Draft 2019: Top 5 Edge Rushers
Jeremy Ganes, Mitch Broder, Trent Fye and Jeremy Schooler discuss the top edge rushers in this year's NFL draft:
In a draft class that lacks big name offensive talent, most analysts say that the number of defensive prospects make up for the lack of offense. This might be the most talented group of edge rushers in the draft in a long time. Here are the top five edge rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
5. Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
40 time: 4.41
2018 stats: 13 games, 12 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble
One of the stars of the combine, Sweat set the combine record for fastest 40-yard dash by a defensive lineman and shined in every combine drill. A two-time all SEC player and second-team All-American his senior year, Sweat showed the numbers and intangibles to be a good player at the next level. He does have some red flags however, including a heart condition that was revealed in his combine physical, and an undisclosed suspension at Michigan State his sophomore that led to him transferring to Mississippi State. If these red flags don’t alarm too many teams, expect him to go in the first round. If they do alarm teams, Sweat could possibly drop to day two.
4. Rashan Gary, Michigan
40 time: 4.58
2018 stats: nine games, 3.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss
One of the former top high school recruits in the country, Gary was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. Gary has the size to be an elite pass rusher at the next level, and is one of the hardest hitters in this draft. He also is used to playing with other elite players, as Michigan has produced a ton of defensive talent in his three years in Ann Arbor. Expect him to be a high to mid first round pick.
3. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
40 time: Did not run at combine or pro day
2018 stats: 15 games, 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one touchdown
The Clemson Tigers have four defensive linemen who are going to be drafted; some analysts say that Ferrell is the best of the group. The numbers are jaw dropping. Ferrell was first team All-ACC twice, and was the winner of the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end in 2018. He does have some injury concerns though, tearing his ACL his senior year of high school, missing his true freshman season at Clemson with a hand injury, and not working out a Clemson’s pro day with a toe injury. Even with the injury concerns, expect Ferrell to be a high to mid first-round pick.
2. Josh Allen, Kentucky
40 time: 4.63
2018 stats: 13 games, 17 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries
The 2018 winner of the Bednarik and Nagurski awards was considered by many to be the best defensive player in college football in 2018. The first team All American has the ability to be either a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end at the next level. Putting up the numbers he did against the talent of the SEC every week really opened the eyes of all NFL scouts across America. Expect Allen to be a top-10 pick.
1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State
40 Time: 4.79
2018 stats: three games, four sacks, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one touchdown
Many analysts consider Bosa not just the best edge rusher, but the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft. Every tape you watch of Bosa shows he’s an NFL player, as do his numbers in college. Bosa chose to sit out most of the 2018 season after groin surgery to prepare for the NFL. That should not affect his draft stock at all however. Expect Bosa to be a top-five pick, maybe even the first overall pick.
Kevin McConlogue is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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