NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS - EDGE RUSHERS

Click on the names of the prospects below to see their draft profiles:

EDGE #1: CHASE YOUNG, OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 265lbs

PRO’S: A monster put in pads. Physically imposing - too strong and too big for any offensive tackle could cope with in college. Elite play strength and power - discards linemen as he goes past them or uses them as a battering ram on his way into the backfield. Just does not stop attacking the edge all game. Excellent hand technique - couples it with astonishing upper body pop to dominate at the point of engagement. Impressive speed off the snap, and gets quicker the further he gets out of his stance. Shows impressive array of pass rush moves and dip as he rounds the edge - blockers rarely get their hands into him. Doesn’t just set the edge in the run game - he squeezes it. Ultra-productive at college in all aspects of the position.

CON’S: Minimal occasions where you’d see him play with his pads too high. Tries to jump the snap sometimes. But we’re really being fussy here. Missed two games this year due to an NCAA infraction over accepting money from a friend to allow family members to attend a bowl game - unlikely to cause much concerns to NFL teams.

SIMON CARROLL: “Mine and most other’s top prospect in this whole draft class, Young is a player who can scarily get even better. He’s a quarterback killer, a heat-seeking missile, a terror off the edge who is also excellent in the run game. He can play stood up and drop into coverage, but he’s at his lethal best with his hand in the dirt and his ears pinned back. He’s as close to perfect a prospect as I’ve seen in ten years of scouting and will be a perennial all-pro in the NFL”.

NFL COMPARISON: JULIUS PEPPERS

PREDICTION: TOP THREE PICK

EDGE #2: K'LAVON CHAISSON, LSU TIGERS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 250lbs

PRO’S: Ultra-athletic pass-rusher who is lightning off the line. Immediately gets himself inside the hands of the opponent, removing the opportunity to lock him out. Elite lateral agility allows him to change direction at unreal speed. Hands are as fast as his feet and hips, and in tandem they produce some deadly pass rush moves. Closing speed is unparalleled in this draft class - RPO offenses are not going to enjoy trying to read him as he heads towards them. Able to match up on run blocks, set the edge and make the play. Positionally versatile - effective in both a two & three-point stance and is comfortable dropping into pass coverage.

CON’S: Can get shut out by more physical blockers who are able to negate his speed game early. Might want to add more weight to improve play strength, which his frame suggests is possible. Lenghty injury history at LSU and seemed to always be playing with niggles. Production didn’t quite seem to match the effort levels on a star-studded defensive unit, although there was a big improvement in his final year.

SIMON CARROLL: “Does this guy ever get tired? Chaisson brings explosion to the game tape in a way you didn’t think was possible. He’s a leader, excellently coached and shows flashes of ability in every department. But above all else he’s a hunter, and whether it’s as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 OLB just let him off the leash. The rest of his game will catch up in due course”.

NFL COMPARISON: JOSH ALLEN

PREDICTION: 1ST ROUND PICK

EDGE #3: YETUR GROSS-MATOS, PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 264lbs

PRO’S: The ideal NFL defensive end in term of size, length and athleticism. Ridiculously rangy - arms will corral anything within a small neighbourhood of his frame. Elite speed helps in this regard - he can chase down the quickest of ball carriers and his change of direction and lateral movement are jaw dropping for his size. Explosive off the line and uses it to steal a march on the tackle to the edge. Has some good anchor and his proficiency in the run game will appeal to teams who like their end’s to be able to set the edge as well as pin their ears back. Sure tackler who racked up the stats in his two years starting in Happy Valley.

CON’S: Is pretty raw - pass rush moves need refining. Hand placement is inconsistent and he needs to do a better job of timing his first punch to really get the advantage in the rep. Some wasted steps off the snap and with more development will bring a much more efficient pass rush technique to his game. Upper body strength can stand to improve and he possesses the wide frame to add more weight and thus power to his game. Pad level is too high and winning the leverage battle will be much harder at the next level.

SIMON CARROLL: “Right now, YGM is a dangerous and effective pass-rusher. Every negative on his resume is the result of a game that is yet to be fully developed, and with the right coaching and dedication in the weight room he could truly be one of the best edge defenders in the NFL in a couple of seasons. A projection but a safe one, with immediate situational value on passing downs”.

NFL COMPARISON: DANIELLE HUNTER

PREDICTION: 1ST ROUND PICK

EDGE #4: AJ EPENESA, IOWA HAWKEYES

Height: 6’6”.   Weight: 280lbs

PRO’S: A huge man, oozing power and physicality. Lower body strength is something to behold - did not see one instance of him rocking back upon engagement. Brutal when he lands his hands on his opponent - excellent length to control the contact and hands that knock the stuffing out of you, giving him the advantage early in the rep. Vice-like grip that coupled with his play strength makes his ability to stack and shed look effortless. Has some surprising juice off the snap before using his length and power to navigate into the backfield. Well developed pass rush moves that give him access to the quarterback.

