high school, Holy Spirit Prep, speak highly of his work ethic and overall character. This is a young man who has faced heartbreaking adversity and found success, which is no easy accomplishment considering the circumstances.
Though his single season at Georgia has been filled with inconsistency and uneven finishes, Edwards' talent has continued to shine through under coach Tom Crean, who coached former NBA all-star Dwyane Wade, and current NBA players Victor Oladipo and Wesley Matthews during his stints at Marquette and Indiana. All of three of which would be favorable player comparisons for the young Edwards. It's unclear at this stage whether Edwards will be the overall number pick come June, one thing is for sure, Edwards may be a project but he won't be a consolation prize.