Note: This article was originally published in preparation for the 2020 NBA Draft
You could look at any 2020 NBA Mock Draft board and you'll find Anthony Edwards' name somewhere in the top three picks. A greater majority of them - my mock draft included - have him as the No. 1 overall pick.
Edwards has both the size and physicality to make an impact in the NBA right away. Averaging 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game in his one and only season at Georgia, Edwards was named to the SEC's All-Conference Second Team and All-Rookie team while also taking home SEC Rookie of the Year honours.
But what will Edwards bring to the NBA franchise that selects him?
Edwards' size is his biggest draw as the potential No. 1 overall pick. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Edwards already has the body of a prototypical NBA player. In fact, he's built more like an NFL linebacker.
His broad shoulders complement his strength, quickness and elite athleticism, matching his playstyle perfectly. Edwards has great body control and knows how to use his frame to his benefit when it comes to attacking the basket. He finished well through contact at the collegiate level and averaged 5.4 free throw attempts per game - a good rate for the NCAA.
He likes to get downhill in transition and can finish at the rim with either hand confidently. He's a solid rebounder for his position and while his defence was lacklustre at times, he has the physical tools to improve as a defender at the next level. His jumper wasn't very consistent in his one year at Georgia but shot selection and being the only true scorer on his team - which drew a ton of attention from opposing defences - played a big role in that, too. There are no issues when it comes to his jump shot mechanics and his ability to knock down tough shots helps his case in the NBA.
MORE: One Play: Comparing Edwards to Donovan Mitchell
Edwards is a natural scorer with the ball in his hands but could also play a combo guard role in the league if he has to.
If Edwards wants to be a true combo guard at the NBA level, he'll have to develop his playmaking ability. He's a decent passer when the defence collapses on his drives to the bucket, but he only averaged 2.8 assists per game despite all of the attention he drew from opposing defenders. With a usage rate of 30.4% - the second-highest in the SEC - you would've liked to see that assist average a bit higher than it was.
Edwards shot 40.2% from the field and 29.4% from 3 on roughly 16 shots a game in his single season in college, showing that his efficiency could improve as well. Granted, he was the focal point of every opponents' scouting report.
He was great at the rim, but it helped that he was stronger, faster and more athletic than the majority of his opponents. He would either drive all the way to the rim or settle for longer-than-desired midrange jumpers, which he knocked down inconsistently. If Edwards wants to continue to be an effective scorer at the NBA level, he'll have to find crafty ways to finish in the paint, whether it's a floater, runner or jump-stop jumper.
He doesn't lack confidence from beyond the arc, often pulling up from NBA range anyway. His release is nice, but the results aren't necessarily representative of that. A major building block would be learning to shoot - and score in general - without the ball in his hands. He flashed some promise as a cutter for dunks and layups, but almost all of his looks from the perimeter came off of creating his own shot. His offensive game would benefit from some training in catch-and-shoot situations off of screens.
Projected Draft Position: Potential No. 1 pick
NBA Comparison: Donovan Mitchell, Victor Oladipo
The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.