CON’S: Short on athleticism, as you would expect from a guy weighing 280lbs. He’s simply too big to have the elite levels of fluidity and speed that some of the pass rushers possess. Struggles to keep pads low as a result, and the ‘dip and rip’ won’t be a prominent part of his game. Motor isn’t always running and there are plays on tape where he’s sluggish and lacks top-end effort. Inconsistent production in his final year of Iowa - struggled in some games, dominated in others. Have never seen him line up on the right of the line.

SIMON CARROLL: “You need to accept AJ Epenesa for what he is - a monstrous lineman who needs to play with his hand in the dirt. He can rush the passer in a 4-3 or set the edge in an odd front making his value to a team still high, but he’ll never be a stand-up outside linebacker. His reliability and ability to squeeze the edge against the run will make him an attractive proposition to fundamentally sound defenses. Despite a late fall in his draft stock he’s still a day one pick for me”.

NFL COMPARISON: TREY FLOWERS

PREDICTION: 1ST ROUND PICK

For a comprehensive profile of AJ Epenesa, click here:

EDGE #5: TERRELL LEWIS, ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 258lbs

PRO’S: Athletically and physically gifted. Has the measurables to play in an odd or even front and attack from the edge. Gets into his blockers with power and speed, and utilises his long arms effectively to swipe away or palm off his opponent. Sneaky quick through gaps and good bend and dip to round the corner. Able to hold his ground when engaged and peel off to make the tackle. Lateral speed makes him difficult to avoid as a ball carrier. High ceiling prospect who’s not close to the peak of his powers.

CON’S: Can’t stay on the field. Missed ten games as a Sophomore with an elbow injury and tore his ACL as a Junior, making him redshirt. As a result he’s pretty raw - unpolished pass-rush moves, no play speed variation and a lack of counters when frustrated on a play. Linear body that betrays his play strength and gives him questionable anchor when setting the edge. Master of chaos rather than honed technique - bull in a china shop where it’s all speed and balance is all over the place.

SIMON CARROLL: “Terrell Lewis is somewhat behind the curve as a developed pass-rusher due to repeated medical setbacks. But that’s what makes him such an interesting prospect. Given more experience you’d expect his game to develop and become a real consistent, dangerous weapon off the edge for an NFL team. The only question is can he stay healthy? His draft stock will vary from team to team but at the latest he comes off the board early on day two”.

NFL COMPARISON: BUD DUPREE

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

EDGE #6: ZACK BAUN, WISCONSIN BADGERS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 240lbs

PRO’S: Multi-faceted playmaker who can line up in a variety of positions and schemes and fill the brief. Very smart footballer - understands what the offense shows him and how best to mitigate it to get his job done. Excellent fundamentals and technique - hand placement, pass-rush moves and footwork off the snap all on point. Plus athleticism - eager off the snap, maintains good tempo through direction changes and shows impressive closing speed, particularly when chasing down from the backside. 100% work rate and obvious captain material. Willing special teamer if needed.

CON’S: Lack of length makes it difficult to see him as a 4-3 defensive end. Frequently locked out of plays from the edge in Wisconsin. Can be dominated by power linemen and spends too much time in the dirt. Somewhat of a ‘tweener’ in that he’s slightly undersized to play on the line and slightly too big to play as an off-ball linebacker - but none of the tape suggests that. The measurables scream a low ceiling at the next level even if the stats at college say otherwise.

SIMON CARROLL: “As enjoyable a watch of game tape as you can find, trying to figure out where Baun is lining up is a chore in itself. This versatility is the value of his game - he’s very capable of performing a number of roles and to pigeon hole him as either an edge rusher or a linebacker would be foolish. That being said, he does lack the size, length and athelticism that NFL teams covet. Despite there being plenty of room to get better, there’s a definite feel of boom or bust about him”.

NFL COMPARISON: KYLE VAN NOY

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

EDGE #7: JOSH UCHE, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

Height: 6’1”.   Weight: 241lbs

PRO’S: Trait-based prospect with ideal athleticism and length as an edge-rusher. Twitchy and quick out of his stance and attacks the corner with speed and aggression on every snap. Acceleration to the edge has blockers panicking and often over-setting. Slippery as he penetrates the line inbetween linemen or round the corner. Excellent pad level and bend to get under the hands of his opponent - shorter compact frame aids with this. Adept at dropping into pass coverage and plenty of tape of him playing as an off-ball linebacker, potentially meaning more scheme fits at the next level.

CON’S: Another potential ‘tweener’ - lacks the desired size and strength for a down-lineman, although his length is surprising for his height. Severe lack of experience and production - only a full-time starter as a Senior in Ann Arbor and had stat-padding games against inferior competition (see Illinois 2019). Low on play strength which is limited by his size. Mental processing currently lacking as a result - play diagnosis, positioning and comfort level in space and technique all stand to improve with more game time. Has too many missed tackles on tape.

