2019 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Defensive Line and Edge
MORE POSITION RANKINGS: WIDE RECEIVERS | TIGHT ENDS | DEFENSIVE BACKS
1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State (Overall Rank: 1)
Height: 6' 33⁄4" | Weight: 266 pounds
He’s not quite his brother, but Bosa is flexible and fast enough to dip and bend around the edge, quick and powerful enough to line up inside and shoot gaps as an interior rusher on obvious passing downs. He also has the heavy hands to bully blockers as an edge-setter. Bosa is enough of an athlete to make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker. No one cares about his decision to leave school mid-season, and his medicals are clean after a season-ending core injury.
2. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama (Overall Rank: 2)
Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 303 pounds
Williams’s initial quickness, flexibility, hand usage and motor make him exceptionally slippery. A first-year starter in 2018, he was facing constant double teams by the second half of the year and was still often unblockable. Despite limited playing time at Alabama, his instincts are exceptional. He has an innate feel for locating the ball—no one trips up quarterbacks trying to escape the front of the pocket more often than Williams does. He should be an immediate quality starter with All-Pro potential.
3. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky (Overall Rank: 3)
Height: 6' 47⁄8" | Weight: 262 pounds
The most improved player among 2019 draft prospects, Allen added weight going into his senior year but didn’t sacrifice any athleticism. He enters the NFL with an advanced array of pass-rush moves to go along with the initial quickness, bendability and closing speed to become a dominant pass-rusher off the edge. He has also proven capable of dropping into coverage. He plays a little light against the run and would be ideal as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but 4-3 teams will figure out a way to use him because of his pass-rush value.
4. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (Overall Rank: 4)
Height: 6' 17⁄8" | Weight: 287 pounds
You wish he was a little bigger, but he moves like a 240-pound linebacker. Oliver faced three years of double-teams at Houston and often dominated anyway. He has the quickness and athleticism to disrupt as a 3-technique, even if he gives some ground as a run defender. He battled knee problems last season and teams will have to figure out what they think of the Jacket-Gate scandal with now-former Houston coach Major Applewhite, a proud moment for everyone involved.
5. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State (Overall Rank: 5)
Height: 6' 53⁄4" | Weight: 260 pounds
He’s still a work-in-progress, and Sweat’s lack of ideal bend and limited hand use too often lead to him getting pushed past the pocket. But his combination of length (353⁄4-inch arms!), explosive athleticism and high motor add up to the makings of an impact edge rusher.
6. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (Overall Rank: 10)
Height: 6' 31⁄4" | Weight: 315 pounds
An electric athlete at 300-plus pounds, Wilkins was considered a team leader on a dominant Clemson defense and should immediately provide an interior disruptor who can wreck the backfield. He has some limits against the run, but that’s a trade off most teams can live with.
7. Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan (Overall Rank: 12)
Height: 6' 43⁄8" | Weight: 277 pounds
He’s a bit like 2019’s answer to Jadeveon Clowney, an elite talent whose collegiate production doesn’t match up with his traits. Effort is not an issue—Gary is a relentless battler with a motor as good as anyone’s. There’s a lack of refinement in his game though, as he primarily relies on his explosive athleticism to try to go through blockers rather than coming up with a plan to get around them. He might ultimately be better as an early-down edge defender who reduces inside as a pass-rusher. The bottom line is that there are few prospects with this combination of size, strength and explosive athleticism. It will be up to a coaching staff to get the most out of him at the next level.
8. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State (Overall Rank: 15)
Height: 6' 43⁄4" | Weight: 249 pounds
A long, lanky and flexible edge bender, Burns should make an immediate impact as a pass-rusher. Teams are going to run the ball right at him early on though.
9. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (Overall Rank: 19)
Height: 6' 41⁄2" | Weight: 342 pounds
A rare athlete at 340-plus pounds, Lawrence dominates as a run defender—a decade ago, he would have been a top-10 lock. He flashes as a pass-rusher but his development in that area seemed to stagnate (6.5 sacks as a freshman, 3.5 combined as a sophomore and junior). At worse, he’s an early-down force who comes off the field on obvious passing downs, but an NFL position coach might be able to unlock some more third-down value.
10. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson (Overall Rank: 22)
Height: 6' 43⁄8" | Weight: 264 pounds
He has good size, good athleticism, good power—he’s a good player with enough bend to threaten the edge. Ferrell is not an elite athlete and it’s fair to wonder how much playing alongside Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence helped, but he has a high floor due to his edge-setting ability and could become a quality No. 2 pass rusher, with a chance to emerge as a star in his own right.
11. Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame (Overall Rank: 23)
Height: 6' 61⁄2" | Weight: 295 pounds
An athletic and uniquely long interior line prospect, Tillery could be molded in a number of different ways, as a nose shade or 3-technique in an even front, or as a 3-4 end. Originally recruited as an offensive lineman, he’s still a work-in-progress on the defensive side of the ball. But when it clicked for him, he was dominant (see the wreckage left in his wake against Stanford last September).
12. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State (Overall Rank: 24)
Height: 6' 4" | Weight: 300 pounds
A torn ACL during draft prep will likely cost him his rookie year, but until the injury Simmons was a top-five prospect in this class. He has tree trunks for legs, overwhelming quickness and is an absolute maestro with his hands, a terror on twists and stunts up front. He has the tools to develop into a dominant player lining up at 3-technique or as a nose shade. Teams will have to look into a 2016 incident during which Simmons repeatedly struck a woman who was in a physical altercation with his sister (he pleaded no contest to simple assault).
13. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State (Overall Rank: 32)
Height: 6' 23⁄4" | Weight: 281 pounds
He continues to grow from pure athlete to football player, putting together a breakout year as a junior. Jones is an upfield penetrator who will be restricted to playing 3-technique in a 4-3 defense, but interior disruptors are in demand in the modern NFL. He’ll be a nice consolation prize for anyone who had their heart set on Ed Oliver.
14. Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech (Overall Rank: 45)
Height: 6' 43⁄8" | Weight: 255 pounds
He broke Terrell Suggs’s FBS career sacks record, and Ferguson has the speed, power and length to become a quality pass-rusher in the NFL. He converts speed to power and effectively uses his length to keep blockers out of his frame. He doesn’t have elite athletic traits and might be a bit undersized to play with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 end, but should develop into at least a quality No. 2 edge rusher.
15. Zach Allen, DL, Boston College (Overall Rank: 55)
Height: 6' 41⁄8" | Weight: 281 pounds
Allen is a powerful lineman with the size, play strength and relentless motor to collapse the pocket, but he lacks the explosive athleticism to live in the backfield. His best fit is playing end in a 3-4 defense, but he could unlock some pass-rush value playing edge in an even front on early downs, then moving inside on passing downs.
16. Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State (Overall Rank: 64)
Height: 6' 47⁄8" | Weight: 318 pounds
He was asked to play as an undersized nose tackle in ASU’s 3-3-5 alignment, but Wren offers the athletic traits to be a disruptive force as a nose shade or 3-technique. The lack of collegiate production will turn teams off, but Wren has the traits to become a much more effective player at the next level in an even front.
17. Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami-Fla. (Overall Rank: 66)
Height: 6' 41⁄4" | Weight: 275 pounds
An unrefined, face-up pass rusher, Jackson is raw but has plenty of room for development. He’s powerful, twitched-up and can bully blockers setting the edge. With a little polish to his pass-rush moves, he could become a quality three-down player.
18. Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan (Overall Rank: 68)
Height: 6' 23⁄4" | Weight: 256 pounds
A high-effort edge rusher with some explosive traits, Winovich consistently creates pressure. Defending the run will be a challenge though, with his undisciplined style and lack of ideal size for a 4-3 end. He could appeal to 3-4 teams as an outside linebacker, but seems more comfortable attacking upfield than dropping into space.
19. Anthony Nelson, EDGE, Iowa (Overall Rank: 72)
Height: 6' 7" | Weight: 271 pounds
A super-sized edge rusher with good movement skills for a player with his length, Nelson shows good get-off and an excellent motor. He should be a quality complementary pass rusher with the chance to develop into a bigger force as he adds to his currently shallow repertoire of moves.
20. Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion (Overall Rank: 73)
Height: 6' 31⁄2" | Weight: 253 pounds
He’s a savvy, productive pass rusher with the athleticism to get into the backfield at the NFL level, but Ximines is a tweener—undersized for a 4-3 end but unproven in space for teams looking at his as a 3-4 linebacker.
21. Isaiah Buggs, DL, Alabama (Overall Rank: 74)
Height: 6' 31⁄8" | Weight: 306 pounds
Buggs played across the line at Alabama and is a fluid mover who anchors well when setting the edge. The question is what kind of impact he’ll have with a lack of bend, short arms and ordinary quickness at the snap. His motor and versatility will earn him at least a rotational role, with the chance to become a starting 3-technique in an even front or a 3-4 end.
22. Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois (Overall Rank: 77)
Height: 6' 03⁄8" | Weight: 324 pounds
The back-flipping FCS prospect is built like a bowling ball with the explosive movement skills to be a disruptive one-gap lineman. He’ll get swallowed up against the run, making him something of an all-or-nothing penetrator who has a chance to be a quality rotational player.
23. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida (Overall Rank: 82)
Height: 6' 25⁄8" | Weight: 258 pounds
He was the biggest dud of combine week and Polite's pro day didn't go any better. He worked out and interviewed poorly in Indy (a surprise considering he didn’t have a reputation for baggage coming out of Gainesville). His collegiate tape remains a positive though, as Polite is a burner off the edge, a twitched-up mover and frenetic as a pass rusher, highlighted by a big-time spin move.
24. L.J. Collier, DL, TCU (Overall Rank: 84)
Height: 6' 21⁄4" | Weight: 283 pounds
Stout and physical, Collier has the heavy hands to hold his own as a run defender and flashes the quickness to make some plays in the pass rush. He could carve out a role as an early-down end and pass-rushing 3-technique.
25. Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama (Overall Rank: 91)
Height: 6' 33⁄8" | Weight: 247 pounds
A Nick Saban product, Miller did a little bit of everything, getting reps at inside linebacker as well as outside, which is where he projects at the next level. He has the length, motor and enough athleticism to create as a pass-rusher and is comfortable playing in space. He’ll give effort setting the edge, but might struggle against NFL power.
26. D'Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia (Overall Rank: 93)
Height: 6' 23⁄8" | Weight: 251 pounds
He’s a bit of a straight-line athlete, but Walker has good initial burst and shows some savvy as a pass-rusher. He works hard to set the edge and is capable when asked to drop into coverage. He fits best as a 3-4 OLB and profiles as a quality No. 2 edge rusher.
27. Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas (Overall Rank: 94)
Height: 6' 53⁄8" | Weight: 280 pounds
He has an ideal blend of athleticism and length (361⁄2-inch arms) for the edge, and he flashed at times when lined up on the edge. He’s raw—Omenihu needs a better gameplan as a pass rusher—but his upside is significant.
28. Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami-Fla. (Overall Rank: 98)
Height: 6' 13⁄4" | Weight: 302 pounds
After being highly recruited out of high school, Willis took a circuitous route to stardom at the collegiate level, transferring from Florida after butting heads with coaches and teammates and taking a year off from football in 2017. He’s a bit of a one-trick pony, a one-gap penetrator who can get into the backfield. He’ll get swallowed up against the run, but should at least be a force in a pass-rushing role early in his career.
29. Kingsley Keke, DL, Texas A&M (Overall Rank: 105)
Height: 6' 25⁄8" | Weight: 288 pounds
He fits best playing end in an odd front that emphasizes penetration from its defensive linemen. Kingsley is a fluid mover who can win early and disrupt the backfield, but too often struggles to shed blocks and can get swallowed up as a run defender.
30. John Cominsky, DL, Univ. of Charleston (Overall Rank: 117)
Height: 6' 51⁄4" | Weight: 286 pounds
He arrived at Charleston as a 210-pound quarterback before growing into a dominant defensive lineman. He’s an elite athlete with the initial burst and quickness to get to the quarterback as a 5-technique, but will need to come up with more of a plan and a better idea of leverage and hand usage for the next level. He’s one of the most interesting developmental prospects in this draft class.
31. Jonathan Ledbetter, DL, Georgia (Overall Rank: 120)
32. Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M (Overall Rank: 133)
33. Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan (Overall Rank: 140)
34. Malik Carney, EDGE, North Carolina (Overall Rank: 151)
35. Jordan Brailford, EDGE, Oklahoma State (Overall Rank: 154)
36. Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon (Overall Rank: 155)
37. Terry Beckner Jr. DT, Missouri (Overall Rank: 158)
38. Shareef Miller, EDGE, Penn State (Overall Rank: 160)
39. Trysten Hill, DT, Central Florida, Overall Rank: 166)
40. Wyatt Ray, EDGE, Boston College (Overall Rank: 183)
41. Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU (Overall Rank: 187)
42. Ronald Ollie, DT, Nicholls State (Overall Rank: 194)
43. Porter Gustin, EDGE, USC (Overall Rank: 196)
44. Daniel Wise, DT, Kansas (Overall Rank: 171)
45. Dontavius Russell, DT, Auburn (Overall Rank: 210)
46. Carl Granderson, EDGE, Wyoming (Overall Rank: 211)
47. Greg Gaines, DT, Washington (Overall Rank: 216)
48. Byron Cowart, DL, Maryland (Overall Rank: 221)
49. Michael Dogbe, DT, Temple (Overall Rank: 223)
50. CeCe Jefferson, EDGE, Florida (Overall Rank: 230)
51. Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech (Overall Rank: 234)
52. Austin Bryant, EDGE, Clemson (Overall Rank: 243)
53. Sutton Smith, EDGE, Northern Illinois (Overall Rank: 248)
54. Demarcus Christmas, DT, Florida State (Overall Rank: 250)
55. Kyle Phillips, EDGE, Tennessee (Overall Rank: 258)
56. Albert Huggins, DT, Clemson (Overall Rank: 267)
57. Kevin Givens, DT, Penn State (Overall Rank: 276)
58. Landis Durham, EDGE, Texas A&M (Overall Rank: 282)
59. Ed Alexander, DT, LSU (Overall Rank: 283)
60. Chris Slayton, DT, Syracuse (Overall Rank: 293)
61. Kahzin Daniels, EDGE, Univ. of Charleston (Overall Rank: 308)
62. Armon Watts, DT, Arkansas (Overall Rank: 311)
63. Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon (Overall Rank: 317)
64. Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati (Overall Rank: 318)
65. Gerri Green, EDGE, Mississippi State (Overall Rank: 325)
66. Jonathan Harris, DL, Lindenwood (Overall Rank: 334)
67. Jesse Aniebonam, EDGE, Maryland (Overall Rank: 352)
68. Jamal Davis, EDGE, Akron (Overall Rank: 359)
69. Darryl Johnson, EDGE, North Carolina A&T (Overall Rank: 365)
70. Chris Nelson, DT, Texas (Overall Rank: 374)
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