- Most of the NFL edge rusher prospects are what scouts refer to as 'raw,' but who's most likely to make the biggest impact immediately?
The MMQB is teaming up with Pro Football Focus for The MMQB Draft Preview Show With PFF, exclusively airing on SI TV (click here to subscribe). In the weeks leading up to the 2018 NFL draft in Dallas, these guys are going to be breaking down every position in this talented draft class.
On the third episode, Pro Football Focus’s Steve Palazzolo, Sam Monson and Mike Renner are ranking the edge defenders.
Coming in at No. 5 in their rankings is LSU’s Arden Key. Key excelled in his first two seasons (2015 and ’16) at LSU, but his junior season was stunted by shoulder surgery. He has the burst and bend that teams are looking for from an edge player, but after the combine, where he weighed in at 240 pounds, teams are wondering whether the 6' 6" edge rusher can he create the power needed stand up to NFL offensive lineman with his slight build. To top it off, Key’s red flags are fluttering around him—he took a personal leave from LSU in Spring 2017—but there’s no doubt that he could potentially be a steal if he falls in the draft.
At No. 4 is Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. The bendy pure edge rusher left a mark at the Senior Bowl, coming out as the highest-rated defender in the game. He can play at the highest level consistently, but questions linger about his size and scheme fit—he doesn’t have a ton of the measurables that teams look for.
UTSA’s Marcus Davenport ranks next at No. 3. According to the PFF guys, Davenport is the closest thing in this draft athletically to Myles Garrett—he’s physically freaky, plays with immense power and can dominate at the point of attack. His tape shows off how he can just destroy other players, but it’s clear that he’s been relying on his athleticism as opposed to his technique. Davenport will have an adjustment period in the NFL, but teams will be attracted to his rawness.
Who are the top two players in the position? Click here to watch the entire episode on Amazon.
Don’t miss the previous episodes, featuring running backs and offensive linemen. Which players have the versatility that NFL teams crave and who might require some coaching up in order to succeed at the next level? Learn all about that and more.