2019 NFL Draft Defensive End Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft Defensive End Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Defensive End Rankings: From The College Perspective


Which defensive ends will matter in the 2019 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

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Most of the star pass rushers and hybrid defensive ends in this class will fall into the Edge Rusher category – the tweener of linebacker and end.

Even so, the top three true defensive ends in this class are phenomenal prospects with perennial Pro Bowl talent and franchise-changing upside.

And then it all falls off the map a bit.

However, there hasn’t been this much high-end talent in the top three since 2011 when Aldon Smith, JJ Watt and Robert Quinn all went in the top 14.

15. Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan

6-5, 265: Very productive with the motor that’s always going, he was one of the key parts of the Eagle line in the turnaround over the last few seasons. He’s a bit lanky, and he’ll be erased by any NFL blocker who locks on, but he’ll be a tough cut in camp as he looks and plays the part of a pass rushing specialist.
Projected Round: Free Agent

14. Corbin Kaufusi, BYU

6-9, 275: With a massive frame and great length, he’s an intriguing prospect who has the frame to grow into an athletic interior pass rusher to go along with his toughness against the run. He’s overaged – he’ll be 26 by the start of the season – and his height is an issue, but there are just enough tools to take a flier and see if there’s a fit somewhere on a line.
Projected Round: Free Agent

13. Cece Jefferson, Florida

6-1, 266: The tools just aren’t there. A good college player, he’s too short, not quick enough, and underpowered for an NFL line – there’s just no position for him. He’s got everything you’d want in a lineman – other than the raw skills – with the want-to, the fight, and the attitude coaches will love. A coach will hate to cut him.
Projected Round: Free Agent

12. Michael Dogbe, Temple

6-3, 284: A strong all-around pass rusher and playmaker for the Owls, he came up with 72 tackles with seven sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss from his spot on the inside. He’s a bit too much of a tweener, but he’s athletic and just versatile enough to work on the end in any scheme.
Projected Round: Sixth

11. Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia

6-4, 280: He’ll get a long look in a camp with good toughness for his size and the ability to hold up well against the run. He’s not an NFL pass rusher, and he’s a bit too much of a tweener to find a sure home at any one spot, but he’s a better football player than the tools – he might just be a late-round pick who’ll stick thanks to his versatility.
Projected Round: Sixth

10. John Cominsky, Charleston

6-5, 286: When a guy who checks in at almost 290 pounds rips off a sub-4.7 40, look out. He’s an athlete who bulked up big-time over the last few years, but now he needs to work into the tools. He needs a boatload of technique help, and he’ll need ay least a year to refine his game, but on straight athleticism he could and should be a playmaker right out of the box – and then he’ll figure it all out.
Projected Round: Fourth

9. Charles Omenihu, Texas

6-5, 280: With excellent speed and athleticism for a 280-pound end, he’ll get behind the line and he’ll be just good enough in any scheme to find a home. It’ll take a defensive line coach to polish him up, but there’s a whole lot to like and work with. Take him, give it a year or so, and there’s home run potential for a guy just around the edge of the top 100 picks.
Projected Round: Fourth

8. LJ Collier, TCU

6-2, 283: While he’s a bit short and squatty for a true end, and he’s not quite as athletic as many might like, he’s a tough guy run stopper who’ll do a lot of the dirty work. There’s nothing sexy about his game, and he’s not going to be a superstar for a line, but he’s purely a good football player who’ll bring the effort on every snap.
Projected Round: Third

7. Anthony Nelson, Iowa

6-7, 271: Tall, athletic, tough and productive, he’s a great pass rusher with the right athleticism despite his length, and he’s tough to get around as a tough run defender. He gets pushed around a bit too much, but he’s always bringing the effort and he still has room to get a whole lot better. There’s a chance he’s still scratching the surface.
Projected Round: Third

6. Joe Jackson, Miami

6-4, 275: Really, really tough for his size, someone will reach a bit to get him, but there’s a reason. He’s not going to be for everyone as a pass rusher – there’s little to no polish – but he’ll beat up everyone in front of him to make a play. Blow off what you think a speed rushing defensive end should be, and enjoy the production with his unique style.
Projected Round: Third

5. Zach Allen, Boston College

6-4, 281: A good athlete who came up with an ultra-productive career, he did a little bit of everything for the Eagle line over the last three seasons.

You want him to get in on every play? He made 100 tackles as a junior and generated 61 more last year.

You want him to get into the backfield? He amassed over 40 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks over the last three years as a consistently disruptive force.

You want a leader of the line? He’s a strong leader who can work in any scheme and find a way to produce.

There’s a little too much tweener in him – he’s built a bit like a tackle but can work as a 4-3 end – and there’s no real sure-thing position. His sack totals were just okay, but again, he did a little of everything else right.

There’s just enough missing from the tool belt to keep him being a superstar All-Pro, but he’s able to fill in those gaps with his instincts and motor. Expect him to slide on through into Day Two, and then be an instant starter.

Projected Round: Second
Real Value: Early Third

NEXT: The fourth-best guy on the line was still fantastic …


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