NFL Draft: EDGE Prospect Rankings (Top-15)

As the clock ticks toward the NFL Draft it’s time to count down our top prospects at each position. There’s a healthy debate to be had over the quality of this draft overall, but the strength and depth of this EDGE class is a consensus. Given the Eagles value of the trenches and need for reinforcements along the DL, it’s safe to assume one of these prospects will be in midnight green by the end of day two (third round).

1. Kayvon Thibideaux, EDGE, Oregon

The skinny: A freak athlete with a body/skillset tailored to rush the passer and dominate on the edge; this caliber of prospect shouldn’t be over-thought.

Best trait: Athleticism, strength

Why he could fall: Knit-pick concerns, questions over his “love” for the game

Player comparison: Khalil Mack

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile

2. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

The skinny: Most scout’s EDGE1 and arguably the safest pick in the class; elite lateral quickness, refined technique, and a relentless motor make for a can’t-miss prospect.

Best trait: Motor, hand-usage

Why he could fall: He likely won’t

Player comparison: Chris Long

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile

3. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The skinny: Uber-athletic EDGE with a lunch-pail mindset and plenty of room to grow.

Best trait: Speed-to-power

Why he could fall: Scouts vary on his value in a loaded EDGE class

Player comparison: Ryan Kerrigan

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, strong-side

4. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

The skinny: An elite athlete and well-rounded DL prospect with untapped potential to rush the passer; dominant against the run with the versatility/strength to kick inside.

Best trait: Powerful

Why he could fall: Somewhat of a tweener depending on scheme

Player comparison: Ezekiel Ansah

Scheme fit: Odd-front, strong-side

5. Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida St.

The skinny: An all-around EDGE with an ideal build, he lacks the upside of his peers but offers a bankable floor.

Best trait: Feel for the position

Why he could fall: Lacks high-end athleticism

Player comparison: Lighter Matt Judon

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, strong-side

6. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

The skinny: An explosive athlete with every trait a pass rusher could ask for, if he develops the finer points of the position he’ll be a generational talent.

Best trait: Speed-to-power

Why he could fall: Raw, inexperienced, Achilles injury

Player comparison: Randy Gregory

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, weak-side

7. Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

The skinny: A toolsy developmental piece with the versatility to rush the passer and play in space, odd-front teams will covet his upside.

Best trait: Versatility

Why he could fall: Scheme-specific, a little raw

Player comparison: Rashan Gary

Scheme fit: Odd-front, weak or strong

8. Arnold Ebikitie, EDGE, Penn State

The skinny: A twitchy edge defender with plus-length, lateral quickness, and hand technique; has proven useful against the run and pass. 

Best trait: Length/juice

Why he could fall: Deep Edge class

Player comparison: Trent Cole

Scheme fit: Attacking-front, odd or even

9. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma

The skinny: A high-motor, twitchy pass-rush specialist with upside as a drop backer in odd-fronts.

Best trait: Pressuring the QB

Why he could fall: Might be viewed as a tweener

Player comparison: Vic Beasley

Scheme fit: Odd-front, weak-side

10. Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

The skinny: A gumby-like pass rusher with the explosive traits to develop into a sack artist.

Best trait: Length/bend combo

Why he could fall: Lacks strength

Player comparison: Bruce Irvin

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, weak-side

11. Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

The skinny: An average athlete who compensates with a plus get-off, strong hand technique, and desirable length.

Best trait: Length, motor

Why he could fall: Lacks elite traits

Player comparison: Derek Barnett

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile

12. Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

The skinny: A speed-to-power rusher with ideal size and explosive traits to win against pro tackles.

Best trait: Size/burst combo

Why he could fall: Off-field concerns

Player comparison: Whitney Mercilus

Scheme fit: Even-front, weak or strong

13. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

The skinny: A bendy edge rusher with long arms, quick feet, and plenty of juice in his movement; can drop in space.

Best trait: Athleticism

Why he could fall: Very raw

Player comparison: Harold Landry

Scheme fit: Odd-front, weak-side

14. Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego St.

The skinny: A strong, technically-savvy POA Defender with elite quickness for his size.

Best trait: Strength, hand-usage

Why he could fall: Lacks pass rush upside

Player comparison: Vinny Curry

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, strong-side

15. Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky

The skinny: An impressive linear athlete who uses elite speed-to-power traits to overwhelm blockers from multiple alignments.

Best trait: Versatility

Why he could fall: Lacks high-end pass rush upside; average length diminishes his skillset

Player comparison: Michael Bennett

Scheme fit: Scheme-versatile, strong-side

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