SIMON CARROLL: “The success of Josh Uche in the NFL depends on his usage at the next level. I’d suggest that a lack of functional power on an already max’d out frame means he won’t be a defensive end. After his impressive Senior Bowl showing he likely finds himself a home as a weakside linebacker with situational pass-rushing ability in a two-point stance off the edge. This way you maximise his terrifying athleticism and mitigate the need for him to set the edge in the run game”.

NFL COMPARISON: UCHENNA NWOSU

PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

EDGE #8: JULIAN OKWARA, NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 248lbs

PRO’S: Rangy, athletic edge-rusher with impressive speed from snap to tackle. Alarmingly quick into the backfield with sometimes uncontrollable acceleration to the edge. Clever use of length; keeps blockers off his pads with accurate extended hand strikes that allow him to palm himself around the corner. Excellent turning circle at pace as he gets beyond the tackle. Productive tackler in the backfield. Good conversion of speed to power to drive linemen backwards and into the pocket. Able to come off the edge in an odd or an even front. Stout against the run.

CON’S: It’s all about speed and little about refinement or nuance. Pass-rush moves, particularly the diversity of them, need time and work to develop. Plays too tall and doesn’t dip under the tackle, he just out-races them to the edge. That won’t work in the NFL. Will need to add more upper and lower body strength or he’ll be one-dimensional as a pass-rusher and a liability in the run game - but he has the body type to do so. Doesn’t currently possess a plan B when he’s controlled early on a rep. Missed most of 2019 with a broken foot which medical teams will want to check out.

SIMON CARROLL: “Okwara comes off the line like he’s been shot out of a cannon, and his speed into the backfield can take your breath away. But he’s currently a one-trick pony that until he adds more weight is likely to be dismissed as a guy who can play with his hand in the dirt. 3-4 teams will like his projection as an outside linebacker and hope he can develop his all-round game”.

NFL COMPARISON: AARON LYNCH
PREDICTION: 2ND ROUND PICK

EDGE #9: BRADLEE ANAE, UTAH UTES

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 257lbs

PRO’S: Productive edge rusher who is scheme versatile and finds a way to get the job done. Brings a feisty attitude to the position and enjoys turning the battle with the tackle into a dogfight, from which he usually emerges victorious. Knows how to give himself the edge in a rep - quick twitch off the line, developed hand usage and able to goad opponents into making mistakes before taking advantage. Absolute grafter who never quits on a play and brings it for sixty minutes. Multi-skilled against the run - comfortable setting the edge and funnelling the ball carrier inside or getting into the backfield and locating the football.

CON’S: Limited both physically and athletically. Short arms the biggest culprit - just not enough length to consistently marshal blockers away from his numbers. Lateral mobility a tick slower than ideal and tape shows him being comfortably evaded on occasion. Below par pursuit speed. Play strength generally okay but loses power when reaching to mitigate lack of length. Pass rush moves are there but loses some speed when deployed - much prefers just gatecrashing the backfield in his traditional whirlwind style.

SIMON CARROLL: “Bradlee Anae brings an alpha-dog, rough and ready attitude to the defense that I find too easy to fall in love with. Despite lacking elite measurables he has found a plethora of ways to mask his deficiencies and the result is a well-balanced, effective game with consistent production. He’s scheme versatile but would likely maximise his potential as a 3-4 rush linebacker who can widen the angle and ramp up speed before the point of engagement”.

NFL COMPARISON: MARKUS GOLDEN

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

EDGE #10: JONATHAN GREENARD, FLORIDA GATORS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 262lbs

PRO’S: Busy, impulsive edge rusher with some impressive athleticism off the snap. Feet are sharp and twitchy - difficult to get a bead on him and what he’s about to do. Evasive en route to the quarterback - slippery through gaps and good bend and dip round the corner. Shows a couple of pass-rush moves that are well honed and effective. Good length keeps him off blocks comfortably as he works the edge. Has more than enough play strength to front up blockers and an adequate anchor to keep them at bay before shedding and making the play. Is a playmaker with a sixth sense of where he needs to be to locate the football. A warrior who is willing to play through pain for his team.

CON’S: Quickness off the snap not matched by speed throughout the rep or in lateral movement. Lack of range gets found out predominantly when left in space. Wins with hustle rather than technique and would be much more effective with improvement in hand placement and balance upon contact. Had a significant wrist injury in 2018 that lingered through his final season in Gainesville - didn’t seem to pack the same punch when engaging with linemen.

SIMON CARROLL: “Inconsistent game tape shows you flashes of what Greenard can do before wondering why he doesn’t do it on every rep. He has the length, strength and work ethic to be a three-down lineman but hasn’t quite put all the pieces together. Honing his fundamentals and technique will improve his production and longevity in the NFL, even if the lack of speed rounding the corner limits his ceiling as a prospect”.

