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2019 Draft Class: Top Edge Rusher Previews (Part 2)

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Welcome to the second part of this year’s edge rusher class preview.

The first part of this mini-series covered the top five players of this year’s class.

This part will cover the rest of the top 10 list.

Once the combine is completed, this series will be re-visited with updated rankings before expanding to the top 20 rankings and, a week before the draft, the top 30.

Here we go.

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6. Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

The edge rusher out of Mississippi State stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 245 pounds. Sweat has average play recognition and does use his hands and arms to his advantage, but that’s about it. Sweat would benefit from using more moves such as spinning, ripping, and swimming. He does provide great run support and can diagnose a screen play quickly. Sweat could work on dropping into coverage as it would help his versatility. Overall, he is being projected to go in the first round but does not look like he will quite produce that level of work.

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7. Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

Ferguson recently had his combine invite rescinded due to off-the-field issues. His issues might concern some teams but it seems as if the issues were small and happened when he was younger. If he does manage to stay out of trouble and stay on the field, he could be a star. He stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 262 pounds, and has average play recognition; he could help a little more in run support. He does tend to take plays off from time to time and sometimes gives up on the play. His angles are average and could be better, especially if he shows a little more bend. He could use his hands more when bull rushing the tackle. Overall, Ferguson will take some polishing but could prove to be a defensive star in the league.

8. Zach Allen, Boston College

Zach Allen stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 284 pounds, and is the biggest player being reviewed pre-combine in this edge class. Allen will most likely be best served much like Rashan Gary, who was reviewed in part one, being put into a 4-3 or as an interior defensive lineman. Allen does a great job setting the edge and can force plays to go the other way. Allen provides great run support and can contain the quarterback. Unfortunately for Allen, he will most likely be picked up based on team needs and will slip due to the talent pool at the top.

9. Charles Omenihu, Texas

Omenihu stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 276 pounds. He needs to work on taking better angles. He can appear slow at times and it might benefit him to play in a 4-3 defense. He does a great job at setting the edge but really needs to get better at shedding blocks. Omenihu needs to learn to use his hands and arms in a more effective way to get to the quarterback. He would also benefit by developing his spin, rip, and swim technique. Overall, at this tier, it’s what is expected of anybody his skill-level. Sure, Omenihu needs some work, but if plugged into the right system, he could be a defensive threat.

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10. Brian Burns, Florida State

Burns entered last season standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in 236 pounds. Brian is quick to set the edge but lacks moves to shed blocks. Burns tries to use his long arms to beat blockers but it does not always work out for him. He does a great job at containing the run and forcing it back inside. Burns needs to improve on his ability to recognize plays. Overall, if Burns can work on his hand technique and other finesse moves, he could be a solid player.

Some guys are going to be starters day one, but others will require some polishing up. If you decide to watch film on any of these guys, you will notice a drop off in skill level right around Brian Burns and Charles Omenihu. Bosa, based on his film, will be a day one starter wherever he lands. Jaylon Ferguson, on the other hand, will most likely be a starter once he has gone through the preseason. It is a firm belief that most of the guys in the top 10 will be stars in the NFL.

In conclusion, this is a very deep class and will be a group of very talented pro players.

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