2024 NFL draft prospect rankings: Edge rushers

Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Football

Welcome to draft season! This is the second of 11 positional breakdowns leading up to the NFL draft (April 25-27). Here are my top 10 edge rushers, plus "bonus" players I believe will be drafted or signed as a priority free agent:

— 1. Jared Verse (Jr., Florida State, 6-foot-4, 254 pounds)

After his 2020 season at Albany was canceled due to COVID-19, Verse and his father built a home gym and the zero-star recruit put on 30-40 pounds of muscle in one year. He came back and was an FCS All-American before transferring to Florida State the following season, where he produced nine sacks as a redshirt sophomore. The AP All-American followed that up with another nine sacks to help the Seminoles finish the regular season undefeated. Verse regularly wins with strength, features violent hands with NFL-caliber explosiveness at the snap, and has already shown he can handle a significant jump in competition. Projected: Round 1

— 2. Dallas Turner (Jr., Alabama, 6-3, 247)

Turner went to high school football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, and was the top-ranked edge defender in his class and the No. 9 prospect overall. He had 8.5 sacks as a true freshman in 2021, but was overshadowed by the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa. Last year, the AP All-American added some bulk to his frame and displayed more power to go with his already impressive speed-rush capabilities. There's still room for growth as a run defender, but he's probably the best pure athlete in this year's edge class. Projected: Round 1

— 3. Laiatu Latu (Sr., UCLA, 6-5, 259)


Latu specializes in hand-to-hand combat, features a pro-ready arsenal of pass-rush moves and became the first Bruin to win the Lombardi Award (outstanding lineman) and Hendricks Award (best defensive end) last season. Medical evaluations of a neck injury the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year suffered during his time with Washington will have a big impact on his draft stock. The skills are worthy of a top-10 pick if the doctors clear him. Projected: Round 1

— 4. Chop Robinson (Jr., Penn State, 6-3, 254)

Robinson was nicknamed "Pork Chop" because he was 14 pounds at birth. The former four-star recruit began his collegiate career at Maryland before transferring to Happy Valley as a sophomore. Robinson's still developing his technique, and while I would've liked to see more production, his first-step explosiveness and speed-to-power variation is a rare commodity. Combining his extremely rare athletic traits with the right defensive line coach's guidance could create a nightmare for the rest of the league. Projected: Round 1

— 5. Bralen Trice (Jr., Washington, 6-3, 245)


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