2017 NFL draft rankings: Edge rushers
A premium has been placed on edge rushers for decades, but rarely have they been as coveted as they are now, and this draft class has a stockpile of standouts. We’ve combined defensive ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers into one group here, because the difference between 4–3 and 3–4 edge defenders is as narrow as ever.
|1||Myles Garrett||Texas A&M||6' 5", 262 lbs.|
|2||Solomon Thomas||Stanford||6' 3", 256 lbs.|
|3||Tim Williams||Alabama||6' 4", 252 lbs.|
|4||Derek Barnett||Tennessee||6' 3", 265 lbs.|
|5||Takkarist McKinley||UCLA||6' 4", 230 lbs.|
|6||Charles Harris||Missouri||6' 3", 235 lbs.|
|7||Taco Charlton||Michigan||6' 6", 272 lbs.|
|8||DeMarcus Walker||Florida State||6' 4", 280 lbs.|
|9||Carl Lawson||Auburn||6' 2", 253 lbs.|
|10||T.J. Watt||Wisconsin||6' 5", 243 lbs.|
|11||Ryan Anderson||Alabama||6' 2", 253 lbs.|
|12||Daeshon Hall||Texas A&M||6' 6", 260 lbs.|
|13||Derek Rivers||Youngstown State||6' 4", 250 lbs.|
|14||Tyus Bowser||Houston||6' 2", 244 lbs.|
|15||Joe Mathis||Washington||6' 4", 250 lbs.|
The 2017 edge group is comparable to the wide receivers in that there will be an abundance of talent waiting to be found even into Rounds 3, 4 and 5. Of course, most of the headlines will be written about the top prospects here, namely Garrett. He long has been locked in as the draft’s top prospect, and it should not take him long to be an impact playmaker off the edge at the next level.
Thomas, Williams, Barnett and McKinley all look for now as if they could sneak into the top 15, too. Thomas, for one, has been generating top-10 buzz. He can work off the edge but also has the power to create mismatches as an interior rusher.
Teams seeking out pure pass rushers could do worse than to pick through this group. Harris, Charlton, Watt, Rivers, Bowser and Mathis all are capable of developing into double-digit sack players, before much time passes. Anderson and Lawson might be there, as well, though they offer value beyond specialist roles.