2024 NFL Draft EDGE rankings & analysis

Here is a look at the top EDGE players in the 2024 NFL Draft, headlined by UCLA’s Laiatu Latu and Alabama’s Dallas Turner.

1: Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Latu was a two-time National Champion on the rugby pitch in high school and was rated as the fourth-best defensive end from the 2019 recruiting class. He originally enrolled at Washington, where he sustained a neck injury that caused him to miss two seasons before getting medically cleared to play and transferring to UCLA prior to the 2022 campaign. Despite the extended time off, Latu wasted little time annihilating Pac-12 offensive lines for 65 pressures, 10.5 sacks and a 91st % pass rush grade (5th in P5) while winning the College Football Comeback Player of the Year award. Latu’s play ascended further last year, as he led the entire edge position with a 94.3 pass rush grade and 96th percentile overall grade with 13.0 sacks. His 26% win rate and and 13.3% pressure rate were also tops nationally, as Latu solidified himself as the premier pure pass rusher from the 2024 class. Though he recorded 33 stops and an 82.1 run defense grade, his 24% missed tackle rate underscores Latu’s limitations in run support.

Latu measured in at 6’046”, 259 pounds and ran an impressive 4.64s 40-yard dash (94th%) with a 7.09s 3-Cone (85th%) and 4.34 shuttle run (83rd%). He didn’t bench and put up a pedestrian 32” vert (55th%), but Latu’s overall athletic profile adds up to a strong 9.37 RAS.

Latu doesn’t just run headlong into every rush snap, will triangulate and vary tempo when necessary to catch OT’s reaching. Lightning quick literally with a smooth slide step that will often cause the opposing tackle to completely whiff on contact, leaving Latu unabated to make a play. Despite some limitations standing up to mammoth OTs in run support, he’s fast enough to consistently beat OL to the leverage point on run plays. His fluid, natural ability to challenge tackles with a variety of different methods reminds me of Miami DE Jaelon Phillips, medicals and all.

2: Dallas Turner, Alabama

A blue-chip five-star recruit who was rated as the top edge defender from the 2021 prep cycle, Turner (6’026/247) received Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC recognition after recording 25 pressures and 24 stops in 370 snaps. He started 9-of-13 games as a sophomore with 37 pressures, 8.0 TFL and a respectable 73rd percentile PFF defensive grade. Turned fulfilled his immense potential last season by accumulating 10.0 sacks with a 15.4% pressure rate (3rd) and 89.3 pass rush grade (8th in P5). The consensus First Team All-American was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches and a finalist for Bednarik Award.

Turner verified his elite pedigree by running a sensational 4.48s 40-yard dash (99.7th%) in addition to vertical jumping 40.5” (99.3rd%) and broad jumping 10’07” (97th%). His 20 bench reps was a middling 43rd% number, but his arms come in at a promising length of 34.375”.

The Alabama captain is smart enough to differentiate between run/pass with precise hand placement on the rush. He explodes off the ball while attacking OTs with zero apprehension and expecting to win every engagement. Fluid mover, relentless effort who rips and tears at opponents to get free. 22% missed tackle rate illustrates how there is room to grow in converting the natural havoc he creates. Turner has all the tools to become a difference-making player on a competitive team with a play style similar to Byron Young of Tennessee.

3: Jared Verse, Florida State

Verse (6’037/254) worked his way up from the lower levels of college football, attending Albany for his first two seasons before transferring to Tallahassee to play for the Seminoles in 2022. He wasted little time making an impact at the FBS level, posting the eight-highest PFF pass rush grade in the Power Five (88.6) with 17.0 TFL and 9.0 sacks, though he produced an elevated 27% missed tackle rate en route to being named First Team All-ACC. The Dayton, Ohio native would go on to exceed even those lofty standards this year, creating the second-most pressures in the nation (62) with a sterling 91st percentile pass rush grade that ranked fifth overall. An ACC quarterback’s worst nightmare, Verse was responsible for an 11.7% pressure rate (4th in P5) and 21.8% Win Rate (2nd in P5) in passing situations. The Second Team All-American also made noticeable strides finishing his opportunities, reducing his missed tackle rate from 27-to-18%.

Verse performed the full range of tests at the Combine, putting his awesome athleticism to display for the world to see. He ran a 1.59s 10-yard split (95th%) and 4.58s 40-yard dash (9.78s) at 254 pounds, which are breathtaking times for his size. His 31 bench reps were five more than the next closest edge in the 2024 group, and second among all Combine defenders, for an extraordinary 9.60 Relative Athletic Score.

