When you take a look at this year’s draft class, there is something that definitely stands out.
It’s loaded with tons of defensive stars.
Whether you want to look through the defensive backs, defensive tackles, or the edge rushers, you’ll find a loaded class. This two-part series takes a look at the top 10 edge rushers of this class; the top five in the first part, and the next five in the second part.
Once the combine is completed, this series will be re-visited with updated rankings.
1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Easily the best player in this draft, Bosa has great size, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 262 pounds. The defensive end out of Ohio has great speed and can get off the ball incredibly fast. Bosa has a great bend and can get to the quarterback quickly. He also has a good arsenal of moves to provide a good rush. Bosa does an excellent job at setting the edge and, in most mock drafts, sits at the first overall position; and rightfully so, as he could end up having a better career than his brother, Joey, who plays for the Los Angeles Chargers.
2. Josh Allen, Kentucky
This defensive end out of Kentucky stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 260 pounds. Allen is freakishly good athletic and can also get off the ball at an incredible speed. Allen takes great angles in his rush and can get to the quarterback with ease. He also does a great job at setting the edge and provides great run support. Allen does need to work on disengaging from blocks, but overall is definitely worth the hype and is clearly the second-best edge rusher in the draft.
3. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Ferrell is built much like the first two guys, standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 260 pounds. He is a formidable pass rusher and provides great run support. He makes great use of his hands and can shed blocks at will. Clelin also does a great job at recognizing plays and can disrupt most of them. It would not be a surprise if Clelin Ferrell won Defensive Rookie of the Year.
4. Rashan Gary, Michigan
The defensive lineman out of Michigan is one of the bigger edge defenders in this draft, standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 282 pounds. Most likely, this young man will go to a team that runs a 4-3 defense. He really is more of an interior lineman as he just uses a bull rush to get to the quarterback. He lacks versatility but does show great play recognition. This is definitely where talent starts to slide in the edge defender class but with polishing up, he can still be great.
5. Jachai Polite, Florida
The defensive end out of the University of Florida stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 242 pounds. Polite has great play recognition and plays the option really well. He is one of the smaller edge rushers and could benefit from putting on some weight. He struggles getting off some blocks where he is physically outmatched. He would benefit from adding some moves to his pass rush technique as he does not use his hands that much and relies on speed. Polite does a great job at setting the edge and forcing the run back inside. Overall, Polite will be a great addition to whomever he goes to.
The Conclusion (Part One)
These are early rankings of the defensive edge rushers and could change after the combine or after pro days. However, this list is where most of this year’s stars will come from as the edge rusher pool is very talented. There aren’t a whole lot of things that differentiate anything from one another. Overall, if your team is in the market for a talented edge rusher, it might benefit them to go young.