NFL COMPARISON: ROBERT QUINN

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

EDGE #11: ALEX HIGHSMITH, CHARLOTTE 49ERS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 242lbs

PRO’S: Ascending prospect with remarkable athleticism and an under-appreciated dedication to honing his craft. Quick-twitch explosion off the snap and very quick into his blockers, never giving his opponent a play to rest. Impressive lateral agility that showcases his ability to be put out in space. Has a plethora of pass-rush moves to his repertoire that work well with his aggressiveness and urgency to locate the football. Shows good bend and dip on both inside and outside pass rushes. Rarely fooled by misdirection and is always around the football against the run. Impressive Combine performance.

CON’S: High-speed game comes at a cost against power blockers. Has reasonable length but not the upper body strength to hold off engagement and peel away. Lack of torque in lower half to set the edge and squeeze the pocket. Has the frame to fill out a little in this regard, but could come at the expense of his speed. May only be considered a viable starter by 3-4 teams that will showcase his athleticism and disguise his lack of power.

SIMON CARROLL: “An insanely productive career at Charlotte almost went under the radar a little for Highsmith, but he’ll open some eyes in the pre-draft process as his ridiculous athleticism is put on show. Without doubt he’s best suited to a standing role where he can pin his ears back and shoot around the edge, and if he can add more power to his game then watch out. Too much upside to escape day two”.

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

read Oli Hodgkinson's interview with Alex Highsmith here:

EDGE #12: CURTIS WEAVER, BOISE STATE BRONCOS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 265lbs

PRO’S: Tidy, clever pass-rusher with the full repertoire of moves to attack the inside gap or edge of the tackle. Supreme hand usage is his calling card - able to manipulate linemen with sharp punches and excellent placement, working himself around their corner. Eyes always in the backfield and conscious of how the play is developing. Densely built and can get physical when necessary - able to barrel linemen back into the pocket. Surprisingly productive in the run game despite physical limitations.

CON’S: Lacks the measurables. Significant lack of length and needs all of his nous and hand skills to keep blockers off him. Finds it difficult to stack and shed linemen when two-gapping or trying to set the edge. Sub-par athleticism and won’t be chasing down ball carriers from the backside. Similar athletic limitations make him uneasy in space - wasn’t asked to do a lot of pass coverage at Boise but you can see it being a concern at the next level. Over-enthusiasm to make the play has resulted in sporadic cases of missed tackles.

SIMON CARROLL: “There’s no doubt that Curtis Weaver can play football. His smarts, work ethic and intelligence allowed him to get the job done at college, but a distinct lack of athleticism could make the transition to the NFL a tough one for him. He likes to play upright off the edge but I’d argue he’s a 4-3 Defensive End who will bring production, even if he doesn’t look pretty doing it”.

NFL COMPARISON: SHEA MCLELLIN

PREDICTION: 3RD ROUND PICK

EDGE #13: DARRELL TAYLOR, TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 259lbs

PRO’S: Freakish, toolsy athlete with the power and athleticism that NFL teams covet. Elite play strength; explodes into blocker and stuns them with his first punch. Sufficient length and anchor to hunker down and set the edge against some of the bigger tackles in college football. Speed seems a little unrefined but when he manages to time the snap well offers electric burst that allows him to get to the corner. Good turning circle at speed - able to flatten out the route to the backfield with quickness, bend and balance.

CON’S: Raw. Lack of refined pass rush moves in his wheelhouse. Attacks blindly at speed rather than targeting the shoulder of his opponent. Needs to develop a counter-rush when the tackle oversets and show more evasiveness between the gaps. Can set the edge but inconsistent in stacking and shedding - funnels the play inside but doesn’t make the tackle himself. More consistent snap anticipation would improve his success into the backfield. Hesitation at the line of scrimmage can add an unexpected lethargy to his game.

SIMON CARROLL: “This kid is not going to be a day one starter - his game is underdeveloped in pretty much every category. But Taylor has the traits necessary to be a dominant edge rusher from any alignment and those guys are thin on the ground. Get him in a strong group with a couple of years to pick up the subtle nuances of the position and I can see him becoming a very productive starter for a long time”.

NFL COMPARISON: EFE OBADA

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #14: KENNY WILLEKES, MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 252lbs

PRO’S: Fierce competitor with unreal levels of work-ethic, determination and hustle on every down. Ultra-productive at Michigan State with 23.5 sacks in 39 games for the Spartans. Staunch in the run game and refuses to be shaded away from his gap responsibility. Works his modest length well, maintaining control of engagement with good release to shed when the time is right. Arms valuable again in pass rush duties, allowing him to keep free as he works round the edge. Works the tape as hard as he works on the field and is prepared come game time. Plays like his job is on the line. Well respected leader of the defense.

CON’S: Lacks the functional strength to consistently defeat the bigger tackles with power rush moves. Play speed also found wanting - his hustle and snap anticipation disguised a distinct sluggishness off the line and his heavy feet mean he’ll have a hard time getting round the corner in the NFL, no matter how good his hands are. Length, again, is below average for the next level.

