May 11, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Patrick Edwards (83) during rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions OTAs: Nate Burleson Talking Up Patrick Edwards

May 11, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Patrick Edwards (83) during rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

There was a time during training camp prior to last season that no one would have been surprised if Patrick Edwards ended up making the Detroit Lions’ final roster.

Undrafted out of Houston, Edwards was one of the hot early names as he looked to earn a spot on the Lions’ wide receiver depth chart.

However, he struggled during the preseason and faded down the stretch, eventually landing on the team’s practice squad. Not even the rash of injuries the Lions dealt with at the wide receiver position was enough to get Edwards on the active roster since he was put on the practice squad injured reserve list with a leg injury of his own.

Edwards is back healthy and once again he’s making a name for himself. Nate Burleson specifically brought up Edwards when speaking with the media today.

Burleson elaborated, via MLive’s Justin Rogers:

“I don’t want to draw any comparisons to him and Titus in too many ways, but they’re similar in the fact that the both catch the ball very well and are very explosive,” Burleson said. “He can catch the underneath ball, turn it up the field for 50 yards, or he can run past you and catch a nine-route over the top of your head, and that’s the type of guy we need. A guy that can balance out this receiving corps with Calvin, myself, the tight ends we have, and of course, Reggie in the backfield.”

The Lions are still looking for a receiver to play opposite Calvin Johnson, having only addressed the need with the selection of Corey Fuller in the sixth round of draft. Burleson and Ryan Broyles appear to be recovering well from their season-ending injuries suffered last season but both are better suited to play out of the slot. That makes the emergence of a player like Edwards so important.

It remains to be seen if Edwards can keep from fading during camp like he did a year ago but with a clear role available, as well as being in the mix to handle return duties, Edwards has a real chance to survive final cuts this year.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Nate Burleson Patrick Edwards

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