Lions host slim FSU DL Mario Edwards on pre-draft visit
Mario Edwards Jr. battled weight issues for part of his career at Florida State, but he slimmed down to a manageable 276 pounds last season. If the Detroit Lions draft him as a defensive tackle, there's a chance they could ask him to pack some pounds on again.
The Lions hosted Edwards on a pre-draft visit today, the third prospect they've hosted in as many days.
Edwards can play both defensive end and defensive tackle, but the Lions are looking at him as an interior lineman who could add depth at their thinnest position.
The Lions' top four defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, C.J. Mosley and Andre Fluellen, are all slated to become free agents next week, though the Lions would like to re-sign Suh and add at least one starting-caliber tackle in free agency.
Edwards is the second defensive tackle the team has hosted on a visit. On Tuesday, the Lions hosted Washington State defensive tackle Xavier Cooper.
"The whole time I was there at Florida State, there was never a legit weight where they would say, 'Mario, I want you this weight,'" Edwards said the NFL combine last month. "The whole motto was, as long as you can run and do what we ask you to do, the weight isn't an issue. However, going through the season, I started to realize I couldn't be effective for all four quarters so I took it upon myself to change my diet, do extra cardio, do extra to trim down."
Edwards, the son of former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mario Edwards, weighed 279 pounds at combine but probably would have to add weight to play tackle in the NFL. A month shy of his 21st birthday, that shouldn't be a problem.
"I'd like to stay here or get to about 285, 288-ish," Edwards said. "That's when I'm able to go inside and go against guards or I can be an end at a five technique. I'm more versatile that way."
Edwards, 6-feet-3, is projected as a Day 2 draft pick.
The Lions have hosted three of their 30 allowable prospects on pre-draft visits, Edwards, Cooper and McNeese State offensive lineman Antoine Everett.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.