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2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Edge rushers

Julian Catalfo / theScore

theScore's prospect rankings series takes a position-by-position look at the top players in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Top 50
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL
ED | DL | LB | CB | SAF

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The former Bruin is already a next-level technician as a pass-rusher. Latu brings a whole bag of moves, instinctive counters, and effective angles that should have him racking up impressive production. His athletic profile isn't the most imposing in the draft class, but his motor is very apparent around the line of scrimmage. Latu is constantly working to defeat blocks and get to the ball. He's also a capable run defender, getting and maintaining extension against opponents before shedding, but he could stand to improve his anchor against power runs. While Latu missed two collegiate seasons due to a neck injury, he'll be a consistent threat if he stays healthy in the NFL.

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Turner's elite athleticism and long arms will be a nightmare for tackles to contend with from the jump. He's explosive getting off the snap and challenges blockers with impressive speed to power. However, he can be a bit too reliant on that plan of attack. Developing more initial moves and counters will keep him from being stymied. Turner already boasts a great understanding of pursuit angles, and further developing his repertoire of moves will give him more opportunities to flex that strength and bring down quarterbacks and ball carriers alike. The 21-year-old has a solid anchor in the run game, but he's inconsistent when targeted by bigger blockers or move blocks that arrive with more force. Getting a lower base and attacking with more urgency will earn him more snaps and allow him to leverage his rare traits.

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Verse is a powerful edge rusher that will fit in any scheme. He's able to lock out offensive linemen early in reps with an impressive get-off and heavy hands, and his bull rush is strong and gives him leverage despite his arms being on the shorter end. Verse brings great effort from snap to whistle, playing violently through blockers and as a tackler. However, a bit more control will help him avoid missing tackles and improve his anchor against blockers that get into his chest in the run game. Larger offensive linemen give Verse a bit more trouble when they can sink in and stymie his bull rush, but his instincts and angles prevent him from being taken out of plays.

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You could make a compelling argument that Robinson has the highest ceiling of any defensive player in this draft. He's an athletic freak on par with the likes of fellow former Nittany Lion Micah Parsons. But he doesn't take our top edge rusher spot because he's still quite raw. The 21-year-old explodes off the ball, stays low, and maintains leverage with ease when his targeting is accurate, but he hasn't been able to turn those impressive starts into consistent finishes just yet. Robinson's bull-rush and chop moves are some of his most reliable, but he needs to get his hands and feet synchronized to improve his ability to get off blocks with more regularity. If he learns to set up moves and improves his ability to shed blockers, he could become a superstar.

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The former Tiger brings a skillset that will allow him to play up and down the line of scrimmage. Easily one of the biggest edge defenders in the class, Robinson has powerful, heavy hands that gain him leverage and distance against blockers. He's able to shed blocks, make tackles, and has the movement skills to remain involved in most plays, even though he's far from a spectacular athlete. Robinson relies a bit too much on his power and bull rush. The 22-year-old shows flashes of incorporating moves into his pass-rush kit, but they aren't used consistently enough and he stalls out too often. His power and experience playing different defensive line positions should give him the chance to contribute early as an interior rusher while he develops his plans as an edge player.

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Braswell's physical profile suggests Nick Saban used a cloning machine on Will Anderson Jr., last year's No. 3 overall pick. However, his pass-rush repertoire and anchor need some work to get to the level of his former teammate. His ability to set the edge against all kinds of blocks also needs to improve so he can earn playing time on earlier downs, though his explosive get-off gives him a good base to build upon. He attacks tackles with several go-to strategies, particularly dip-and-rip moves, but he's often too upright and doesn't have counters to keep himself clean. Braswell has good length and acceleration to chase down ball carriers when he does get free. If he develops a set of counter moves and improves his anchor, he can become a consistent starter.

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Murphy is undersized, and his arm length is in the lowest percentile among edge defenders, according to MockDraftable. Those are legitimate concerns, but the former Bruin uses quick hands and impressive lower-body explosion to threaten offensive linemen on every snap. He's also relatively strong for his size, allowing him to take on and disrupt move blocks in the run game. Murphy regularly finds himself in opposing backfields regardless of where he lines up. While he can get washed out or locked down on some of his outside rushes, he brings impressive technique and counters that keep him involved in most plays.

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There are other edge defenders in the class with a higher ceiling than Trice, but the former Husky should be a reasonably productive NFL player. He brings above-average hustle to every snap that will translate to the next level, but he doesn't have the twitchy or explosive traits that are staples of the league's top players. Moving Trice around and allowing him to build momentum into his rushes, whether by lining him up off the ball or as a part of a stunt, will likely net the best results. His technique remains consistent regardless of his approach. He's able to stay under blockers' pads and attack their hands to get up field, but a stiff lower body prevents him from consistently shedding run and pass blocks alike.

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Isaac's get-off and motor are very impressive and pop off the screen, and his nonstop effort helps him rack up some extra production, highlighted by 16 tackles for loss in 2023. His competitiveness, quick first step, and athletic profile make the former Nittany Lion an intriguing pass-rusher. However, he'll need to improve his anchor as a run defender and rein in his rush angles to prevent getting washed upfield by athletic blockers. Isaac has a tendency to overrun his arcs and hasn't developed the counters to elevate his game just yet. But he showcases solid hand-swat and dip moves that give him a solid foundation to build upon.

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Booker is one of the most difficult evaluations in this class because he hardly played in college. He had just over 500 snaps over three years with Minnesota and Kansas. But what he did show in his final year with the Jayhawks was intriguing. His rush plans are already quite varied despite his limited playing time, his hands are fast and active, and he's almost always gaining ground. However, he'll need some extra strength and coaching to unlock his potential and compete against NFL blockers. The strength needs become more apparent in the run game, where Booker can let offensive linemen and tight ends get under his pads.

Other notable prospects

Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan
Jonah Elliss, Utah
Xavier Thomas, Clemson
Javon Solomon, Troy
Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State

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