SIMON CARROLL: “Willekes was a walk-on at State and it shows - he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder and it’s served him extremely well. The mountain he’s been climbing throughout his football career is about to get even steeper though, and sheer determination can only get you so far. He’s a 4-3 base end with a limited ceiling to his potential, but he’s going to show up to work from day one, make a roster and become a valued member of an NFL defensive unit”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #15: ALTON ROBINSON, SYRACUSE ORANGE

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 259lbs

PRO’S: High-upside, athletic prospect with the requisite speed and length to excel as a pass rusher in the NFL. Explosive off the snap; his quick burst propelling him to the line too quickly for blocker’s comfort. Shows some unteachable traits such as the bend and dip to round the corner at speed and flatten the route to the quarterback. Excellent change of direction pace and cut ability to dance through to a different gap. Closes on the football or round the backside like a heat-seeking missile.

CON’S: Robinson has a chequered history - he was set to enrol at Texas A&M before a robbery charge and physical altercation saw his scholarship offer revoked. He has the physical traits but needs to improve his hand usage, particularly his first shot which sets the tone of the play. Accuracy with his strikes are inconsistent and he ends up reaching despite his long arms, making his contact balance susceptible. Needs to add more play strength to his game - his anchor against the run is dubious and his upper body power to stack and shed defenders has yet to impress.

SIMON CARROLL: “Finding mid to late round talent is where NFL scouts make their money. Robinson is far from a polished product and will require dedicated coaching, but he has the physical tools to be a starting edge rusher in any alignment. He can be thrown in as a situational QB killer from out wide early, but if he puts it all together he could potentially be considered a draft steal in a few years time”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #16: JABARI ZUNIGA, FLORIDA GATORS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 253lbs

PRO’S: Looks the part - stacked frame with long arms that screams power and athleticism. Toughness personified - loves to land a hefty blow with his first punch and destroy the tackle’s intentions. Really drives power through his body and into his hands. Short-area quickness is impressive - quick off the snap and into the blockers. Has some potent pass rush moves and confident with his ability to swat away and push around to the edge. Scheme versatile - able to shift inside on sub-packages and provide excellent interior pass rush.

CON’S: All his play strength is in his upper body. Questionable anchor when sinking his hips and holding his ground - driven away from the ball far too often. Pad level too high and doesn’t help in his quest for leverage. Unable stack and shed with any consistency, instead getting locked up by strong-armed offensive linemen. Fluidity is a question mark - change of direction speed and bend and turning circle round the edge all could be better. Plays with reckless abandon and a lack of plan.

SIMON CARROLL: “One of the harder prospects to evaluate, Zuniga shows flashes of burst and power one minute and is sluggish and manhandled the next. His run defense is the primary concern and at this stage you’re definitely drafting him as a situational pass rusher. The good news? You can line him up in practically any alignment on the defensive line and he can get home. A chess piece that will intrigue scouts but his limited use on first and second down caps his draft stock”.

PREDICTION: 4TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #17: KHALID KAREEM, NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 265lbs

PRO’S: Human bulldozer. Formidable setting the edge against the run - uses his length to maintain control of engagement and squeeze the pocket. Almost impossible to move him off his spot once he has his feet set. A bully who likes to overpower his opponent and can ragdoll them on his way into the backfield. Bull-rush, if he is accurate with his first punch, is deadly. Frequently wins the leverage battle. Good anticipation off the snap to get the upper hand on first contact.

CON’S: Completely underdeveloped game. No pass rush nuance inside or out. Straight line attack dog who relies on brute force to get home - in the NFL this one-dimensional game will be found out and nullified. Hands don’t work hard enough to garner separation and aide his route to the ball. If he’s kept at bay early in the rep he won’t get back into it. Severe lack of short-area speed and lateral mobility and ball carriers slip by him too easily. When power is matched with power you get a slow-motion dance with no ability to reset or disengage.

SIMON CARROLL: “Unapologetically blunt in his approach to the position, Kareem is going to have a tough time convincing scouts he’s worth a punt and an even tougher time matching his college productivity at the next level. There’s no denying his physical attributes, but in the NFL you rarely win on power alone. A backup end for a 4-3 defense with questionable ability to improve”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #18: JONATHAN GARVIN, MIAMI HURRICANES

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 250lbs

PRO’S: A big dude and comfortable with it. Can throw his weight around and is stout at the point of attack. Massive arms and he knows how to use them, heavy hands maintaining his personal space as he works his way to the edge. Athleticism is startling for a guy his size. Ridiculously fast off the line and into the contact - sometimes so fast he breezes right by it. Conversion from speed to power is there too with an effective bull rush. Impressive closing speed to the football. Loves penetrating his gap and taking the ball carrier down behind the line.

CON’S: With more dedication in the weight room he could stand to get more muscle mass on that frame, and in turn more power to his game. Technique a work in progress - pass rush moves are blunt with little in the way of disguise or nuance. Hands not as good when stacking as they are when rushing - can settle for squeezing the pocket rather than shedding his block and making the play. Motor sometimes takes a break and doesn’t continue to work when he’s controlled early in the rep.