Jarring hands, powerful lower half drive that helps Verse control opposing lineman before discarding them to make a play on the ball. He explodes into contact and unleashes a furious bull rush that can stagger even the most rooted OTs, which sets up a devastating push-pull move. More power than finesse, doesn’t have prototype bend to accentuate speed rushes, which didn’t matter as much in CFB but could limit his ultimate ceiling for NFL purposes. He will sometimes lose sight of the ball carrier and over pursue, leaving himself vulnerable to cutbacks. Verse has a captivating power-edge profile with verified athleticism that bears a resemblance to Boye Mafe.

4: Chop Robinson, Penn State

The four-star Gathersburg, MD product originally attended his home-state school of Maryland in 2021, contributing 263 snaps at off-ball linebacker in 13 games before transferring to Penn State as a sophomore where he moved back to his natural position, edge. Despite not starting a game for PSU’s ultra-deep defensive line group, Robinson logged 455 snaps with 48 pressures, 10.0 TFL and 5.5 sacks to go with a sensational 91st percentile PFF overall grade in 2022.

Robinson was ready to ascend in Happy Valley this season, and he did so by recording his second consecutive season with 90th percentile pass rushing and overall grades. He led PSU with 12 stops despite ranking 11th on the team with 294 snaps due to injury. His 18% pressure rate was elite, bolstered by his blistering 2.28-seconds average time to first pressure. Robinson also made huge strides by slashing his 2022 missed tackle rate of 26.7% (9th-highest MTF rate among 2022 Edges) to an excellent 7.1% missed tackle rate that was the eighth-lowest nationally amongst his edge rusher contemporaries.

Robinson put on a show on the Indianapolis track, running an astounding 4.48s 40-yard dash (99.5th%) with a 1.53s 10-yard split (99.5th%). He followed that up with a 4.25s shuttle run (92nd%) and 10’08” broad (99th%) for a sparkling 9.72 Relative Athletic Score.

As is indicated from his supernatural track speed, Chop is a demon running the loop and displays an array of counters to free himself up so he can make a run at the quarterback. He likes to line up wide when possible to give him a sharper angle to setup a crossface counter. Does a great job getting low when engaging blockers on run downs, but has a tendency to almost get “too low” when bending the edge, causing him to lose footing and get sprawled on by opposing tackles. Robinson profiles as a potential cornerstone speed-edge prospect whose physical profile reminds me of Nik Bonitto.

5: Bralen Trice, Washington

Trice (6’034/245) was rated as a high three-star 2019 recruit who didn’t see the field for his first two seasons on campus before breaking in with 14 tackles, 5.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks in 194 part-time snaps. He emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2022, creating a nation-leading 70 pressures with 9.0 sacks for a phenomenal 91st percentile pass rush grade. The First Team All Pac-12 edge somehow managed to improve on his eye-opening 2022, recording 80 pressures with a 17.6% overall win rate (10th in P5) and 29% win percentage from true pass sets (4th in FBS). From a production standpoint, Trice was without peer having propelled the Washington defense to a CFP National Championship appearance, and verified his talent on the analytics front with back-to-back seasons of 88th percentile PFF overall grades.

Trice performed each test at the Combine and performed reasonably well running a 4.72s 40-yard dash that ranked 16th out of the 22 player edge class, and a 4.19s shuttle that was a 96th% time. However his 32” vertical (55th%) was the second-lowest mark from the 2024 edge class, and 20 bench reps is hovering in the 42nd percentile of NFL edge defenders. While a 7.46 RAS is a respectable score, the most important number that he posted at the Combine was his weight – 245 pounds. Trice was listed at a robust 274 pounds on the team website and his power edge profile was built on the assumption that he checks in at a minimum of 260.

Trice doesn’t move with the fluidity of a true top of the board elite Edge, but is strong and technically proficient. Varies his tempo and has an advanced, well-honed toolkit on the rush. Will throw a number of looks and techniques at you before bursting into contact and forklifting the unbalanced blocker. Decent get off, but excels at presenting a rounded array of moves that keep OTs guessing, which makes his moves more effective as a whole than the sum of their parts. Just a tick below the top-end DE’s in terms of athleticism, which shows up when he breaks down sometimes and in pursuit. Trice’s profile takes a hit with his pre-season testing exposing some flaws, but he has plenty of juice to be a valuable rotational pass rushing specialist.

