The Purdue Boilermakers made an impressive run to the Elite Eight, and leading the way was Carsen Edwards. After a historic performance from the 6’1 guard, Edwards declared for the NBA Draft. Let’s take a look at Carsen Edwards’ NBA Draft stock and where he could end up.
Carsen Edwards NBA Draft Player Profile
Back during the NCAA Tournament, many assumed the South Region would be up for grabs. The Virginia Cavaliers ended up advancing to the Final Four, but now without a dramatic victory over number three Purdue. The Boilermakers were within striking distance of a Final Four appearance, and they owe it to their guard Carsen Edwards. Edwards caught the eyes of not only March Madness fans but likely NBA Draft scouts as well.
Despite being sent home at the hands of eventual champion Virginia, Carsen Edwards effectively made history in the NCAA Tournament. From beyond the arc, Edwards was sensational. He averaged seven makes per game, besting the previous record of 5.75 set by Loyola Marymount’s Jeff Fryer and one another notable college athlete: Davidson’s Stephen Curry.
Carsen Edwards also became the first player to make nine or more three-pointers in tournament history, while averaging 34.8 points per game. Edwards was named the South Region’s Most Outstanding Player, though he was not part of the region’s winning team. Again, Stephen Curry is the only other player to achieve that feat.
Carsen Edwards put his name on the map and will have NBA teams giving him a worthwhile look heading into draft night. After assessing his strengths and areas to improve on, let’s pinpoint a possible spot where he could be drafted come June 20th.
The best advantage Edwards has leading into the draft is positive momentum carrying over from March. Carsen Edwards proved that he is able to lead a team and do so by scoring points in a hurry. Better yet, he got buckets from beyond the arc. The NBA has shifted towards valuing the three-point shot. If Edwards can better his efficiency (he shot 35.5 percent from deep) to the pros, he’ll have a place in the NBA for a while.
Realistically, his best bet is a prominent role off the bench for any team. Of course, only Edwards commands his true ceiling and could surpass all expectations. That still bodes well for Edwards, as any team (lottery or contender) would jump on the chance to have a reliable scorer off the bench. He’s also a decent rebounder (3.6 rebounds per game) and for a guard, that’s a welcome sight for a team seeking bench contributions.
Edwards clocks in around 6’1, so his size is surely something that scouts and teams will make note of. During his historic tournament run, he was constantly compared to Stephen Curry’s tournament run for Davidson. But in contrast, Curry stands at 6’3. Carsen Edwards will have his work cut out if the majority of his defenders have a couple of inches on him.
Despite his height being a natural fit for a point guard, he doesn’t necessarily excel in handling the facilitating duties. His knack for scoring likely suits him better as a two-guard, but he’d be an undersized shooting guard no doubt. Edwards averaged just 2.9 assists last season, and that area will likely need to improve if he wants prolonged success in the NBA.
Carsen Edwards compares to the likes of Quinn Cook and Frank Mason. Both undersized for their positions, but have a knack for getting a bucket here and there when making the right play. Edwards’ build makes him a little stronger than the two pros, which could give him an advantage in transitioning to the NBA. Cook is a more capable shooter, hence why he’s found a place with the Golden State Warriors. If Edwards can improve his shooting efficiency, he can emulate the same type of success.
Round 2, Pick 37
If a team likes what they see from Edwards and believes in his potential, chances are they could grab him in round one. More likely is that he is selected in the second round. At pick 37, the New Orleans Pelicans find a young guard for the future to learn behind Jrue Holiday.
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