One of the top position battles for the Detroit Lions this offseason is the receiver spot to replace Titus Young, who was released four months ago.

Veteran Nate Burleson believes the replacement quite possibly will be Patrick Edwards, who signed as an undrafted free agent a year ago but was injured and spent last season on the practice squad.

“Patrick Edwards is playing helluva ball right now,” Burleson said Friday during a news conference to promote a charity softball game. “He was my darkhorse last year before (Edwards got injured).

“He’s not so much a darkhorse now. He’s just a guy that needs to prove that he can stay healthy and consistent with his play, and I guarantee you he will be a big-time playmaker for us this year.”

Edwards has overcome his share of adversity to get this opportunity.

He was a premature baby, had to walk on at the University of Houston and then suffered a horrific compound fracture in his right leg during a game in 2008.

Edwards, who is 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, has fought through it all. During his senior year at Houston, he made 89 catches for 1,752 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Nevertheless, he wasn’t selected in last year’s NFL Draft.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Edwards said. “I’ve got a big opportunity to get out there and get on the field and produce.

“I took it (last season) like a redshirt, just trying to learn everything. They kept me around. Obviously, there’s something they like about me. I just took that as more motivation.”

Edwards has been working out with a Jamaican sprint coach and said he recently was clocked in 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash.