College News & Analysis

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Edge Defenders

This is a fantastic edge class. The 2022 NFL Draft is chock full of pass-rushing talent at the top of the class and deep into Day 2. Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux will compete for the No. 1 overall pick, and at least four others should come off the board in the first 50 picks.

1. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

BIG BOARD RANK: 1

The highest-graded edge defender in college football, Hutchinson has multiple ways to win with his blend of quicks and power. He’s a complete edge defender who excels against both the run and the pass.

2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

BIG BOARD RANK: 7

Thibodeaux has an elite first step combined with an ideal frame for the position. While he lacks refinement, that combination still led to a 91.5 PFF pass-rushing grade in 2021.

3. George Karlaftis, Purdue

BIG BOARD RANK: 10

Karlaftis is a versatile iron man who can do almost anything a team could ask of him. He played at least 49 snaps in all but one game this past season and finished with a 90.6 PFF pass-rushing grade.

4. Travon Walker, Georgia

BIG BOARD RANK: 12

Walker is an elite physical specimen for a 6-foot-5, 275-pounder who even dropped into coverage this season and managed a pass breakup. He's still figuring out how to rush the passer, but you can't teach what he has.

5.Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

BIG BOARD RANK: 32

Due to how well Johnson performed at the Senior Bowl, he's unlikely to be a non-factor in the league. Moreover, he's one of the best edge-setters in the class with 23 run stops and 14 sacks in 2021.

6. Arnold Ebeketie, Penn State

BIG BOARD RANK: 33

Ebiketie transferred from Temple to Penn State and proved his 2020 production was no fluke. He beat up on quality tackles en route to a 90.5 pass-rushing grade and 52 pressures.

7. Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma

BIG BOARD RANK: 38

Bonitto may be a designated pass-rusher at the NFL level, but he'll be a weapon in that regard from Day 1. He's been the most productive pass-rusher on a per-snap basis over the past two seasons, earning a 93.6 pass-rushing grade in 2020 and a 92.5 pass-rush grade in 2021.

8. Drake Jackson, USC

BIG BOARD RANK: 43

Before his late-season injury, Jackson proved that he had taken a significant next step in his development. He improved his 66.6 pass-rushing grade as a sophomore to 87.7 in 2021.

9. Josh Paschal, Kentucky

BIG BOARD RANK: 44

Paschal has a unique body type for the edge at 6-foot-3 and 278 pounds. He's a leverage demon who lived in opponents' backfields last year en route to a Power Five-leading 12.4% run-stop rate.

10. Boye Mafe, Minnesota

BIG BOARD RANK: 47

Mafe was a massive riser after he earned the highest pass-rushing grade among edge defenders during the Senior Bowl practices. He's an ascending player who possesses one of the best get-offs in the class.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.
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