Few are able to achieve the dream of playing in the NFL, yet Austin Edwards appears to have gotten that chance.
Less than an hour after the NFL Draft concluded, it was announced that Edwards signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent, reported first by former Ferris State Bulldog Chris Okoye and later confirmed by Edwards himself.
The product out of Lansing was a key contributor for the Bulldogs this past season, leading the team in sacks with 10.5. That ranked sixth-best in the nation.
He added 64 tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. For his contributions on the defensive side, Edwards was awarded the Gene Upshaw award for the nation’s best Division II defensive lineman.
Edwards projects as a defensive end in the NFL, standing at 6 feet 5 inches and 280 pounds. He has been clocked at running a 4.83-second 40-yard dash at his pro day that was held March 26 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Edwards looks to latch onto the roster that was looking to add talent to the defensive line and did so by drafting defensive tackle Marlon Davidson out of Auburn in the second round. Along with Davidson, there are eight other defensive linemen that Edwards will be battling to get on the field with.
If Edwards does land on a roster, he would become the seventh active Bulldog to be on an active roster or practice squad.
He would join wide receiver Malik Taylor (Green Bay Packers), cornerback Tavierre Thomas (Cleveland Browns), linebacker Brady Sheldon (Cincinnati Bengals), tight end Jason Vander Laan (New Orleans Saints), defensive tackle Justin Zimmer (Cleveland Browns) and defensive end Zach Sieler (Miami Dolphins) as other current Bulldogs in the league.