Behind quarterbacks, one could argue that edge rushers are the most valuable position on an NFL team. What these edge rusher rankings may show you though is that like the quarterback position, this will be a very deep class in 2024.
We have a presence on these rankings from some usual schools such as Alabama and Ohio State but we do have some schools showing they can coach and develop the position. One player you will see did shock folks, much like Olu Fashanu did, by returning to school. His return to school should cement him as a top pick in the draft, at the very least the top edge rusher.
No more teasing, however, let’s see how the top five unfolded in these edge rusher rankings.
One of the biggest surprises in the draft cycle last year, Jared Verse decided to return to Florida State to help win a national title while also creating nightmares for offenses. Verse has and does everything you want in an edge rusher all packed into the perfect build for the position. He has shown to be on a consistent uptick in his college career, which is a great sign, and he also continues to grow as a player. Whether it is in the run or pass, Verse can be someone to rely on to make a play.
As old-school a player as you can see, Chop Robinson is a classic all-gas and no brake presence on the edge. He has the hand-fighting skills and the first step to giant the advantage but then he brings a right hook of a pass rush move that blockers can expect to handle thus losing a rep to him. He has great physical traits and impressive film, Chop Robinson is all you could ask for in an edge defender in either today or yesterday’s NFL.
One of the biggest projections in any of these Summer rankings we have run here, J.T. Tuimoloau could very well be the top edge rusher in this class with continued development. He has quick twitchy movements and reactions that allow him to be very reliable in both the run and pass game. Add in his speed and power off the edge that has flashed, if he can get all of what we saw glimpses of, especially against Penn State, then we may have the best edge rusher in the class ranked at three.
Despite being set to be the next great Alabama defender, Dallas Turner has some areas to grow into in 2023. He has shown he can struggle in certain areas due to his leaner build but he also uses that to his advantage often. He shows he is natural as either a stand-up edge linebacker or putting his hand in the ground and going to war. Regardless, Turner can be that versatile edge defender for a team in the NFL if they need it.
Washington is on the doorstep of unlocking a potentially special season and a lot of it is thanks to the offense. The partner that brings them to the dance every year though is the defense which is set to be led by Bralen Trice this year. Trice boasts a quick first step that allows him to get ahead of blockers while also having the instinct to maneuver around them as a play extends. Both of those paired with a high motor makes him someone who could see himself climbing these rankings by next April.