Now that we have discussed the offensive tackle class, we finish our third week of positional draft rankings with the edge rushers. You can also check out my breakdowns of the best running backs and linebackers, interior offensive and defensive linemen.
Unlike a lot of sites still do, I don’t want to differentiate between defensive tackles, D-ends and outside linebackers, since a lot of times I would be forced to compare guys that actually come off the edge with two-gapping 5-techniques and off-the-ball linebackers. So this list includes 4-3 defensive ends and 3-4 outside backers coming out of college.
We have an obvious headliner in this class and there is another group of three prospects that I will have first-round grades on. After that there is a pretty steep drop-off and a lot of disagreement with how the rest of this group stacks up. With that being said, I think there are plenty of versatile edge defenders available and you might find some early starters on day three, with some guys that are pretty technically advanced already.
Here is the list:
After talking about the top running backs and linebackers to kick things off and then the best interior linemen on either side of the ball last week, we now look at the guys on the edges – starting out with the offensive tackle position.
I really think this is as good a tackle class – when you look at the top four – as we have seen in a long, long time. While all but the number one prospect definitely still need some development before reaching their potential, I would much rather draft them than a lot of the other overhyped guys we have seen recently.
However, even after that group, I believe there are several intriguing options out there, who may have some negatives to consider, but could certainly develop into some valuable starters at the next level.
Here is the list:
Following up on my rankings of the top ten interior offensive linemen, we now move back to the defensive side. IDL includes everything from a true zero-technique nose-tackle all the way out to a five-tech defensive end in a 3-4 front.
The days of those big defensive tackles, who are just immovable objects in the middle are over. That was indicated by what we saw from them at the combine, as we had three of the top four times for 300+ pounds D-linemen in the 40 getting set this year.
This group includes several upfield 3-techniques you can find in a 4-3 front, but also have kind of become the new standard of what NFL scouts are looking for, since defenses are rarely in base sets anymore and you are just looking for guys, who can create problems for the opposition by disrupting the play.
Here is the list:
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We have reached week two of my positional draft rankings and it is time to look a little into the trenches, with the top interior linemen on either side of the ball.
This group of includes all centers and guards, which also means the collegiate tackles who I expect to move inside at the next level.
Back in December the interior OL class did not look overly exciting, but with a few very talented centers deicing to come out this year already, there is much more to talk about. Overall this list is ruled by the center position, with two easily earning top-50 grades and seven altogether in my top ten.
Here is the list:
After putting out my top running back prospects on Tuesday, we will follow that up today with the linebackers – as we will jump back and forth between offense and defense until all these rankings are released.
First of all, this to me are primarily off-ball linebackers, meaning no true edge rushers or 3-4 outside linebackers, who I don’t expect to stand up a whole lot.
This group of off-ball backers might not have a big names after the top four, but they are all more athletic than I would have thought before I saw them perform at the combine and they are just absolute freaks at the top as well as a few likely day three selections.
We have one headliner, whose versatility will probably make him a top-ten pick, with two other likely first-round selections and another fringe guy, who played on the edge primarily in college. After that there is a lot of disagreements among the draft community and question marks for pretty much every prospect.
This is the list:
We have reached that time of the year where I reveal my top ten prospects in the draft at every single position and as always, we start with the running backs.
This group of backs to me has one true headliner and two other guys, who I would consider in that late first/early second round range. After that there is a bit of a drop-off and I see a lot of variations of the rankings out there. The next five players are worth a day two selection for me, but I see a lot of value in the later rounds with some small-school prospects I really like. So if that top trio is off the board after the top 50 picks or so, it really depends on if there is a guy you really like beyond that and if not, I would wait some time and see if I can address the position later.
With that being said, here is my list:
Every year we go to the combine with some big question marks – How correct are the measurements given out for prospects by their respective schools? How does a player’s athleticism correlate into real numbers? And how do they fare when put into actual football drills, that can expose weaknesses? While the medical reports and interviews going on behind the scene are obviously a big part of the evaluation as well, I want to focus on the things we saw from these NFL hopefuls during their testing and workouts. Even though it is natural that some prospects fall down boards because of what they do in Indianapolis, I wanted to stay positive and point out the who stood out the most with their combine showings. Here is the list: