New Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds is the Patriot League's all-time leading rusher.
His family asked Chase Edmonds what team he thought was the most likely to take him in the NFL draft, and the Fordham running back didn’t hesitate.
“Arizona was definitely the first thought,” said Edmonds, who took a pre-draft visit to the team and was also worked out by Cardinals running backs coach Kirby Wilson. “Coach Kirby told me how much they loved me and high they were on me. It was a blessing to go to someone that actually wants you.”
Edmonds was the Cardinals’ somewhat surprising fourth-round pick Saturday, the fourth offensive selection in four picks. A cornerback would have to wait.
But General Manager Steve Keim emphasized Friday night the Cardinals were going to stay true to their draft board – “You would obviously love some balance, and you’d love to fill some specific needs that we may have from a roster standpoint, but the last thing you want to do in our situation is force a pick,” he
said – and Edmonds certainly produced in college.
And he was always someone the Cards wanted.
"We were extremely high on from the start," Keim said. "He's tough ... and a guy, production was off the charts.
"He visited with Josh Rosen, went to dinner with us, and fit in quite well."
The last time the Cardinals took a player from Fordham was in 2010, when they selected quarterback John Skelton in the fifth round.
Edmonds was the Patriot League’s all-time leading rusher, with 5,862 yards, and he had a chance to threaten Ron Dayne’s Division I record of 7,126 had ankle injuries not kept him out of four games as a senior and hampered him in others.
Before his senior season, the 5-foot-9, 205-pound Edmonds averaged more than 142 yards a game in college.
Edmonds said he’s 100 percent healthy now, and anxious to get to the NFL. He went to Fordham in part because they told him he’d play right away, and he wanted to build a résumé toward getting to the NFL.
“I’ve always been told I wasn’t good enough, too small or whatever reason,” Edmonds said. “I was looking to prove everyone wrong.”
Edmonds already had a tie to Arizona. His sister, Morgan Howell, is a child psychologist in Phoenix, and Edmonds said he hopes to move his mother out to the area now as well.
He said he is looking forward to learning from another FBS product in David Johnson, formerly of Northern Iowa. Where Edmonds fits remains to be seen – he said he expects to be used in the slot and as a third-down back at least.
Keim said Edmonds actually has receiving skills similar to Johnson, a lofty compliment. Behind Johnson the Cardinals have T.J. Logan and D.J. Foster, although Keim added that he and Logan -- who the Cardinals are counting on this season for production -- are different-type of runners. Logan has more straight-line speed, Edmonds has great lateral skills.
"I don't want to tell you who we compared him to, because (the name) is a little lofty," Keim said. "But he's got the makeup atheltically of some of the guys who have have production on our level."