NFL Draft News & Analysis

Most improved defensive lines after the 2024 NFL Draft: Rams, Dolphins add to their fronts

2X3GPAF Los Angeles Rams first round draft pick Jared Verse is introduced during an NFL football news conference Friday, April 26, 2024, in Hermosa Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

• Dolphins desperately needed the two defensive line players they chose: Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara will bolster a unit that was lacking some firepower before the 2024 NFL Draft.

• Rams are attempting to reload after Aaron Donald’s retirement: Los Angeles added several defensive line prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, including Jared Verse and Braden Fiske in the first two rounds.

• Check out PFF's fantasy football rankings: PFF’s fantasy football rankings include ranks from our experts, projections and our strength of schedule metric.

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With the 2024 NFL Draft all wrapped up, we now start to look back at which teams improved most in certain areas. The defensive line is our focus here.



Round 2, Pick 35: DI Ruke Orhorhoro
Round 3, Pick 74: EDGE Bralen Trice
Round 4, Pick 109: DI Brandon Dorlus
Round 6, Pick 197: DI Zion Logue

The Atlanta Falcons needed to prioritize their defensive line in the 2024 draft, and while they didn’t go in that direction with their top-10 pick, the rest of their draft reflected their emphasis on getting better in the trenches. In the second round, they traded up for Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro, a player who wins with very good athleticism and can play multiple spots in Raheem Morris’ 3-4 front. The Falcons then drafted Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice in the second round after he led the FBS in pressures (79) as a powerful defensive end.

The Falcons finished their run of three consecutive defensive line selections with Oregon’s Brandon Dorlus in the fourth round, another versatile player who lined up at both interior defensive line and edge rusher throughout his college career. Atlanta also added Georgia interior defensive lineman Zion Logue in Round 6. Those first three names should be quickly rotating into the lineup.



Round 1, Pick 19: EDGE Jared Verse
Round 2, Pick 39: DI Braden Fiske
Round 5, Pick 154: EDGE Brennan Jackson
Round 6, Pick 196: DI Tyler Davis

The Rams added two contributing players to their defensive front last year in Kobie Turner and Byron Young. But they were once again looking to prioritize that spot in the 2024 draft, especially with Aaron Donald retiring. They made a heavy investment in the defensive trenches early and often, beginning with Florida State’s Jared Verse in the first round. They then traded up for Verse’s college teammate, defensive tackle Braden Fiske, in the second round.

On Day 3, Los Angeles went back to the defensive line well with Washington State edge rusher Brennan Jackson and Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis. Each one of these players will have a chance to make the roster and contribute to the youth movement of the team's defensive line, with Fiske likely pairing with Turner in that three-technique pass rusher spot where Donald did so much damage.

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Round 1, Pick 27: DL Darius Robinson
Round 5, Pick 138: EDGE Xavier Thomas

Although the Cardinals didn’t make many defensive line additions in the draft, the players they did select can be impactful. Robinson was a reach on my board for where Arizona selected him, but I like the fit a lot. Jonathan Gannon’s multiple-front defense can truly maximize what Robinson does best, as a player who started at both defensive tackle and edge throughout his college career. He can give interior players fits with his length and really push tackles back with his power.

Thomas was a former No. 3 overall recruit and five-star player coming out of high school. Injuries and some bad luck with timing kept him in college longer than intended, but he is a very good athlete with a ton of explosiveness and a pass-rush style that never quits. Both of these players could contribute right away on a defensive line that needs it.



Round 1, Pick 21: EDGE Chop Robinson
Round 5, Pick 158: EDGE Mohamed Kamara

When healthy, the Dolphins already have a good starting trio of edge rushers in Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb and now Shaq Barrett. But both Phillips and Chubb are recovering from season-ending injuries in 2023. Barrett himself is up there in age and hasn’t looked the same since his Achilles injury in 2022.

This all leaves the door open for Robinson and Kamara to be contributors early on — or, at the very least, much-needed depth pieces. Robinson is a very impressive athlete for his size, something the Dolphins’ coaching staff knows about throughout their roster, and Kamara, though limited in size, is a relentless worker in the trenches with good power to his game.

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