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Steelers UDFA RB Daijun Edwards Has a Chip on His Shoulder

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Pittsburgh Steelers RB Daijun Edwards

PITTSBURGH — Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren and Cordarrelle Patterson are the Pittsburgh Steelers top three running backs, but undrafted free agent Daijun Edwards out of Georgia is a player to keep an eye on at OTAs and in training camp.

Edwards, 23, is a 5-foot-10, 201-pound running back that spent four years with the Georgia Bulldogs, the last two as the team’s primary running back. In 2022, the Norman Park, Georgia native rushed 140 times for 769 yards and seven touchdowns at 5.5 yards per carry on the way to his second consecutive College Football Playoff National Championship. In 2023, he ran the ball 164 times for 881 yards and 13 touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry.

With those kind of numbers and playing at one of the best college football programs in the country, it’s a mystery how Edwards went undrafted. The former Georgia Bulldog definitely has a chip on his shoulder because of it.

“I mean, of course, there’s a fuel to the fire,” Edwards said. “Every day, I just come with a chip on my shoulder. Just trying to do what I can do.”

The Steelers have three former Georgia products on their roster in George Pickens, Broderick Jones and Darnell Washington. Having three former college teammates in Pittsburgh adds a little comfort for Edwards, who’s living outside the state of Georgia for the first time.

“Especially Darnell and Broderick. We came into college together, so having those two around, it helps a lot,” Edwards said.

Edwards has a slight advantage over the other running backs trying to make the team due to running behind Jones and Washington in Athens.

DaIjun Edwards

Steelers running back Daijun Edwards at rookie minicamp on May 10, 2024. — Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

“Just having faith in them guys, especially Darnell. He’s like another offensive lineman. Just having that security that I know Darnell is going to make that block,” Edwards said.

Edwards describes his running style as patience, deceptive and shifty. There’s not one particular running back that he tries to model his game off of, however. He just likes to watch a multitude of RBs.

“I don’t really try to model my game off of nobody,” he said. “I just watch a lot of football, to be honest. Watch a lot of different running backs, different guys.”

Georgia has a been a running back factory of late, producing guys like Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley and Sony Michel. Edwards hopes he can be the next Bulldog that flourishes in the NFL.

“It means everything, just knowing (those) guys came into this league and were very productive,” Edwards said. “Just coming in and just trying to do what I can do. At the same time, running my own race.”

Edwards was expected to be drafted, and was the No. 242 overall player on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board. The Steelers showed extensive pre-draft interest in Edwards, scouting him in person at the 2024 Senior Bowl and then sending general manager Omar Khan, head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to the Georgia pro day.

Nick Farabaugh contributed reporting from Pittsburgh.