NFL News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Defensive linemen from the 2019 rookie class most likely to take a big jump in Year 2

If you thought a lot of interior and edge defenders came off the board in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, that’s because they did. Of the 32 selections on Day 1 of the draft, 13 came from those two position groupings — just four were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. 

Despite the volume of highly touted rookies along the defensive front, just three first-year players picked up 35-plus pressures on the season, and one of those players was Maxx Crosby (45 pressures), who didn’t come off the board until the fourth round. He joined Nick Bosa (80 pressures) and Josh Allen (49 pressures) as the only players on that list. For many of the other first-round prospects, it was a disappointing rookie campaign, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t realize the potential their teams invested in last offseason. 

PFF’s Timo Riske has done great work on learning curves for players entering the NFL, and more recently, how important rookie performance is when predicting career performance. In that recent piece, Timo writes, “The defensive line is another position where waiting until after Year 2 makes a lot of sense when we want to project a player’s career with the required confidence.”

In other words, labeling players along the defensive line as “busts” after their rookie seasons is premature. If a player continues to underwhelm in Year 2, that’s when concerns are warranted about their future prospects.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

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

NFL Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr