Breakdowns

2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Edge Rushers

Best College Edge Rushers

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. While it is far too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us, this tier ranking previews how these players go into the season ranked against their position group. These tiers are subject to change but give a quick outlook on the expectations of these players.

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Running Back Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Tight End Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Offensive Line Tier List Here

Read our 2023 NFL Draft Defensive Line Tier List Here

​​Tier 1: The Top Talents

Will Anderson, Alabama

Myles Murphy, Clemson

BJ Ojulari, LSU

Tier 1 of this position group is considered the best because of their great play so far combined with their high-end athletic abilities. This caliber of player has the potential to be every down starting edge and make a massive impact against the run and passing game. Typically, the best players at this position are elite pass rushers who can get the quarterback off his mark consistently. So far, this group has dominated as underclassmen and will look to continue this trend in 2022.

Tier 2: Elite Traits or Play Style

Derrick Hall, Auburn

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

Nolan Smith, Georgia

Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

Zach Harrison, Ohio State

Tier 2 of this position are all impact players in a unique way although may be missing consistency on film or high-end physical traits. The potential of this tier has starter-level ability with the athleticism to develop into top players in next year’s draft. They show good pass rush traits and ability with some boxes still needing to be checked as an overall player. This fall will be the opportunity for them to show the development they have made as edge defenders and athletes in preparation for next year’s draft.

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

Durell Nchami, Maryland

Andre Carter ll, Army

DeVere Levelston, SMU

Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

Brenton Cox Jr., Florida

Tier 3 is a collection of players that have not shown as high of a level of play as the other groups. They have shown traits that make them desirable in the NFL but have underdeveloped areas in their athleticism. These edge defenders have shown they have the traits to be disruptive defenders against one phase of the offense in the right system. Some may be lacking the size or athleticism to be considered top talents for this year’s class. This group shows the athletic potential to at least become role players in the NFL.

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Jared Verse, Florida State

Khari Coleman, TCU

Grayson Murphy, UNT

Nick Herbig, Wisconsin

Xavier Thomas, Clemson

Tier 4 is a list of edge defenders who need to prove they belong as a draftable player in next year’s class. They are generally missing some assortment of size, speed, or length that would put them further up teams’ preseason boards. Some of these players should be stepping into larger roles this year which will answer some questions regarding their talent on the field. These sleepers will be trying their hardest to have great seasons to propel their draft stock for next spring.

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