Rankings and what to watch for out of all the defensive end, edge rusher prospects invited to the 2020 NFL Combine.
2020 NFL Combine: Defensive End, Edge Rusher
Date: Saturday, February 29: Defensive Ends
Live Stream: fuboTV (click to watch for free)
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Network: NFL Network
From the college perspective. here are rankings and quick looks at all of the defensive ends and edge rushers invited to the 2020 NFL Combine.
Before getting into the top five breakdown, here’s a ranking of the best of the rest and what to look for.
2020 Pre-NFL Combine Defensive End, Edge Rusher Best of the Rest Rankings
Number in parentheses is the projected round drafted before the NFL Combine.
26. Qaadir Sheppard, Ole Miss 6-3, 252 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters: More of a linebacker than an end, can he actually produce? Is he healthy? Never quite 100%, he transferred from Syracuse, came up with a solid junior season, and didn’t do much last season.
25. LaDarius Hamilton, North Texas 6-3, 260 (Free Agent)
NFL Combine What Matters:He was able to come up with 8.5 sacks as a dangerous pass rusher over the last two years, but does he have the quickness off the ball to be drafted? The raw numbers have to be excellent.
24. James Smith-Williams, NC State 6-3, 265 (7)
NFL Combine What Matters: Can he turn it back on? A foot problem led to a disappointing season that just never got going. He’s got nice size, and he’s a good pass rushing prospect, but the medical evaluation matters.
23. Chauncey Rivers, Mississippi State 6-3, 275 (7)
NFL Combine What Matters: He’s got great size and good pass rushing ability – he led the Bulldogs in sacks – but where does he fit? He’s a good all-around player, but at his weight, he needs to be fluid in the quick drills.
22. Derrek Tuszka, North Dakota State 6-5, 246 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: An undersized pass rusher who dominated for the FCS national champion, he came up with 13.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Can he fly around the short drills, and potentially move well with an extra ten pounds?
21. DJ Wonnum, South Carolina 6-5, 254 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: Speed, speed, speed. Everyone will want him for his intangibles, toughness, and leadership, but he’s not a run stopper – he has to look like an NFL pass rusher and be more than a core special teamer.
20. Kendall Coleman, Syracuse 6-3, 253 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: He HAS to look and be explosive and quick. He’s got the intangibles, and he’s a good football player, but he might not have the NFL tools to be more than a flier.
19. Nick Coe, Auburn 6-5, 291 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: Where does he play? He’s sort of an edge rusher, he’s sort of an outside linebacker, and he’s sort of a defensive end, but does he have a role? He’s not really an NFL pass rusher, so he has to look like he has a job somewhere.
18. Trevon Hill, Miami 6-3, 233 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: The interview process will be the key. GMs and scouts will want to ask him about the end of his time at Virginia Tech, but even more than that, does he have the tools to overcome his lack of bulk?
17. Kenny Willekes, Michigan State 6-4, 252 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: Is he more than just a try-hard motor guy? The walk-on was fabulous for the Spartans, but can he look like something other than a good special teamer and rotation guy?
16. Alex Highsmith, Charlotte 6-4, 242 (6)
NFL Combine What Matters: Where will he fit? He’s an undersized defensive end who needs to add some bulk, but he was ultra-productive – 14 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, 75 tackles – and he needs the tools to match the tape.
15. Trevis Gipson, Tulsa 6-4, 259 (5)
NFL Combine What Matters: A still-improving player, he was a pass rusher terror for the Golden Hurricane – leading the team with 8 sacks and 15 tackles for loss – without a whole lot of moves in the package. He needs to blow the doors off the combine with his athleticism.
14. Jonathan Garvin, Miami 6-4, 250 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: It’s all there to be fantastic. Be really disappointed if he doesn’t look and time great, but he has to show good balance and a bit more power and strength.
13. Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina 6-4, 267 (4)
NFL Combine What Matters: Can he be unblockable? He might not be the typical tackle, and he’s not really an end, but he needs to find a home and a role. At his size, he can be a too-quick end in the right system.
12. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame 6-4, 265 (3)
NFL Combine What Matters: A very, very nice mix of bulk, power, and versatility, he needs to find a true home. Teams will look for a reason to draft him, and ANY burst and athleticism will go a long way.
11. Curtis Weaver, Boise State 6-3, 265 (2)
NFL Combine What Matters: Is he a tweener in a good way, or does he not have a real role? Don’t expect a special workout – he’s a better football player than an athlete – but teams are going to look for anything positive to go along with the tape.
10. Bradlee Anae, Utah, 6-3, 257 (3)
NFL Combine What Matters: Are the raw tools there to go along with the fight? Everyone will love his style of play, but is he a try-hard type, or can he move like the top pass rushers in the draft? One great workout moves him into the second round.
9. Jonathan Greenard, Florida 6-3, 263 (2)
NFL Combine What Matters: There’s a whole lot to like as long as he can stay healthy. He missed all of 2018 with an arm problem, and was banged up throughout his year at Florida. On effort and upside, he’s a first rounder, but the medical evaluation has to be great.
8. Alton Robinson, Syracuse 6-3, 260 (3)
NFL Combine What Matters: There’s a chance he could be one of the biggest high-risers on draft boards with a great workout. His tape and production are fantastic, but does he have the raw tools to take his game to a whole other level?
7. Jabari Zuniga, Florida 6-3, 253 (3)
NFL Combine What Matters: Upside, upside, upside. When he’s healthy – which he wasn’t throughout his senior year with an ankle problem – he has the potential to be the second-best pass rusher in the draft. He’s a pass rusher and not a true end, but if he’s right, he could be one of the draft’s best value picks. He has to look the part in Indy.
6. Terrell Lewis, Alabama 6-5, 258 (2)
NFL Combine What Matters: The medical part of this is everything. If he’s 100%, and you can guarantee that he’ll start 100 games he might be the No. 2 guy on this list. All the tools are there to be special.