NFL's best edge rushers by situation in 2022: Myles Garrett, Micah Parsons and more

2MA4W2M Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) is shown against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

• Myles Garrett claims four categories: Whether it be on stunts or on money downs, Garrett is an elite presence along the Browns' defensive line.

• Micah Parsons took over in the fourth quarter: The Dallas Cowboys edge rusher recorded a league-high 31 pressures in fourth quarters in 2022.

• Play action didn't fool Bradley Chubb: He was the lone edge rusher to earn an elite pass-rush grade on play-action plays.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

In addition to ranking the top 32 edge defenders ahead of the 2023 NFL season, courtesy of PFF's Trevor Sikkema, let's dig into the extensive PFF database and see how edge defenders performed in various important situations during the 2022 season.

Overall Pass-Rush Grade

1. Myles Garrett (93.5)
2. Micah Parsons (92.1)
3. Nick Bosa (90.9)
T-4. Trey Hendrickson (90.0)
T-4. Haason Reddick (90.0)

To put things into context, it helps to first see which edge defenders earned the highest pass-rush grades last season. Five edge defenders earned a pass-rush grade of at least 90.0, which is described as the threshold of an elite grade. While Nick Bosa led the league in sacks and total pressures, Browns edge defender Myles Garrett led the position with a 93.5 pass-rush grade.

Third and Fourth Downs

1. Myles Garrett (92.4)
2. Trey Hendrickson (91.0)
3. Micah Parsons (90.2)
4. Deatrich Wise Jr. (85.9)
5. Jaelan Phillips (84.2)

Myles Garrett leads the pack when it comes to third and fourth downs, as well. Cowboys edge defender Micah Parsons had the third-most opportunities to rush the passer on third and fourth downs, and he also picked up the third-most pressures in these situations, with 37, which was tied with Bengals edge defender Trey Hendrickson. Miami’s Jaelan Phillips was second with 38 pressures. Vikings edge defender Danielle Hunter led the position with 39 pressures on third and fourth downs, but he also had more such snaps than most other edge defenders.

Fourth Quarter

1. Micah Parsons (92.4)
2. Haason Reddick (90.9)
3. Montez Sweat (90.1)
4. Brandon Graham (90.1)
5. Jaelan Phillips (90.0)

Pass rushers from the NFC East stood out when it came to the fourth quarter. Even though Micah Parsons recorded only the sixth-most pass-rushing snaps in the fourth quarter, he led all edge defenders with 31 total pressures. While Philadelphia’s Haason Reddick was tied for second in total pressures, with 29, he was tied for the most sacks, recording seven in the fourth quarters of the 2022 season.

No Blitz

1. Myles Garrett (93.3)
2. Micah Parsons (91.9)
3. Nick Bosa (90.6)
4. Haason Reddick (90.4)
5. Josh Uche (89.2)

While the previously mentioned situations are usually more favorable for edge defenders, as they suggest more obvious passing situations, rushing the passer without extra rushers presents fewer one-on-one opportunities and a higher chance for the defender’s blocker to get help from another pass protector. However, we see mostly the same names on this list as in other situations. San Francisco’s Nick Bosa led the position with 78 total pressures when the defense did not blitz, and he tied with Myles Garrett for the most sacks (17).

On Stunts

1. Myles Garrett (91.8)
2. Micah Parsons (91.7)
3. Brandon Graham (91.6)
4. Sam Williams (88.4)
5. Trey Hendrickson (87.4)

Due to the Cowboys' defensive scheme, their edge defenders recorded the most pass-rushing snaps with a stunt executed somewhere along the line. Micah Parsons led the way with 235 such snaps, but he also led all edge defenders with 54 total pressures on these plays. However, the most sacks on such plays belonged to New England’s Matthew Judon, with 10. Garrett and Bosa were tied for second with nine sacks.

Against Play Action

1. Bradley Chubb (90.8)
2. Nick Bosa (88.6)
3. Demarcus Lawrence (86.3)
4. Leonard Floyd (86.2)
5. Josh Uche (85.0)

Rushing the passer following a play-action fake is once again an unfavorable situation for pass rushers, as they need to respect the fake prior to going after the quarterback. While Raiders edge defender Maxx Crosby led edge defenders with 25 pressures on such plays, he also had the second-most opportunities to rush the passer after a play-action fake. Miami’s Bradley Chubb was the only edge defender who earned an elite grade in these situations, while Nick Bosa was tied for the most sacks following a play action, with five.

Lined Up Inside

1. Charles Omenihu (83.1)
2. Za’Darius Smith (82.8)
3. Jaelan Phillips (82.7)
4. Dawuane Smoot (81.7)
5. Dorance Armstrong (78.3)

Only 28 edge defenders recorded more than 50 pass-rushing snaps inside — whether in a two- or three-point stance. Among that group, San Francisco’s Charles Omenihu led the way with 40 total pressures, while Jacksonville’s Dawuane Smoot recorded the most sacks (six).


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