Nick Falato’s Top 10 EDGE Rushers and Reports

[dt_divider style=”thick” /]The 2018 NFL Draft is upon us! By the end of the week, we will know the destinations of our favorite prospects. As we analyze how our respective teams drafted, we will look forward to the future, while pontificating our predictions in a presumptuous manner. The draft process is incredibly fun, yet somewhat frustrating, due to the unknown nature of what will happen, but this will be rectified on Thursday! After over a year of enjoyable tape on these prospects, here are my top 10 EDGE rankings for the 2018 NFL Draft Class!

1. Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State

2017 Stats: 72 tackles, 23 TFL, 10 Sacks

40 yard dash: 4.65

10 yard split: 1.62

3 Cone: 7.37

Vertical: 36”

Broad Jump: 10’01”

Bench: 24

Strengths: The consensus number one pass rusher in the class possesses a unique combination of size and athleticism as a two way player that is incredibly effective against both the run and pass. He anticipates the snap really well, which is juxtaposed with his very good burst off the line of scrimmage. This maximizes his disruptive ability. He sets an effective edge, while working back inside effectively in order to restrict rushing lanes. Quick hands at the point of attack that possess excellent strength, while having the mental processing to accurately land his punch, with exceptional timing. Converts speed to power effortlessly and attacks the half man with excellent hands, bend, and quickness in order to soften the edge of the arc and swivel his hips towards the pocket. Can chop, rip, swim, or spin effectively in order to defeat blocks, while also minimizing his surface area up the arc. Flashes counter moves while displaying high football intelligence with a vast pass rush plan. Strong tackler who wraps up and finishes hard. Hard working backside pursuit defender who consistently made big plays for the Wolf Pack. Motor is relentless and if your team drafts him, you will love this player. He’s flexible, strong, and versatile and I expect him to be selected in the top 5 of Thursday’s draft.

Weaknesses: Isn’t the twitched up athlete that a prospect like Myles Garrett was in last years draft. He doesn’t have an overly effective bull rush technique when he is squared up with an offensive lineman. While moving laterally, he struggled to maintain his balance through contact, when facing an offensive lineman with very good strength/technique.   

1 Year Projection: Day one starter that can play as a 4-3 End or a 3-4 strong side OLB, while leading rookies in sacks. Could potentially be the best pass rusher on his team and will quickly ingratiate himself with whatever fan base is lucky enough to have him.

3 Year Projection: Pro Bowler who offenses will have to game plan around. He has easy double digit sack upside, while also being very valuable against the run. As his career progresses, hovering around the 12-15 sack mark for consecutive years is not an outlandish thought. He will consistently wreak havoc on opposing offensive line man for years to come.

5 Teams to Watch: Giants, Browns, Broncos, Colts, Buccaneers  

2. Harold Landry, Boston College

Measurables: Height: 6023, 252 lbs, 9.37” Hands, 32.8” Arms

2017 Stats: 38 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5 sacks (In 8 games)

40 yard dash: 4.64

10 yard split: 1.59

3 Cone: 6.88

Vertical: 36”

Broad Jump: 9’11”

Bench: 24

Strengths: Athletic, flexible edge rusher who can really stress the pocket with his exceptional first step and cornering ability. Explodes off the line of scrimmage and has a very good ability to shoot gaps and be disruptive against the run and the pass. Speed rusher who has excellent short area quickness to close width on defenders, while showing very good pursit and range. Maximizes his cornering ability by maintaining speed through tight angles at the top of the arc, while doing a good job maintaining speed through contact. The combination of rare flexibility throughout his body and his burst, really helps him take advantage of the edge. I expect Landry to be selected in the top 15 picks of Thursday’s draft. Watch how Landry plays the run below.

Weaknesses: Is physical, but is not the strongest at the point of attack. Relies too heavily on speed and flexibility. Must become more of a hand technician in the league. Will need to develop more counter moves and more moves to defeat blocks, while also adding strength, so he can become better at converting speed to power. Pass rushing repertoire must improve for him to maximize all the physical gifts he possesses. 2016 tape was much better than 2017 tape due to an ankle injury that limited his flexibility.  