6: Chris Braswell, Alabama

Braswell (6’033/251) was rated as a high four-star prospect and 39th overall player from the 2020 recruiting cycle according to 247Sports. He didn’t play as a freshman but was very productive in limited duty the following year, accruing 11 pressures and 8 stops in just 114 reps while receiving Freshman All-American accolades. A two-time Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List-er Braswell transitioned to a full-time role in 2022 and thrived, chalking up 30 pressures, a 17% third-down pressure rate and an 81st percentile PFF pass rush grade in 330 snaps.

The Baltimore native flourished this year, creating 56 pressures while almost doubling his sack rate from 1.8-to-3.3%. His 88th% pass rush grade charted as the seventh best grade in the Power Five among edge defenders, while Brawell also led the Tide with three forced fumbles. He excelled on the Combine track, running a 1.58s 10-yard split (97th%) and 4.6s 40-yard dash that ranked in the 96th percentile for a 251-pounder. While his jumps were both respectable, he opted to not perform any agility tests or bench which muddies his athletic profile a bit.

A well-schooled student of the game, Braswell deftly converts speed-to-power and brandishes a rounded pass rush toolkit that includes a formidable longarm maneuver with educated hands to keep his pads clean. Fast enough to challenge tackles on the outside, but isn’t going to dislodge tackles with his bull rush without setting them up properly first. He can be a little sluggish getting out of his four-point stance and is lacking in prototypical size to be cast as a stout edge-setter. While Braswell is still developing and doesn’t have the sky-high upside of his Alabama contemporaries Dallas Turner and Will Anderson, he has the requisite tools to become a starting edge defender.

7: Jonah Elliss, Utah

Elliss (6’021/248) followed in the footsteps of his father, Luther, who also attended Utah and is a former first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions. A former high school track athlete who ran a personal best 11.41s 100 meters, he saw consistent rotational snaps at LB as a true freshman before slotting into the starting lineup at edge in 2022. Elliss had a nondescript start after acclimating to the position change, but finished strong recording 18 of his 25 pressures and all 3.0 of his sacks over his last five games.

He made the leap in 2023 by finishing second nationally with 12.0 sacks despite playing in just 10 games before sustaining a season-ending injury. The Consensus All-American’s 11.4% pressure rate, 3% havoc rate and 3.9% sack rate are all superb per-snap numbers. His 85th percentile PFF overall grade and 90th% pass rush grade each ranked top-10 in the Power Five last year.

While Elliss didn’t perform any track or bench testing, he reportedly ran a 4.17s shuttle (97th%) and 6.69s 3-Cone (100th%) at his pro day, though those marks should be viewed with appropriate skepticism. His reported 38” vert (96th%) and 10’0” broad (85th%) jumps were outstanding marks and much more difficult to fudge than the movement drills.

Slightly undersized with a frenetic rush style, Elliss gets off the ball in a flash and attacks his opponents with expansive 10.5” hands so he can shed and make secondary effort plays. Unrelenting motor with a varied moveset, but is likely ill-equipped for edge-setting duty against NFL-sized left tackles and needs to work on his counters. Elliss will likely see action on passing downs early on, but could eventually work his way into a starting role if things break right.

8: Adisa Isaac, Penn State

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Isaac (6’043/247) was a 2019 early enrollee who immediately played 132 highly productive reps as a true freshman, earning a 75th percentile PFF overall grade. He was primed for a feature defensive role in 2021, but tore his achilles in the offseason which knocked him out until 2022. As is to be expected his first year post-injury saw his per snap production dropoff, but he managed to start all 13 games logging 505 reps with 36 pressures, 11.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks despite a disappointing 27% missed tackle rate.

Isaac finally returned to his pre-injury self this year, leading the Big Ten with 16.0 TFL in addition to a team-leading 7.5 sacks and 4.5% havoc rate. His 2.33s time-to-first-pressure average is an exceptional time, while a 4.1% sack rate led all PSU defensive linemen. The team captain also slashed his missed tackle rate from 27-to-10% while earning a strong 83rd percentile PFF overall grade.

The Second Team All-Big Ten performer ran a 1.63s 10-yard split (85th%) and 4.74s 40-yard dash, which is an 80th percentile historical mark, but was the fifth-slowest time from the 2024 NFL Combine edge group. His 34.5” vert (81st%) and 10’03” broad jump (92nd%) verifies Isaac’s lower leg drive and 8.99 RAS, while his 33.875” length arms are usually found on offensive tackles.

