Michigan’s Donovan Edwards a top running back prospect to watch in the 2025 NFL Draft

Donovan Edwards making the best of his decision to return to college.
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards had one of those games in the National Championship that could’ve propelled him into the 2024 NFL Draft, but his decision to stay in college another year may benefit his draft stock in 2025.

In rushing for 104 yards on just six carries, Edwards not only electrified NRG Stadium, but his breakout performance launched him back into the spotlight and on the cover of EA Sports College Football 25, a cover he shares with Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Colorado receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter.

In all an honor for Edwards who became the fourth Michigan athlete to grace the cover, but with his eyes on 2025, that decision to stay another year and step back into the spotlight as a rushing and receiving weapon for the Wolverines makes him a top playmaker to watch in that 2025 NFL Draft which already promises to be a talented and deep one when it comes to running backs.

2025 NFL Draft: Donovan Edwards has a chance shine as a leader and set some records

With the new found stardom from both the breakout performance in the CFP National Championship and landing on the cover of EA Sports, Edwards has an opportunity to soar up the draft board and many NFL teams will be watching.  When asked about leading the Wolverine’s running back group this upcoming season, Edwards was modest, but understands the opportunity ahead of him.

"I don't like the 'this is my running back room.' I'm over that now,” Edwards said during his 247Sports Live appearance. “I'm at the point where each person, they have the chance to be RB1, as well. They have the chance to get 20+ carries, as well. Whether that be Kalel Mullings, whether it be me, whether it be Ben Hall, you name it. I don't like that title, because we all have a fair share in the success of the program. I just don't like that saying, because I've been there before."

Edwards had an eye-opening season in 2022 rushing for 991 yards on 140 carries before taking a step back in 2023 and a backseat to Blake Corum.  But that national championship performance served as a reminder of who he is and what he could be in Michigan’s offense.  As a dual-threat option, it is his ability to catch the ball that will make him a standout running back prospect in that 2025 NFL Draft.  As a receiver, Edwards has another opportunity propel his draft stock.

“I'm about 89-ish yards away from breaking this Michigan receiving record for a running back,” Edwards continued.  “I'm coming for that record. But I don't think [my receiving role] changes. If you just stay healthy, they're going to get you the ball by all means. I know for a fact that Coach [Kirk] Campbell has that mindset to get the talented guys the ball and to get guys going as soon as possible. We'll be successful."

While there were a few notable players who decided to return to college instead of entering the 2024 NFL Draft, Donovan Edwards is a player who could benefit most from his decision.  As a player who would’ve be a Day 3 pick in this year’s draft has the chance ahead of him to be maybe even a Day 2 pick in 2025 if he brings his game back to what it was in 2022.  In his last game of the 2023 season, he game Michigan fans something to be excited about this upcoming season and NFL scouts a player who watch as a potential future NFL star.