1 Year Projection: Can be a starter day one, but will thrive in passing situations as a 3-4 SOLB or as a 4-3 LEO. As of right now, the wider the angle of rushing the better for Landry, at least until he develops a more technical understanding of how to defeat blocks. Let him pin his ears back and be healthy, he’ll get to the quarterback.

3 Year Projection: Can be a Pro Bowl player that could potentially be recording double digit sacks by this point. He’ll need to stay healthy and fall into the right situation but he has the physical tools, now it’s time for a coaching staff to develop and enhance his skillset.

5 Teams to Watch: Broncos, Colts, Bears, 49ers, Packers  

3. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State 

Measurables: Height: 6053, 270 lbs, 10” Hands, 33.1” Arms

2017 Stats: 42 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 7 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.95

10 yard split: 1.69

3 Cone: 6.84

Vertical: 35”

Broad Jump: 9’08”

Bench: 16

Strengths: Hubbard has been one of my favorite players to watch through this draft process. His competitive toughness, versatility, and ability to be effective in both phases of playing in the trenches is impressive, especially when you consider the fact that he was a 5 star recruit as a safety. He plays the run very well by setting a firm edge with a very good initial punch, while maximizing his length. Works inside to restrict the B gap on inside runs and forces disadvantageous angles for the offense on outside runs. His best trait is his ability to change direction at the line of scrimmage and accelerate with ease. Excellent footwork and rare COD at the line of scrimmage makes him incredibly dangerous on stunts/twists. This made him very effective for Ohio State, but that wasn’t his only calling card. Possesses very good short area quickness and acceleration to stop and start. Hubbard knew how to take blocks on and shed with his hands, while timing the snap well, in order to maximize his first step off the line of scrimmage. His pass rushing repertoire was vast and featured counters, rips, swims, and clubs. His ability to know how to use his hands to soften angles while utilizing good flexibility up the arc will be important to his NFL team. He is deemed by many as someone who earns sacks through effort, which sounds all well and good, but it’s a backhanded slight on his skill set. I believe he is more than just an effort sack individual. He is an aggressive player that finishes and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with his mental makeup. I had a late first round grade on Hubbard and I stand by it, but I feel the NFL will value him in the middle parts of the second round.

Weaknesses: He isn’t a twitched up athlete that wins off pure athleticism and his burst is relatively modest for today’s edge defenders, although I feel this is somewhat overstated by the mainstream draft analysts. Is not overly flexible in the hips and has some tightness when working the top of the arc, but really uses his hands to create seperation and soften the edge. He could stand to refine his inside spin move by dropping his pad level a little bit in order to lower his center of gravity.

1 Year Projection: Hubbard could start day one in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme at the next level. He is heralded for his leadership and intelligence. He will have immediate value as a pass rusher and an edge setter. He is tough, smart, and physical, and he will have a strong impact year one with whoever is smart enough to draft him. He could play as either 1-gapping 4-3 5-technique or 3-4 OLB effectively at the next level. His versatile athletic ability and size would make him a very good 4-3 open side RE, while lining up in a 3 point or 4 point stance at the 5T or 9T alignment. I think his best fit is as a 4-3 End in a Zone blitz heavy scheme, where his ability to set the edge, rush the passer, and stunt ability could be effectively utilized. A 3-4 OLB is also fitting. He may not have run fast at his pro day, but he showed movement skills in space in the combine drills. If teams want to play him as a 3-4 OLB, they can, but he will have to shed some weight and get down to the 250ish area.

3 Year Projection:. Hubbard should be a 7-8 sack guy, especially if he is on a team that features Zone blitzing and stunts/twists. Hubbard will thrive in a complementary roll to a more dominant pass rusher.  His ability and relentless motor will make one of the thirty two teams very happy they drafted him.