SIMON CARROLL: “It’s exciting to think what Garvin could be when you look at his size and speed. He offers true positional versatility and a well-rounded game at a point in the draft where you tend to find one or the other. The inconsistency he has shown throughout his college career will make teams wary and wonder if he’ll ever reach his natural potential. But day three picks are for taking risks, and Garvin has the traits to become something much better than he currently is”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #19: ANFERNEE JENNINGS, ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

Height: 6’2”.   Weight: 252lbs

PRO’S: Smart, cerebral football player with excellent length and strength upon engagement. Excellently coached with some developed pass rush moves, consistent hand placement and low pad level. Able to box out his opponent with arm extension and play strength until he needs to make a move. Likes to let a blocker know he’s there on every play with a stinging first punch. Elite play recognition - rarely any wasted steps chasing thin air. Plays hard throughout each rep and finishes with venom. Team leader and locker room asset.

CON’S: Questionable athleticism. Stiff in the hips and lateral agility is lacking. Lack of flexibility to get low as he attacks the edge. More sudden than quick and not comfortable in space - prefers to play in closer quarters where physicality reigns. No explosion off the snap and allows blockers to get set before contact. Closing speed a tick slower than you’d like. Scary knee injury in his Sophomore season but after recovery production increased his final two years in Tuscaloosa.

SIMON CARROLL: “In Alabama’s hybrid defense Jennings often assumed the ‘Leo’ linebacker role, standing up near the line of scrimmage. His lack of agility and functional play strength would suggest playing him with his hand in the dirt, but then you lose some of that impressive menace at the second level, particularly in the run game. The intangibles he brings to the table are unquestioned, but it is hard to project where an NFL team could utilise him to get the most out of his game”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #20: NICK COE, AUBURN TIGERS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 291lbs

PRO’S: Bull-like strength with long arms that makes a living off locking onto the tackle and setting the edge. Devastating power on first contact that gives him the upper hand. Strong hands allow him to dictate how long engagement lasts and is adept at coming off blocks and making the tackle. Causes chaos with his lower body power and push to crush the pocket. Able to crash inside and obliterate interior gaps with some pass rush ability once through the line. Has shown he knows how to get to the edge of a blocker in pursuit of the football.

CON’S: Really one-dimensional as a pass-rusher. Lack of lateral agility makes it hard for him to be anything other than a linear power rusher. Slow off the line and bang average pass-rush moves if he brings any - plenty of development in this area needed. Looks uncomfortable in space or when lined up wide with time and build up to attack the corner. Mental processing just isn’t there - he’s a hit first, think later kind of guy and savvy blockers can make him look very silly as he misses contact and ends up on the turf.

SIMON CARROLL: “Coe played all over the field for Auburn last year, including in a two point stance as an outside linebacker, but his size and underdeveloped game precludes any of that from being an option in the NFL. What he’s very good at is setting the edge and doing battle - he’ll likely be considered a base 3-4 defensive end with some upside as an interior destroyer on third down. But it could take a while before he’s ready for snaps on Sundays”.

PREDICTION: 5TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #21: TREVON HILL, MIAMI HURRICANES

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 233lbs

PRO’S: Very quick off the snap and showcases plus athleticism throughout his game. Has impressive natural bend that allows him to slink under the edge and into the backfield. Goes from 0-100 in the blink of an eye. Knows how to use his hands to stay free at contact and looks to just slide off blocks with with a pleasing intuitiveness. Very difficult for blockers to get their hands inside his pads. Lateral agility is good enough for him to adapt at high speed. Enjoys space and can work confidently in pass coverage when asked to.

CON’S: Ultra-lightweight torso that hasn’t been able to cope with run defense duties at college and has no chance in the NFL. Questionable whether he can add more muscle mass to his frame to aid his play strength. Similar story for his lower body - not enough sand in his pants to anchor down and repel down blocks. He’s a bad boy - thrown off the team at Virginia for calling out coaches in the wake of a poor loss and poor personal performance.

SIMON CARROLL: “Despite being a liability against the run, Hill would likely have been drafted higher than anticipated because he can get home to the quarterback on a consistent basis. The character concerns balance that out, but he offers something that scouts want and he’ll likely be used as an attack dog specialist in obvious passing downs”.

PREDICTION: 6TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #22: DERREK TUSZKA, NORTH DAKOTA STATE BISON

Height: 6’4”. Weight: 251lbs

Pros: After productive sophomore and junior seasons for the Bison, Tuszka had his most statistically impactfully year as a senior in 2019. He hit career highs in tackles for loss (19) and sacks (13.5). He has solid listed size for the edge, though limited length with 31 3/8” arms. Tuszka tested as a better athlete than expected at the Combine. His 6.87 3-cone drill particularly stood out. His well-rounded athletic profile lends itself to being effective against both the run and pass, working laterally and outside the tackles. His motor is fantastic, bringing effort each snap and chasing down everything. He regularly hustles his way into additional stops. He should offer special teams contributions in addition to defensive rotation snaps. Tuszka flashes polished upper body technique, overall hand use and placement, and second-phase counters. More than just technical, the Bison edge defender shows power and punch on contact. He does his best work attacking into the body and working off contact as opposed to winning through truly explosive speed and bend consistently off the edge.

