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2024 NFL Draft: Ranking 7 Best Pass Rushers In This Year's Class

UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu
UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) battles against San Diego State Aztecs tight end Mark Redman (81) during the first half at Snapdragon Stadium. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

With the 2024 NFL Draft upon us, it’s time to take a look at some of the top traits from this year’s draft-eligible players.

There isn’t a true top-tier edge rusher like there was last year with Will Anderson Jr., but there are some high-level pass rushers with unique skill sets. When scouting edge rushers, it’s important to identify how they win. Are they winning with athleticism, power or even a deep pass-rush repertoire?

With that in mind, let’s examine the seven best pass rushers entering the draft.

2024 Draft's Best Pass Rushers

Alabama EDGE Chris Braswell
Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Chris Braswell (41) reacts in the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 2, 2023. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

7. Chris Braswell, Alabama

Chris Braswell was hidden behind the likes of Anderson and Dallas Turner before this past season at Alabama, but he quickly made a name for himself. He ranks fourth in SIS’s True Pressure Rate for edge rushers (True Pressure Rate isolates straight dropbacks). 

According to SIS scout Max Nuscher, one of Braswell's biggest strengths is his “speed-to-power rush.” Because he has a good first step off the snap, he can use his speed and upper-body strength to attack blockers off the edge. 

Washington defensive end Bralen Trice
Washington Huskies defensive end Bralen Trice (8) celebrates after a play during the second quarter against the Texas Longhorns in the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. (Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports)

6. Bralen Trice, Washington

Bralen Trice was crucial to Washington’s run to the National Championship game this past season. He ranks fourth in SIS’s Pressure Share stat among edge rushers, which measures the percentage of a team's individual pressures made by the defender.

SIS scout Chad Tedder graded Trice’s hand use a 7 and noted that Trice shows flashes of brilliance off the edge. 

Tedder writes of Trice: “He can win in a variety of different ways, and within these moves, he can hand fight in the tight spaces to keep an offensive lineman's hands off of his pads with some quick two-handed swipes, shoulder jabs and some long-arm bull rushes.”

Austin Booker, dressed in all black, celebrates
Kansas redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Austin Booker (9) reacts after a sack in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

5. Austin Booker, Kansas

Austin Booker will be one of the younger players at his position and in the entire draft class. He has only played in 15 games in two seasons but flashed high-level pass-rush ability in his lone season at Kansas. He ranks fourth in SIS’s Quick Pressure rate among edge rushers.

According to our report, “Booker is loaded with developmental traits and pass-rush upside. His length and athleticism are already NFL-caliber traits as he continues to add more polish to his overall pass-rushing plan.” 

Although he has relatively limited experience compared with others on this list, the sky's the limit for Booker if he can become more well-rounded as a pass rusher. 

4. Jared Verse, Florida State

Jared Verse starts the list of the 6.7 and above grades that represent true three-down starting edge rushers. Originally starting in the FCS ranks at Albany, Verse made the jump to Florida State in 2022 and immediately stood out. 

In 2023, he ranked third among edge prospects in SIS’s Pressure Rate Above Expectation stat, which adjusts pressure rate for game situations and the player’s alignment. 

SIS scout Nathan Cooper gave Verse a 7 in pass rush, hand use, play strength and pass rush repertoire. He also wrote, “Verse is a top-tier pass rusher with heavy hands and a bag of tricks that makes it difficult for linemen to block him.” 

3. Chop Robinson, Penn State

Chop Robinson is next up in the Penn State factory of pass rushers who have entered the NFL in recent years. He sits at or near the top of a handful of SIS’s Pass Rushing Leaderboards for the edge position this draft cycle. 

SIS scout Jeremy Percy gave Robinson an 8 for his first-step explosion, which is excellent. He continues exploding after that first step, shown by his impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.48 seconds, which was second among all edge rushers at the combine. 

Percy also wrote of Robinson, “He has very good pass rush ability overall and an effective go-to move with a swipe/bend/rip combo that he employs after his initial get-off forces tackles to turn their shoulders.”

2. Dallas Turner, Alabama

Dallas Turner took the baton from Anderson this past season as Alabama's top edge rusher. Besting his teammate Braswell, Turner ranked second in True Pressure Rate. 

Turner is oozing with athleticism. Among edge rushers at the combine, he posted the best 40-yard dash time (4.46 seconds) and the best vertical jump (40.5).

To accompany his elite athletic profile, SIS scout Jeff Dean wrote, “(Turner) has shown a diverse repertoire and has gotten better each season. He has shown significant rip, speed, bull rush, long-arm and swipe moves while also showing promising swims and cross chops.”

1. Laiatu Latu, UCLA

While Laiatu Latu is the second-ranked “edge” on our big board behind Turner, Latu is the best pure pass rusher in this class. He ranks first in multiple SIS leaderboards for edge rushers, including Total Points Per Game, Tackles for Loss Per Game, Pressure Rate Above Expectation and True Pressure Rate. 

The eye test also matches Latu's stats. He was given a 7 for pass-rush ability, motor, hand use and pass-rush repertoire. 

According to our report, “(Latu) is so technical with his hands that it allows him to get by blockers with relative ease. There isn’t a pass-rush move that Latu won’t try, either. His relentless motor and competitiveness to finish at the quarterback is almost the cherry on top of his entire pass-rushing package.”

This article was written by Jordan Edwards.