News & Analysis

PFF's top-15 edge defenders in the 2019 NFL Draft

By PFF Analysis Team
Apr 9, 2019

College & Draft Featured Tools

PFF Edge

Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

Learn More
$39.99 /yr
$9.99 / mo
Sign Up

PFF Elite

Unlock Premium Stats, Greenline Picks & DFS

Learn More

Includes all of PFF Edge

$199.99 /yr
$34.99 / mo
Sign Up

Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen both tick every single box from athletic and production standpoints that make you think they’re top-five talents in this class. From there, there is Boston College’s Zach Allen, Florida’s Jachai Polite, and Michigan’s Chase Winovich as the only other top prospects who earned grades over 90.0 this past season. Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell, Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, and Florida State’s Brian Burns are all firmly in the first-round mix but have to answer why their production was a step behind.

[Editor’s Note: To view all of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats and grades for draft-eligible players, check out our 2019 NFL Draft Guide. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers already have access to the guide, and for those who don’t, you can get your copy for as low as $9.99!]

1. Edge Nick Bosa, Ohio State

Bosa had a higher pass-rush win rate as a true freshman than Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell and Jachai Polite had this past season.

2. Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky

Allen had far and away the highest pass-rushing grade of any college edge defender this past season at 94.3.

3. Edge Brian Burns, Florida State

Burns racked up the most pressures of any Power-5 defender in the country last year with 69.

Related Article: Brian Burns is so much more than an explosive, athletic freak; he’s a technician committed to improving

4. Edge Chase Winovich, Michigan

Winovich is coming off back to back seasons with grades over 90.0 overall – the only such qualifying Power-5 player in the draft class that can boast that.

Related Article: Michigan edge Chase Winovich is more than just a scouting cliché

5. Edge Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Ferrell racked up 14 sacks and 14 hits on the season and has ideal build to fit in any scheme.

6. Edge Zach Allen, Boston College

Allen was one of the best run defenders in college football in 2017 before a 90.3 pass-rushing grade this past season. He was an ironman for BC, playing 107 snaps against Wake Forest this past season.

Related Article: Zach Allen calls for NFL teams to ‘put on the tape’ to see his value, mean streak

7. Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Sweat’s 19.1% pressure percentage was top 10 among edge defenders in the draft class and the third-highest in the SEC last season.

8. Edge Rashan Gary, Michigan

Gary’s production has yet to catch up to his freakish athleticism. He earned a 68.3 pass-rushing grade this past season.

Related Article: Why Rashan Gary is not a first-round talent

9. Edge Anthony Nelson, Iowa

Nelson has been one of the most productive edge defenders in college football over the past two seasons and has the size to kick inside at times as well.

10. Edge L.J. Collier, TCU

Collier improved every year at TCU and then went to the Senior Bowl and had the highest win rate of any player in the one-on-ones.

11. Edge Ronheen Bingham, Arkansas State

Bingham’s 31.7 percent win rate was the highest among all defensive linemen in college football this past season.

12. Edge Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan

Crosby has some of the best bend of any edge rusher in this class. He earned grades of 88.2 and 90.6 the past two seasons.

13. Edge Charles Omenihu, Texas

Omenihu was much more of a run-first player at Texas, but he flashed pass-rushing ability when he was given the green light to attack. Not many pass-rushers have his combination of size, length and athleticism.

14. Edge Jachai Polite, Florida

Polite came out of nowhere to notch the second-best pass-rushing grade among Power-5 edge-rushers. His lackluster testing drives him down this board, but his production in 2018 keeps him from falling completely out of the top-100. 

15. Edge Ben Banogu, TCU

Still learning the position, TCU’s Banogu earned just a 72.1 overall grade playing edge defender for the Horned Frogs in 2018 but has unparalleled with his ideal size and athleticism.

Related Article: Ben Banogu is eager to grow as a pass-rusher, feels he has the highest ceiling in the draft

PFF Edge

PFF Elite