Dynasty Update: Armanti Edwards, WR, Panthers
Armanti Edwards was in Rotobahn’s first draft class back in 2010, the year we opened. We liked him as a long term prospect.
“Here’s a guy to keep on your radar in keeper formats. He’s very unlikely to make a big impact in 2010, but he could become a player over the next few years. He’s a QB-to-WR project and we see him being a player that looks like something between a Hines Ward and a Brad Smith. The guy has all kinds of ability.”
Well, it’s been a few years now and perhaps the “long term” is finally here. It’s time that Edwards starts making an impact. If he doesn’t, he’ll be out of the league or cast into the sea of eternal special teams. There’s little doubt that Panthers’ fans have long given up on Edwards and I can’t say that I blame them. That being said, Armanti has had a lot of flux around him. He came in during the John Fox years. Since then he’s been on Ron Rivera’s team with the Rob Chudsinski offense. This year, Edwards will be under David Shula ... his 3rd OC in four years. Oh, and the year after they drafted Edwards, they drafted Cam Newton, who gave them a lot of what Armanti could and without needing to change positions. In 2012, the Panthers took Joe Adams, which they don’t likely do if they are content with Edwards’ development.
The news is not all bad.
Edwards began to flash a bit towards the end of 2012. Playing limited snaps, he was beginning to show his old athleticism but at his new position and that was good to see. It made me wonder if he could maybe make a move on the depth chart in 2013. Then I read this comment from WR Coach Ricky Proehl after Carolina’s OTAs.
“He [Edwards] knows how to run routes and get out of his cut, but more importantly, he knows how to read a defense and where the holes are, what we’re trying to accomplish offensively, what’s the concept of the route. He’s always been able to catch the ball and he’s a great athlete. And now he’s figuring out how to play the position, and you see it. He’s had a great camp.”
This is what I saw towards the end of 2012. The timing is certainly right for Edwards if he finally breaks out a bit in 2013. Cam Newton needs places to throw the football. Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger and Brandon LaFell is no longer on scholarship. If players don’t step up in Carolina this season, you will see a big free agent splash or high draft choice used on a receiver for Newton for 2014. Until then, there are big roles available in Carolina for anybody who steps up and takes them. LaFell, Edwards, Dom Hixon and Joe Adams will all get their chance this year.
The Panthers are hoping that somebody steps up and breaks out. Armanti Edwards has the talent to do that, but time is running out. Edwards is a sleeper that very few people are watching. He’ll need to have a serious camp to get onto the redraft radar, but for dynasty leaguers, he could be a nice add with a late round flier. Not a bad way to prepare for the loss of Steve Smith in a year or two. 2013 will be Edwards best season to date, and he might just have fantasy geeks talking at some point. We’ll be keeping an eye on him, and we suggest you do the same.