5 Teams to Watch: Titans, Patriots, Jets, Lions, Browns

4. Lorenzo Carter, Georgia

Measurables: Height: 6047, 250 lbs, 10.3” Hands, 34” Arms

2017 Stats: 62 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.50

10 yard split: 1.56

3 Cone: N/A

Vertical: 36”

Broad Jump: 10’10”

Bench: N/A

Strengths: Incredibly athletic ability, with excellent length and burst. Twitched up and utilizes every bit of his length, while showing a good first step and an excellent long arm technique to keep tackles off his chest. Is good against the run by using excellent footspeed to defeat reach blocks and excellent eye discipline/leverage to maintain his run fits. Hand placement is very good and he has an effective initial stab. Provides positional versatility, can play edge or off ball linebacker, and he shows excellent pursuit and range in space while displaying good football intelligence. Disguises his blitzes incredibly well and times them effectively. Possesses the desired flexibility in his lower half, while showing the ability to maintain speed through tight angles. Has an incredibly wide tackling radius. I will not be surprised if a team drafts Carter in the late 20s of Thursday’s draft. You can see below how he mentally processes the game and shows the ability to set the edge (not too wide), work back inside to restrict the rushing lane inside, while allowing the alley defender to come down and make a play. But it is Lorenzo who forces the fumble and helps sway the Bulldogs to victory.  

Weaknesses: Is not fully proficient with his use of hands yet and doesn’t have an extensive pass rush plan. Struggles to stack and shed at the point of attack when he doesn’t make initial contact. Needs to convert speed to power more effectively and his leg drive/bull-rush is adequate. He’ll need to become stronger in order to fully live up to his athletic gifts.

1 Year Projection: An athletic chess piece that any creative defensive coordinator will love to coach. The competitive toughness, athletic ability, and explosive burst of Carter will find him in pass rushing sub-packages in his first year if he is not starting. He has the athletic profile to start in year 1, especially by midseason when he adapts to the speed and nuances of the NFL. He will need to add strength and potentially some weight depending on what type of system drafts him. Carter has a lot of positional versatility and showed it for the Bulldogs. He lined up as a 3-4 OLB, 4-3 5T, in the slot against receivers/TEs, sugaring the A gap, and was entrusted with several responsibilities. He can play in both a base 3-4 or 4-3 system in the NFL, but his ideal fit is a 1-gapping 3-4 OLB that can pin his ears back and get after the quarterback, while providing very good value in pass coverage as an OLB. A scheme with a lot of Zone blitzes that can be disguised would be very beneficial to Carter, since he does an excellent job in this area. He has the height and length to play 4-3 End in the NFL, but he is going to have to add some more weight and strength.     

3 Year Projection: Carter will be starting by year 3 and will flirt with 6-7 sacks a year (depending on how the defensive coordinator uses him), while piling up quarterback pressures. He will be looking for a big contract soon after his 3 year mark and I am sure whatever team drafts him would love to keep him. He progressed each year at UGA and nothing shows me that he won’t keep progressing with the aggressive nature, competitiveness, and relentlessness that he played with in college. Pro-Bowl may be a bit aggressive for year 3, but it shouldn’t be for year 5, when he grows more into his frame and develops experience.

5 Teams to Watch: Giants, Cardinals, Titans, Rams, Redskins

5. Josh Sweat, Florida State

Measurables: Height: 6046, 251 lbs, 10.25” Hands, 34.6” Arms

2017 Stats: 56 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.53

10 yard split: 1.55

3 Cone: 6.95

Vertical: 39.5”

Broad Jump: 10’04”

Bench: 16

Strengths: Sweat is a rare combination of athletic ability and size, which was truly on display at the combine. Has incredibly long arms and a chiseled physique. As for his game, he utilizes this athletic ability by displaying excellent change of direction skills, lateral agility, explosiveness, foot speed, and rare pursuit/straight line speed down the field. Is effective against the run and the pass. Excellent lower body strength is utilized to set the edge, while being very good against the run. Was used too often in a 4 point stance as a 4iT/3T for Florida State, which is not his natural position, but he still found ways to wreck havoc. Powerful hands at the point of attack are used to stun and disengage blockers. Very good mental processing was utilized to recognize offensive play concepts. Fluid hips and has good ankle flexibility, while showing the ability to convert speed to power. Utilizes very good rips, clubs, and swims while flattening the edge and putting stress on tackles at the top of the arc. Motor significantly improved in his junior season and he always plays to the whistle, while his backside pursuit is one of the best in the class. Has very good location skills and short area quickness as a tackler while finishing with power and authority. Will more than likely be an early day 2 pick, but I wouldn’t be shocked if a team drafts him in the first round due to his immense upside.   