Cons: While the testing presented Tuszka as a well-rounded athlete, his film doesn’t suggest an overly explosive edge rusher. His success comes more from technical execution and motor than dynamic burst and bend round the edge. Those are very positive traits but the ceiling might be somewhat limited. His lack of reach in his arms will see him controlled and directed at times on his FCS film. More of the same against better tackles would be expected. While Tuszka’s relentless effort and hands will see him eventually get home, he’s regularly rode round the outside of the pocket and behind the action. Tuszka’s flexibility and bend round the edge is limited.

Rebecca Rennie: “Tuszka stood out from the first snap of the first game of the 2019 season against Butler, and led all the way to another FCS National Title. His physicality and motor are complimented by solid athleticism. The Bison standout has some of the more refined hands in this edge class. A lack of length and flexibility along with modest upfield burst could limited the upside, however. He ought to contribute well as part of a front seven rotation and on special teams units.”

NFL Comparison: Lorenzo Mauldin

Prediction: 6th Round

EDGE #23: DJ WONNUM, SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

Height: 6’5”.   Weight: 254lbs

PRO’S: High-effort guy who brings his lunch pail and goes to work from the first snap to the last. Never gives up on a play. Excellent arm length and huge, active hands make him a pest that blockers have a hard time getting latched on to. An impressive combine performance showcased previously unseen athletic potential - he was in the 81st percentile or higher for broad jump, vertical jump and forty yard dash. Has some natural ability to get skinny and slink into the backfield. Proficient in coverage when asked to do so.

CON’S: Lacks the lower body torque to be a major factor against the run. Has problems disengaging from downfield blocks and flowing to the football. Upper body strength again lacking - his punch needs to be stronger and you want to see more stoutness against power directed at him. Athleticism seen at combine doesn’t translate to the tape - very linear rusher with lack of dip round the edge. Large turning circle as he rounds the corner.

SIMON CARROLL: “DJ Wonnum lacks the physicality and athleticism that NFL scouts want to see in day three prospects. His work ethic is admirable, but there are far too many holes in his game that require more strength and more agility, and no amount of coaching can add those to your repertoire. Coaches will love having him in their position group as he leads by example and sets the tone, but ultimately he’s a roster-filling outside linebacker for a 3-4 team that will see limited game-time at the next level”.

PREDICTION: 6TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #24: RONDELL CARTER, JAMES MADISON DUKES

Height: 6’3”. Weight: 265lbs

Pros: The Rutgers transfer put up a monster senior season. Carter piled up 66 tackles with a massive 27 TFLs, 12 sacks and a further 13 QB hurries. With consistent pressure beyond even those numbers, he was a disruptive force all year long. The senior wins with quickness and explosion that results in a highly active and disruptive game. The combination of a non-stop motor and lightning fast hands results in some instantaneous beats of offensive lineman. Whether executing a blur of a swim move or using his good reach and leverage to take control at the point, Carter needs to be accounted for every snap. There ought to be some inside-outside versatility to make use of his speed and power from the interior on passing downs as well as off the edge. Despite Carter’s high-energy style, there’s plenty flashes of discipline setting the edge in the run game, timing his disengagements, and to force the action inside into the arms of teammates. With 33.5” arms and nearly 81” wingspan, has good length as part of a powerful, compact frame.

Cons: In truth, it’s difficult to find flaws in Carter’s game, with traits that ought to translate well. The transfer from Rutgers will lead to some questions on what didn’t go to plan with the Scarlett Knights. Prior to his transfer, Carter was not listed on the two-deep to begin Spring camp. There were suggestions at the time though that some changes to the scheme and assignments were not going to suit Carter’s skill set well.

Rebecca Rennie: “It’s surprising that there hasn’t been more buzz around Carter during the pre-draft process. His lack of invite to the Senior Bowl, Shrine Bowl or Combine isn’t an ideal sign, instead attending the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Don’t be surprised to hear his name called on Day 3 regardless. Carter dominated the lesser competition and brings NFL level burst, power, aggression, balance and motor.

NFL Comparison: Tyquan Lewis

Prediction: 6th Round

EDGE #25: CARTER COUGHLIN, MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS

Height: 6’3”.   Weight: 234lbs

PRO’S: Production machine at college. 158 total tackles and 22.5 sacks in his four years at Minnesota. Ultra-competitive and brings a high work-ethic to the position. Intelligent footballer who recognises what the offense shows pre-snap. Has a nose for the football and makes the tackle every time it comes his way. Some juice off the line and when he has a free path to the backfield he gets there quick. Confident in space and comfortable in pass coverage. A special teams ace and a real coaches player.

