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Getting to know the Steelers 2024 UDFAs: Daijun Edwards

After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected seven players in the 2024 NFL draft, they continued adding to the roster by coming to terms with five undrafted free agents. With many draft profiles focusing on those players towards the top and middle of the NFL draft, it is time to get to take a look at these other members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have just as much opportunity to make the roster in 2024 as those who were selected in the draft, despite the more difficult path.

Remember, some draft profiles for these players are quite harsh as they are looking at them as a draftable prospect. Taking a flyer on an UDFA is a completely different story as many times the potential the player shows is what lands them on an NFL offseason roster.

First up is running back Daijun Edwards from Georgia.

Daijun Edwards

Running Back
5’10”; 207 lbs.

Playing four years at Georgia, Daijun Edwards appeared in 51 games with 390 rushing attempts for 2083 yards and 24 rushing touchdowns. Edwards added another 37 receptions for 343 receiving yards. His most productive season came in 12 games in 2023 with 164 rushing attempts for 881 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns along with 20 receptions for 197 receiving yards.

Current Steelers at the position:

Running Back

  • Najee Harris
  • Jaylen Warren
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Aaron Shampklin
  • Daijun Edwards

Draft Profile

Here is a breakdown from


  • Lateral cuts/jump cuts
  • Runs with good pad level
  • Great vision


  • Speed to win the corner
  • Outside runs
  • Size to be every-down back
  • Specific role and usage

Film Analysis:

Daijun Edwards is an experienced back who has seen action in more than 50 career games during his career at Georgia. Edwards has always been a part of a heavy running back by committee system which has limited his numbers production-wise. However, in his opportunities, has flashed high-level play with his exceptional vision, contact balance, and instincts for the position.

From the handoff, Edwards has active eyes and can scan the line of scrimmage from the backside to the front side of the play looking for any crease and capitalizing on any vacant spots in the structure of the defense. Edwards’ lateral agility allows him to get to most gaps and begin to break down the defense. Edwards profiles best on runs that allow his pads to get north and south quickly and he can dissect the defense level by level. Into the second level of the defense, Edwards approaches with a good pad level to be able to run through arm tackles while still being in position to make quick elusive cuts to make defenders miss. Edwards has good overall body control and it appears that every direction is available to him, which makes him a difficult back to tackle for defenders. Into the third level, Edwards has good initial acceleration and picks up extra yardage to turn a 10-yard play into a 20-yard play.

In the passing game, Edwards can run traditional running back routes and looks comfortable catching the ball out of the backfield, giving him solid third-down value as a player.

The limitations of Edwards appear to be his limited explosiveness and speed. On outside runs, Edwards struggles to win the corner and get his pads back north and south, where he is most effective as a player. Edwards’ speed limitations also show in the open field once he can get to the third level of the defense. Edwards is often tracked down by defenders—runs that have the potential to be explosive runs turn into 20-yard chunk plays instead.

Overall, Edwards is a very skilled back who, in the proper offense, should easily carve out a significant role in the NFL as a running back who is efficient and effective at keeping the offense on schedule with productive runs.

Prospect Projection: Day 3 — Scheme Specific Contributor

Here is a breakdown from


  • Good feel for working behind blockers for inside-zone concepts and will consistently stay discipline to the intended rushing lane.
  • Plays with good pad level when sifting through congestion; Not afraid of contact and will take the fight to defenders to finish runs strong.
  • Capable of subtle jump cuts and burst with controlled and quick footwork after identifying rushing lanes.
  • Quality timing of when to accelerate upfield and cut off the backside of his offensive lineman, who has ideal leverage.
  • Reliable, soft hands as a pass-catching option out of the backfield; Has the body control and ball-tracking skills to snag passes away from his frame.
  • Willing and efficient pass blocker
  • Special-teams experience.


  • Play strength could be a limitation in short-yardage situations when trying to operate through interior traffic at the NFL level; Can be slowed significantly by arm tackles in the trenches.
  • Patience working behind pulling offensive linemen is inconsistent; Often gets a bit too eager to get out on the edge, which negates the potential impact of working behind blockers in toss-sweep concepts.
  • Lack of creativity as a runner makes his rushing production fit closer to the “get what is blocked” category rather than a dynamic playmaker.
  • Suddenness, burst, and top speed don’t routinely jump off the tape nearly as much as you want for a back his size.Current Draft Projection and Summary

In what many would consider a solid but unspectacular college career, Edwards was a reliable and durable contributor to an offense that won two national championships during his time at Georgia.

Edwards runs hard with good pad leverage, showcases nice patience and vision on inside zone concepts, and is a reliable third-down option with plus-level pass-catching and pass-protection skills.

Yet, we simply didn’t see a ton of explosive plays despite operating behind a very talented offensive line. Edwards’ creativity and contact balance as a runner feels mostly average, which makes his projection to the NFL likely to come with a low ceiling as a potential three-down contributor to a professional backfield.

Edwards’ natural instincts as a runner, adequate burst and lateral agility, and third-down ability do give him a path to an NFL roster. However, his lack of explosiveness and big-play ability make him a Day 3 pick who is likely fighting to make the 53-man roster.


To finish things off, let’s take a look at the film…


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