Isaac brings an urgent, hungry demeanor to his game which only enhances his above-average burst and flexibility around the loop. His long, probing arms help him to stack and shed in the run game while keeping blockers at bay on the rush. While he has a developed pass rush plan, Isaac could stand to add a little functional weight to help him stand up to NFL sized tackles to avoid getting knocked off his rush path. He has a classic 3-4 OLB profile similar to former Notre Dame edge Javontae Jean-Baptiste.

9: Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan

Kneeland (6’030/267) was a largely unrecruited two-star prospect at the FBS level who also played basketball and ran track in high school. He played sparsely for his first couple of seasons before earning a starting role in 2022, racking up 25 pressures and 24 stops to go with a 77th percentile PFF overall grade in nine games. His play leveled-up this year with Kneeland receiving a 90th% overall grade (8th in FBS) with 57 tackles, 35 stops (9th) and an 18.5% third down pressure rate. Though the defensive captain was able to generate 37 pressures he only hit paydirt for 4.5 sacks, with 3.0 of them coming in one game against Eastern Michigan. He has had trouble staying on the field at times, missing multiple games in each of the last two campaigns with calf and elbow injuries.

Being a small school athlete, Kneeland’s Combine testing was an important part of his evaluation process. While the straight line speed marks were decent with a 4.75s 40-yard dash (79th%) and 1.65s 10-yard split (77th%), his 4.18s shuttle (97th%) and 7.02s 3-Cone (91st%) were outstanding. His solid 35.5” vert (88th%) and 9’11” broad jump (81st%) helped elevate Kneeland’s Relative Athletic Score to a very respectable 9.08 RAS. Perhaps most impressive for NFL purposes were his 34.5” arms and sturdy 267 pound weigh-in.

A rare power-edge in a speed-rusher dominated draft class, Kneeland explodes into contact with the intention of caving in his opponent’s chest and driving him into the backfield. Quick trigger off the snap with a stifling punch and penchant for ripping through blockers’ edges. What he lacks in refined technique, he makes up for in sheer tenacity and desire. Kneeland has the requisite strength and athleticism to develop into a fearsome edge-setting, defensive end if he can develop his moveset with NFL level coaching.

10: Austin Booker, Kansas

Booker (6’044/253) was a three-star defensive lineman whose father, Duaine, played college football at Liberty. His father’s connections led to Booker initially attending Minnesota where ex-teammate, Chad Wilt, was the defensive line coach. Unfortunately, after two years with the Gophers he logged just 23 snaps over three games, with the sparse playing time leading to his departure for Kansas.

Booker proceeded to tear apart the Big-12 for 56 tackles, 38 pressures, 12.0 TFL and 8.0 sacks. His 3.6% havoc rate and 19% third-down pressure rate were elite marks illustrating just how difficult it was for opponents to block the First Team All-B12 performer. A crafty technician versus the run, Booker finished fourth among Power Five edges with 34 stops despite playing 200+ less snaps than the three players ahead of him.

A long, lean player with 33.875” length arms, Booker interestingly weighed 240 pounds at the Combine, running a sluggish 4.79s 40-yard dash. At his pro day a month later, Booker weighed 253 pounds and ran a 4.77s 40 which would still be the second-lowest mark from the 2024 Combine edge class. Throw in his 7.28s 3-Cone (64th%) and 10’0” broad (85th%), and Booker’s testing profile adds up to a respectable 7.02 RAS.

Booker dips into a wide reservoir of different pass rush techniques designed to test the deficiencies of opposing tackles. While he relishes initiating contact, Booker would rather utilize his superior agility, bend and savvy to outmaneuver and outthink larger blockers. He lacks upper body mass to be a dominant edge setter, but he’s smart when picking rush lanes to fill and uses his length to stave off opponents and disengage to make plays on the ball carrier. Booker is raw with just one year of collegiate experience under his belt, and lacking in upper body density required to take-on blockers at the next level. However his prototypical length and fast twitch capabilities make him an attractive developmental player.

11: Gabriel Murphy, UCLA

12: Nelson Ceaser, Houston

13: Cedric Johnson, Ole Miss

14: Xavier Thomas, Clemson

15: Brennan Jackson, Washington State

16: Jalyx Hunt, Houston Christian

17: Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State

18: Jaylen Harrell, Michigan

19: Javon Solomon, Troy

20: Braiden McGregor, Michigan

21: Trajan Jeffcoat, Missouri

22: Myles Cole, Texas Tech

23: Logan Lee, Iowa

24: Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Notre Dame

25: Eric Watts, UConn

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