This officially marks the halfway point of our positional draft rankings. We’ve already broken down the top running backs, linebackers, wide receivers, cornerbacks and most recently offensive tackles. So now it’s time to look at this massive group of edge defenders, which is a much better way to classify these prospects, rather than calling them 4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers. Due to how hybrid NFL fronts are these days anyway, I like to lump those together, although I will mention their best schematic fit a few times and talk about how versatile coaches can be in how they deploy these guys.
We have a consensus top-three overall prospect headlining this group, but I don’t believe EDGE2 is too far behind him, especially when you look at what the NFL typically values. After that, I kind of look at the class having three tiers, where the first one consists of four names, who I all have first-round grades on, then the three guys in the next group I think deserve top-50 consideration and after that, there’s at least another four I consider day-two prospect. However, even beyond that point, there are several intriguing players, who I think can have legitimate roles at the next level, with varying degrees of physical upside compared to pro-readiness.
Just to clarify – Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore, Auburn’s Colby Wooden and Michigan’s Mike Morris I have all labelled as “IDL”. That list will come out next week.
For now, let’s get into this edge class: