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NFL Draft

2024 Draft Preview - Edge Defenders

Jon Cooper
11/09/2023 11:18AM ET

1. Latu, Laiatu

UCLA  6046  261

Two year starter, Sacramento, CA.  First team All-PAC 12 and college football Comeback Player of the Year in 2022. Played at Washington as a freshman in 2019 but suffered a serious neck injury during spring practice in 2020 and was forced to retire. He stayed with the program and after recovering, entered the transfer portal in 2022 landing at UCLA. He hit the ground running and became a dominant force displaying a non-stop motor and pass rush ability. Sudden at the snap he shows a variety of pass rush moves from a two and three point stance. Occasionally lines up inside and his quickness allows him to penetrate gaps. He has a good pass rush plan with ability to run the edge or counter inside. Quick with his hands he can stun and separate from blocks allowing him to set up a move. Has the ability to adjust to quarterback’s movement and close in pursuit. Instinctive playing the run he can set the edge, locate the ball and chase to the perimeter. There's some inconsistency at the point as he can be neutralized by a powerful tackle. While athletic, he's somewhat more straight line than agile. His toughness, motor, and technique make him an elite prospect.

 

2. Turner, Dallas*

Alabama  6040  240

Two year starter, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Pre-Season All-America in 2023. Athletic, physical outside linebacker prospect who excels as a pass rusher off the edge. Off to a highly productive start in 2023. Versatile player he aligns in a wide nine and five technique using a two or three point stance. He can set the edge versus the outside run as well as drop in coverage. At his best as an outside pass rusher with an extremely quick first step and speed to get around an offensive tackle. Uses a quick swipe with the hands to keep a blocker off and can bend under a tackle turning the corner. Also shows a quick inside counter move. Excellent agility versus the run, he’s consistent making plays in space. Shows sideline to sideline range in pursuit and can run down a ball carrier across the field. Solid flat drop in coverage he gets depth and is quick breaking on the throw. Has the speed to carry a back up the field in man coverage. Not the most physical taking on blocks as his ability to stack and shed is inconsistent. As a result there are time he gets stalemated. First round potential.

 

3. Robinson, Chop*

Penn State  6030  254

Two year starter, Gaithersburg, MD. All Big 10 honorable mention in 2022. Transfer from Maryland after his freshman year in 2021. Robinson displays extreme quickness at the snap and can be disruptive attacking in the backfield. As a pass rusher he shows a quick dip and rip versus a tackle and can bend and squeeze to the quarterback with a precise path. Remarkable speed to turn the corner. Relentless in pursuit he shows outstanding second effort if blocked and has a closing burst once free. Teams often have to scheme to keep him out of the backfield. Playing the run he’s adept at sifting inside gaps and can be physical tackling. Sets the edge with strong hands and moves well laterally chasing down perimeter runs. Has been used at times to drop in coverage and is solid covering the flat. While strong, his ability to shed blocks is inconsistent and he can get locked up with a powerful tackle on run plays. At times offensive tackles can get away with oversetting and riding him out as he lacks a consistent counter move. Still developing but the tools are there to be elite.

 

4. Verse, Jared 

Florida State  6035  252

Three year starter, Dayton, OH. First team All-ACC, Consensus first team All-America and Florida State defensive MVP in 2022. Athletic edge defender with an explosive first step at the snap and outstanding chase ability. Plays with high energy and is relentless in pursuit. Teams have to scheme to account for his quickness and speed. Shows solid bend and squeeze to get around the corner along with agility to adjust to quarterback movement. He has a wide variety of pass rush moves including a bull rush into a move, arm under, spin, push pull and cross chop. Quickness and agility allows him to counter inside vs. oversetting tackles. Moves well laterally and is solid playing perimeter runs. Can turn his quickness into power both in the pass rush and playing the run. Not the most instinctive playing the run as he is vulnerable to blocks coming from the inside. Has as a tendency to get too far upfield opening up a running lane. He also will run around blocks at times losing gap control. He’s had a slow start in 2023 as far as sack production but is still a force to account for.

 

5. Trice, Bralen

Washington  6033  270

Two year starter, Phoenix, AZ. First team All-PAC 12 in 2022. Big powerful edge defender with a good combination of quickness, size and strength. Strong at the point of attack he plays with leverage and a solid pad level to defeat blocks. He’s a force against the run with ability to stack and shed a block and locate the ball. He plays with a hot motor and is relentless chasing in the backfield. Can set the edge and chase down backs on the perimeter. As a pass rusher he can convert speed to power and has a strong bull rush into a move. Shows a variety of moves along with ability to collapse the pocket with his power. He’s quick to shoot his hands and  shows ability to counter to get off a block. He’s still developing and leaves some plays on the field by over pursuing. As a result he will miss an occasional tackle in the backfield. He’s not the most athletic as far as bend around the corner, but he wins with excellent technique. His overall play should make him a solid NFL starter.

 

6.   Tuimoloau, JT*

Ohio State  6040 272 

 

7.   Ceaser, Nelson

Houston 6025  248

 

8.   Umanmielen, Princely 

Florida 6036  249

 

9.    Murphy, Gabriel 

UCLA  6026  255

 

10.  Braswell, Chris

Alabama  6030  255

 

11.  Sawyer, Jack*

Ohio State  6040  265    

    

12.  Tupuola-Fetui, Zion

Washington  6034  258 

     

13.  Okie-Anoma, Eyabi

Charlotte 6047  248

 

14.  Kamara, Mohamed

 Colorado State  6010  250

 

15. Isaac, Adisa

Penn State  6040 247

 

16. Davis, Jasheen

Wake Forest  6030  250

 

17. Gillotte, Ashton

Louisville  6030  270

 

18. Johnson, Cedric

Mississippi  6025  264

 

19. Powell, Tyreem

Rutgers  6050  240

 

20. Harrell, Jaylen

Michigan  6034  246

 

21. Solomon, Javon

Troy 6020  245

 

22. Cole, Myles

Texas Tech  6056

 

23. Linton, Steve 

Texas Tech 6036  231

 

24. Burch, Jordan

Oregon  6043  291

 

25. Weaver, JJ

Kentucky 6045  245

 

26. Watson, Nathaniel

Mississippi State  6020  247

 

27. Ivey, Jared

Mississippi   6055  281

 

28. Robinson, Darius

Missouri  6051  291

 

29. Pius, John

William and Mary  6020  235

 

30. Jeffcoat, Trajan

Arkansas  6043  274

 

31. Strachan, Jordan

South Carolina  6040  243

 

32. Diggs, Fadil

Texas A&M  6043  257

 

33. Windmon, Jacoby

Michigan State 6020 250

 

*Denotes Underclassman