CON’S: Small, lightweight frame that won’t cut the mustard as a down-lineman at the next level, so he’s restricted to being a stand-up outside linebacker in 3-4 schemes. Lack of play strength evident in most aspects of his game but mostly as a run defender when he tries to set the edge against tight ends or tackles - cannot halt the line, let alone push it backwards, and struggles to disengage as the ball carrier passes through. Lateral agility doesn’t match short-area quickness or straight line speed.

SIMON CARROLL: “Football’s equivalent of a workhorse midfielder in soccer, Coughlin is a true football player who has succeeded despite lacking the physical tools to do so. It will be a monstrous leap in competition for him at the next level and the learning curve will be steep -he’ll need time and patience for which prospects picked on day three don’t often get. His special teams prowess should save him and I expect him to make an NFL roster”.

PREDICTION: 7TH ROUND PICK

EDGE #26: AUSTIN EDWARDS, FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS

Height: 6’3”. Weight: 265lbs

Pros: A Divison 2 All-American and defensive player of the year, Edwards overpowered the opposition he faced week to week. His impact in the backfield and against the run was reflected well in his production. He totalled 64 tackles, 17.5 TFLS, 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2019. That was in spite of frequent attention from multiple blockers on a significant proportion of snaps. Though he measured in a touch shorter than his listed size, Edwards has a powerful sturdy build and enough length in his 33” arms. The small school prospect shows good reactions off the snap with attacking intent from the go. He extends well into first contact, showing controlling power at the point of attack. Edwards regularly employs a direct approach, attacking into the body of his opposing blocker in his attempts at creating backfield disruption. His bull rushes were consistently impactful at the lower level, frequently driving O-linemen back deep into the pocket. There’s more to his game than just power, flashing some useful hand swipes when set loose to target the QB.

Cons: Though he physically dominated the Division 2 competition, Edwards will likely need to add more to his game for the significant step up to the pro level. The flashes of hand use are good to see, but there’s not much variety or technically savvy in his upper body technique. Very much a developmental prospect, he could require some time and patience before being ready to take on a prominent role. It’s unlikely that he’ll become a consistent edge rusher, with limited flexibility to turn the corner. Edwards often tends to jump up a bit upright out of his stance. That doesn’t present many issues playing at Ferris State, but can’t afford to give up leverage against elite opposition in the NFL.

Rebecca Rennie: “Edwards is an intriguing developmental prospect who may not be ready to contribute early. There’s upside worth pursuing however, with a good frame and power for the next level. The potential showed up in flashes during his time at the East-West Shrine event, both in practices and the game. A late round flier could pay off down the line.

Prediction: 7th Round

EDGE #27: TREVIS GIPSON, TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANES

Height: 6’4”.   Weight: 259lbs

PRO’S:Looks the part. Lanky guy who dedicated himself to the weight room at Tulsa and came out looking like an NFL defensive end. Huge arms and hands. Definite pliable athleticism that he hasn’t lost when getting bigger - lateral agility shows a history of basketball and possesses impressive bend and dip when attacking the edge. Enjoys hitting people and finishes violently. A playmaker - seven forced fumbles and 12 sacks in his final two years at Tulsa

CON’S: Raw - he may look the part, but he’s far from being the part. Needs to learn how to play with his extra weight - develop power aspect to his game in particular. Liability against the run - just not stout enough at contact and struggles to locate the football when engaged. Doesn’t know what he’s doing with those hands at all. Has one real pass-rush move and exhausts it’s use. Gets lost on some plays. Footwork and balance is shoddy and gets knocked over or out of stride far too easily..

SIMON CARROLL: “Will the light turn on for Gipson? His freakish size and potential to add more power to his game will tease scouts but he’s had four years at Tulsa and he’s added the minimium needed to his game to be effective at that level. The upside is undeniably huge - it’s akin to taking an international pathway player and moulding phenomenal tools into a football player. He’ll likely hit the practice squad with a view to being a contributor down the road”.

PREDICTION: 7TH ROUND PICK

Feature Image Credit: Joseph Maiorana (USA Today Sports)

Simon

Simon Carroll

CFB/NFL DRAFT EDITOR

PREVIOUSLY THE FOUNDER OF NFL DRAFT UK, SIMON HAS BEEN SCOUTING DRAFT PROSPECTS FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.  HE FULLY MIGRATED TO THE TOUCHDOWN AS HEAD OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND NFL DRAFT CONTENT IN JULY 2019. ALL THE RANKINGS ABOVE ARE HIS OWN, AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF ALL THE WRITERS AT THE TOUCHDOWN. FOR DISCUSSION OF ANY OF THE DRAFT PROSPECTS ABOVE, HIT HIM UP ON TWITTER @NFLDRAFTSI.

5/5