Weaknesses: Had the worst ability to time the snap out of all the defensive line players I scouted. Will need to develop a more advanced pass rushing skill set with more counters. Needs to do a better job stringing moves together, for he doesn’t do this consistently. Some improvements to his upper body strength are necessary in order for him to reach his potential at the NFL level. His biggest question mark is injuries. Had a devastating knee injury in his senior year of high school and he had to have a clean up surgery on the same knee while at Florida State.

Year 1 Projection: He can start for a team, but it would be ideal if he is worked into a rotation as a situational pass rusher. With his relentless play and hardworking attitude, he will quickly earn the trust of his NFL coaching staff. Will more than likely slide in as a base 4-3 End at 5T, while also lining up in W9, in a four point stance, that can maximize his explosiveness and ability to get to the quarterback. Could also play as a a 3-4 OLB but he wasn’t tasked in coverage too often at FSU. Displayed very good movement skills in space, while his athletic testing and natural hip flexibility would suggest that he can cover an opposing player in space.

Year 3 Projection: Sweat can be a double digit sack generator at the next level if he stays healthy and lands on a team that has other talented pass rushers. He must improve his functional upper body strength and add weight if he is going to be a consistent force as a 4-3 End.

5 Teams to Watch: Steelers, Texans, Colts, Seahawks, Chiefs

6. Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest

Measurables: Shoulder surgery has limited his off season workouts

2017 Stats: 43 tackles, 17 TFL, 7 sacks

Strengths: When it comes to technical hand proficiency, there is no other pass rusher that is more refined than Duke Ejiofor. Criminally under discussed due to the fact that he did not partake in the Senior Bowl or Combine, Ejiofor will provide instant pass rushing ability from all over the defensive line. Very good discipline versus the run, while having a strong anchor to maintain discipline in his gap. Uses his hands well to shed blocks at the point of attack and has good overall play strength. What makes Ejiofor so intriguing is his ability to rush the passer. His mental processing and ability to adapt as a pass rusher is the best in the class. He is precocious with how he uses his hands to strike and shed, with excellent timing and strength, while possessing a good first step off the line of scrimmage. Hands are very active and he strings moves together better than anyone in this class, with rips, armovers/swims, clubs, push-pulls and a ton of counter moves. Effectively rushes from the inside as a 3T, and does a very good job being disruptive with a rare motor. Will be a day 2 pick, potentially in the third round, but I feel he should be a late second round pick.

Weaknesses: Not the best athlete and he only possesses solid overall flexibility; could contort his upper body to fit through skinny gaps, but didn’t show much bend in his lower half. Didn’t really utilize his bull-rush much at Wake Forest and he could stand to convert speed to power a bit better. His burst is only solid and he could stand to develop a harder initial punch when engaging base blocks.

1 Year Projection: Ejiofor will have a role early on in his NFL career because he can rush the passer. I see him being a passing down specialist from the 5T, W9, or 3T position depending on the team he lands on. Even early on, the pressure he can generate in a passing league is invaluable. He will need refinement and some added strength to be an effective full-time starter in year one, but his skill set will still be coveted early on in the NFL. Played all over the line at Wake Forest. Was used as an interior (2T, 3T, mostly in a 4 point stance) in passing situations and he lined up mostly to the field as a 5T in early down situations. He fits as a 4-3 End who can kick inside and be a situational pass-rusher as a 3T. His quickness and pass-rushing repertoire can be effective inside and outside. I believe his coverage skills may be a liability as a full time 3-4 OLB.

3 Year Projection: Ejiofor could be a full-time starter who has 8 sack potential, especially if he lands on a 4-3 team that has a stout defensive front and he isn’t the main focus. He’ll be an explosive pass rusher that teams will love to have, but that doesn’t mean he is a fully polished product.    

