2023 NFL Draft Final Position Rankings: Edge Rushers

The second group on defense in our final position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the edge rushers. This group looks to be strong again, just like the last couple of classes. We should see four to five guys go in the 1st round. It was hard to pick just 10 guys.

As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my mid-season rankings, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.

Photo Credit: Matthew Holst/Getty Images

2023 NFL Draft Edge Rushers: The Top 5

  1. Will Anderson, Alabama: What more needs to be said about Anderson? He is a consensus top three player in the draft. Despite being just 6’4 253, he has amazing athleticism and explosion in his body. He had a staggering 81 pressures and 15 sacks in 2021. Physically well developed, but could add some bulk to help his play against the run.
  2. Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech: Wilson is a huge edge rusher at 6’6 271. He had a bit of a break out in 2021 and was even better in 2022, despite missing some time. He is a very good, but not elite, athlete. He looks like more of a pure 4-3 defensive end. He has improved as a pass rusher each season. Wilson had 50 pressures and 8 sacks this season. He is still developing. Some even think he could play 5-tech.
  3. Myles Murphy, Clemson: Murphy is almost the opposite of Anderson. He goes 6’5 268, and his game is based on strength and power. His pass rush moves are underdeveloped, so they need some work. He is already a good run defender. Murphy is still a high-level athlete.
  4. Lukas Van Ness, Iowa: Van Ness is a freak athlete at 6’5 272 with 4.58 speed and 34″ arms. His game, at this point, is mainly based on bull rushes and speed-to-power. He is definitely still developing. Van Ness never started a game, but still had 46 pressures and 9 sacks last season.
  5. Will McDonald IV, Iowa State: Will McDonald is another freak, but a different kid of freak from Murphy or Van Ness. He is 6’4 245 with crazy speed, agility, and bend. He wasn’t as productive as he could have been, through no fault of his own. Iowa State a lot of times lined him up at a 4-tech or 4i head up on a tackle, and that’s just not his game. Still, he was productive with 95 pressures and 28 sacks the last three seasons.

2023 NFL Draft Edge Rushers: Best of the Rest

6. Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame: Foskey is bendy with long, 34″ arms, and tons of potential. Foskey also shows some explosion in his body. It just needs development. Already a good run defender. It took him a couple years to show anything since he was a high school tight end, but was pretty consistent the last two seasons with almost identical stat lines.

7. BJ Ojulari, LSU: Brother of Azeez, he will go earlier than his brother went. He has been a good run defender since he stepped on campus, despite his size (6’2 248). Ojulari really came on as a pass rusher in 2022. 49 pressures and nine sacks on the year for the speedy pass rusher. He could improve as a tackler and add some bulk.

8. Derick Hall II, Auburn: Despite being 6’3 254, Hall has 34 1/2″ arms and almost plays like a power rusher, despite having the athleticism of a speed rusher. Hall has put up solid pass rush numbers the last two seasons with 90 pressures and 18 sacks. Consistency and a game plan will be things he needs work on.

9. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State: Anudike-Uzomah, or FAU as he is affectionally known, has been a solid all-around edge defender with solid 6’3 255 and 33″ arms. He had a bit of a breakout season in 2021, with 43 pressures and 13 sacks. He could improve his play against the run.

10. Zach Harrison, Ohio State: Harrison has been a solid all-around player since 2020. He has the size and athleticism to play in a 4-3 or 3-4. At 6’5 272 and crazy long 36 1/4″ arms, he is a little stiff in the lower half, but is explosive. He has had trouble converting pressures to sacks. Harrison has just 10 sacks the last two seasons, but 60 pressures. Harrison is already a really good run defender, too.

Leave a Reply