5 Teams to Watch: Eagles, Bengals, Raiders, Bears, Panthers

7. Marcus Davenport, UTSA

Measurables: Height: 6056, 264 lbs, 9.1” Hands, 33.6” Arms

2017 Stats: 55 tackles, 17.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.58

10 yard split: 1.62

3 Cone: 6.84

Vertical: 33.5”

Broad Jump: 10’04”

Bench: 22

Strengths: Imposing size and length while possessing very good strength at the point of attack. Good burst off the line of scrimmage and he shows a lot of versatility; lines up with his hand in the dirt, while also showing very good movement skills in open space for a man of his size. Excellent motor and he never takes any plays off, while showing very good pursuit on the backside and good range in open space. Utilizes his length well versus the run and versus the pass, with his excellent tackling radius and by getting his hands into passing lanes, respectively. Has an effective bull-rush. An aggressive tackler who has a unique combination of size, burst, and length, which will entice teams to draft him in the first round. I currently have a day 2 grade on the prospect.

Weaknesses: Needs to refine how he uses his hands; placement is off and he lacks pass rushing counters. Is not very creative with how he wins his pass rushing reps. Relies way too much on his strength; a lot of his production was him taking advantage of weaker opponents and using his brute strength to overpower smaller school tight ends and running backs. Struggles to shed blocks at the point of attack when his strength doesn’t do the work for him. Not very flexible in his lower half and will struggle to bend the corner through tight angles while maintaining speed. His pad level becomes way to high on the line of scrimmage which results in him being controlled. Needs some time to develop and adapt to the next level of competition. Was exposed at the Senior Bowl practices by Power 5 opponents and was dominated by Division II prospect Alex Cappa (Humboldt State) in the one on one drills.       

1 Year Projection: Raw strength and length will be very appealing to any defensive coordinator and Davenport has these qualities. His very good initial burst with excellent strength and jolt to shock blockers at the point of attack provide a lot of value, while also possessing very good athletic ability at his size. Davenport relied heavily on overpowering his opponents in college, which isn’t as translatable in the NFL, so developing a refined pass rushing plan with counters and the ability to consistently string moves together while maximizing his physical gifts will be the goal for the coaching staff. With progression in these areas, and his very good ability to handle himself in the run game, he can be a full time starter by years end, but not right away. He will most certainly be a pure force on special teams that has realistic ability to block a few kicks in year one. Davenport has excellent movement skills, with rare size and length, while possessing very good athletic ability. These unteachable traits make him incredibly versatile at the next level. He can play 4-3 End, but he had his most success as an OLB in a 2 point stance that can read his keys, react, and effectively convert speed to power, while bull-rushing and abusing offensive lineman. He could fit in as a 3-4 SAM and he has the pursuit and burst to play 3-4 WILL. Teams that utilize the LEO position would love a player like Davenport and he could be a force as a LEO utilizing his rare blend of size, burst, and athleticism.    

3 Year Projection: A player with this kind of size, athletic ability, and strength has massive upside. Davenport’s collective qualities are rare and if he falls into the right situation, he could easily be a nine sack player by year three, who is a force in the run that commands offensive attention, but the right coaching staff must be in place to hone Davenport’s traits and teach him these skills. This will take some time.

5 Teams to Watch: Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Oakland, Chiefs

8. Arden Key, LSU

Measurables: Height: 6060, 238 lbs, 10” Hands, 33.5” Arms

2017 Stats: 33 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 4 sacks (In 8 games)

40 yard dash: 4.85

10 yard split: N/A

3 Cone: 6.84

Vertical: 31”

Broad Jump: 9’08”

Bench: N/A

Strengths: Excellent athlete with very good length and explosiveness, while showing very good flexibility to bend through tight corners and soften the angle. Maintains a high rate of speed through contact and shows very good bend in his hips/ankles. Key has the critical ability to not only dip and drop his weight but to to bend around the corner, swivel his hips and use his excellent flexibility to really stress the pocket. Large tackling radius is juxtaposed with exceptional short area quickness. Showed the ability to dominate games, but it was way too inconsistent. Showed a good ability to maneuver in space and drop into coverage. Excellent suddenness in his movements, while possessing good COD skills. Very good pursuit as a backside defender and shows very good range when he is fully invested in the game. Low floor, high ceiling player. Has a ton of potential, but will it be maximized? Once thought of as a top 5 pick, he more than likely will fall to a mid to late day 2 pick.  

Weaknesses: Arden Key is an enigma. Never lived up to all the hype at LSU. He looked like he was a star in the making, but it didn’t exactly come to fruition. He struggled to keep his weight in check, reportedly coming in at 280, and while he improved his run defense, he struggled with his burst. Weighs in at 238 pounds at his pro day and puts up a lackluster 40 time. Left LSU’s program for undisclosed reasons and there are just tons of red flags that surround Key. He also dealt with shoulder injuries this past season. Outside of Key’s flags, he struggles to disengage blocks when he is engaged with offensive lineman. His punch is adequate and lacks the desired power for someone playing on the edge. Must grow into his body a bit more and add some strength, so he can hold up better at the point of attack. Doesn’t get much push from his lower body. Lacks consistency in his play and just disappears from games. Will need to be surrounded by a strong defensive locker room, with a very experienced coach.

1 Year Projection: He has excellent athleticism, size/length, and he thrives as a pass rusher. There are a lot of unanswered questions about why he briefly left LSU’s program, but his suddenness, 2nd gear, and relentless nature are evident. He took a step back in his junior season and it could have been due to his offseason shoulder surgery or the personal reasons on why he left the team. Key has the most potential of any pass rusher in the class, but maximizing the potential is the key for Key. The physical tools he possesses will earn him pass down reps day one as a 3-4 edge rusher who has the ability to drop in coverage in Zone blitz heavy schemes. I expect there to be a bit of an adjustment period early. He relied heavily on his superior athletic ability at LSU and he will see much better athletes with much better pass sets on the edge in the NFL. Adding weight and strength to improve his ability vs the run is ideal, but he should most certainly start year one if all his off the field concerns are squared away and he stays healthy.     

3 Year Projection:  Has the upside to be a consistent Pro-Bowler, who dominates games as a pass rusher, but that doesn’t mean it is a sure thing. He is going to have to grow into his body a bit more, add some strength/weight to his frame, and really refine his technique and hand usage to defeat blocks in the run game. Key should be earning around eight sacks while being an absolute force for opposing offenses as a pass rusher. His physical skill set and athletic profile can not be taught. With the right coaching and environment, Key could be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL by the time his first contract expires, but that is a tall if, since Key’s biggest concern may be himself.  

5 Teams to Watch: Saints, Packers, Bears, Chiefs, Broncos

9. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma

Measurables: Height: 6015, 253 lbs, 9” Hands, 33.7 Arms

2017 Stats: 75 tackles, 17 TFL, 8 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.77

10 yard split: 1.65

3 Cone: 7.09

Vertical: 38”

Broad Jump: 10’01”

Bench: 27

Strengths: A pure pass rusher off the edge who has the burst, athletic ability, and flexibility to be effective in that role. Uses his explosiveness to attack the half man, get hip to hip with blockers on the edge, while using his hands effectively to disengage. Very good quickness off the snap. Bends the corner well, with very good lower body flexibility. Forced tackles to open their hips prematurely, which would result in him using his good mental processing to dictate his next pass rushing move. Uses a hard inside counter move to take advantage of over setting offensive lineman and he possesses a very good pass rush plan. Plays with excellent leverage and a low center of gravity. Does a very good job timing and shooting gaps. Good wrap up tackler with very good short area burst to close width and locate. Has the spatial awareness and movement ability to drop into coverage. Although he is an effective pass rusher, I feel he will go somewhere in the third round, due to his deficiencies in regards to his strength.       

Weaknesses: Short and will be scheme specific to a 3-4 OLB on the edge. Struggled to set the edge consistently and was bullied at times by more physical offensive lineman. Adequate anchor versus bigger competition and doesn’t stalemate double team blocks. Needs to do a better job stacking and shedding tight ends in space. Will need to improve his overall strength to earn a 3 down roll.     

1 Year Projection: Okoronkwo made a living in opposing offenses backfields. His ability to get after the passer will not go overlooked. He will see the field in his first year, but the question is how often? Slight inconsistencies, solid play strength, and being merely solid vs the run is not ideal, but in passing down situations he will thrive. He may not start from day one, but as the season advances I expect him to earn a starting roll and five sacks is not out of the question. Will be a pass rushing specialist early on, preferably on the edge as a 3-4 OLB.

3 Year Projection: Okoronkwo will be a name that is known throughout the NFL because of his ability to sack the quarterback. 8 sacks and a lot of praise isn’t out of the question with some added strength, coaching on how to play the run, and how to refine his hand usage to maximize the excellent flexibility and athletic traits that he possesses. Pro-Bowl by year three may be a bit premature, but the future is bright for Okoronkwo.

5 Teams to Watch: Broncos, Giants, Ravens, Texans, Colts

10. Kemoko Turay, Rutgers,

Measurables: 6045, 253 lbs, 9.6” Hands, 33.3 Arms

2017 Stats: 60 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 sacks

40 yard dash: 4.65

10 yard split: 1.62

3 Cone: 6.84

Vertical: 34”

Broad Jump: 9’11”

Bench: 18

Strengths: Unique blend of size and explosiveness, while possessing excellent overall length.  Excellent first step, bursts off the line of scrimmage low, while doing a very good job getting skinny through interior gaps. Excellent ability to move laterally and work through trash, while displaying excellent pursuit. Packs violence into his hands and he flashes a very good swat move to free his chest up once opponents engage. Does a very good job eluding the tackles punches on the edge by showcasing his ability to bend at the ankles/hips and soften the edge. Good initial moves as a pass rusher, which puts him in an advantageous position. Does possess a good push-pull and rip move to disengage and create space. Aggressive tackler who punishes the ball carrier. Motor is always running and he never take plays off. Has more than enough athletic ability to cover in space and should be a very good chess piece as an OLB in a 3-4 system. Upside is immense for Turay and that is why he makes the top 10 over more well rounded prospects like Ohio State’s Tyquan Lewis. Turay should be selected somewhere at the end of day 2 or the beginning of day 3.

Weaknesses: Struggles significantly with his anchor and will get bullied out of his responsibility. Gets hinged way too easily and lacks the lower body strength to stalemate good blockers. Overall, he is adequate against the run and he will have to start as a situational pass rusher. Struggles taking on pullers in space. Adequate play strength results in him not maximizing all of his positive qualities. Must get better in these areas in order to live up to a top 10 edge player in this class. Needs to develop more counters and learn to develop a second move when his rip or push-pull doesn’t work. Needs to do a better job recognizing offensive concepts and his tape showed too much indecisiveness.

1 Year Projection: Offers special team value, with excellent hustle and a relentless nature. He won’t be a starter in his first year due to a lack of block shedding, anchor, and the consistent ability to handle himself in the run game. He will offer pass rushing value with good burst, very good ankle flexibility, and a very good rip move that he features, but he still needs to learn how to string these moves together and utilize a plan in a full time role. Is good in coverage and shows very good pursuit towards the ball. Needs to clean up his tackling form and learn to drive through tackles instead of leaving his feet, which leaves him susceptible to jukes. He will provide quality pass rushing depth for a 3-4 team, ideally as an OLB.

3 Year Projection: Will be a starter in this league that can apply pressure on the quarterback, while also showing the versatility to drop into coverage and execute those types of assignments. To maximize his skillset he will need to add strength at the point of attack, initiate contact when taking on base blocks and while taking on pullers in Power/Counter concepts. Will also need to develop a consistent pass rush plan because he does possess good violent moves (rip/arm-over/chop/dip), just too often hesitates on when to use the moves while rushing and that was evident on film.

5 Teams to Watch: Patriots, Redskins, Rams, Jets, Ravens

Nick Falato wrote this article. Follow him on twitter @nickfalato and check out his other work here, including his breakdown of Wake Forest defensive end Duke Ejiofor and a look at USC quarterbacks of the past and how it applies to Sam Darnold.

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