2019 NFL Draft: Prospect Spotlight/Defensive Ends

 

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

Introduction: The 2019 NFL draft is loaded on the defensive line; especially on the edge as seven are projected to go in the 1st round. Leading the way is Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, who is projected to be the 1st overall pick. GM Dave Gettleman has a history of drafting big bodies in the trenches and if that’s the case; then this draft should fit right up his alley. It’s no secret the Giants need to add more talent and depth to their roster and with their lack of production in quarterback sacks this season, adding a play making defensive end would fit the bill. Here are my top 10 edge rushers in the 2019 NFL draft:

  1. Nick Bosa (Ohio State) 6’4/270: Bosa is currently ranked 1st overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Bosa has all the intangibles to be as good as or better than his older brother Joey Bosa. All the boxes check off when evaluate his game in every aspect from defending the run to rushing the quarterback. Also, Bosa plays hard and never quits on a play; ever. Comparsion NFL Player: Joey Bosa
  2. Clelin Ferrell (Clemson) 6’5/260: Ferrell is currently ranked 2nd overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Ferrell is extremely explosive off the edge with excellent use of his body to gain leverage on opposing linemen. Ferrell plays until the whistle and is equally effective on both the run and pass. Ferrell has all the physical tools to be an impact player in the NFL. Comparison NFL Player: Chandler Jones
  3. Jachai Polite (Florida) 6’2/265: Polite is currently ranked 3rd overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Polite plays with a high motor and has a very quick first step off the edge. Polite is well rounded against both the run and pass and can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4 schemes effectively. Comparison NFL Player: Olivier Vernon
  4. Rashan Gary (Michigan) 6’5/285: Gary is currently ranked 4th overall among defensive tackles in the 2019 NFL draft: Gary is well rounded in both run and pass defense by utilizing his strength and quickness combination off the line of scrimmage. Gary needs to keep his motor at high speed more as he often not give 100% on some play; however; his ceiling is extremely high. Comparison NFL Player: Cameron Jordan
  5. Brian Burns (Florida State) 6’5/218: Burns is currently ranked 5th overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Burns plays bigger than his weight, but could benefit with at least another 25 pounds added onto his long frame. Many scouts see Burns as a hybrid type of defensive end able to play upright as a linebacker successfully. Burns would be more suited in a 3-4 scheme based on what he brings to the table. Comparison NFL Player: Myles Garrett
  6. Montez Sweat (Mississippi State) 6’6/245: Sweat is currently ranked 6th overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Sweat has a very explosive first step and plays from both a two point and a three point stance. Sweat has excelled well against the run and as a pass rusher. Sweat can easily add more muscle to his frame at the next level. Comparison NFL Player: Derek Barnett
  7. Zach Allen (Boston College) 6’5/285: Allen is currently ranked 7tht overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Allen has a nose for the ball as he is only one of two defensive linemen to record over 100 tackles in 2017. Allen is very strong at the point of attack; which will bode well at the next level. Comparison NFL Player: Justin Smith
  8. Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech) 6’5/265: Ferguson is currently ranked 8th overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Ferguson plays more from a two point stance than a 3 point stance at Louisiana Tech. Ferguson will most likely own the NCAA sacks record by breaking Terrell Suggs record of 44. Many scouts view Ferguson more suited in a 3-4 scheme than a 4-3, but Ferguson plays at high speed for his size and looks like he can add more muscle to his frame. Comparison NFL Player: Charles Haley
  9. Joe Jackson (Miami) 6’5/258: Jackson is currently ranked 9th overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Jackson may be a bit raw at this point of his career, but all the intangibles are there for him to develop into a solid 3 down defensive end. Jackson’s endless motor to go along with his strength and quickness makes him an interesting prospect. Comparison NFL Player: Bud Dupree
  10. Austin Bryant (Clemson) 6’5/265: Bryant is currently ranked 10th overall among defensive ends in the 2019 NFL draft: Bryant does a great job setting the edge with a combination of speed and size. Playing alongside Ferrell, Wilkins and Lawrence, enables Bryant to have one on one matchups; which he usually wins. Comparison NFL Player: Demarcus Lawrence

Final Thoughts: This year’s draft is defensive line heavy and with the urgency of finding Eli Manning’s successor also a concern; it’s going to be interesting to see which direction the Giants go in this draft. My gut tells me that GM Dave Gettleman will go with the BPA (Best Player Available) concept with each pick, regardless of position. The 2019 quarterback class is not as deep as the 2018 class (regardless of Justin Herbert’s decision); whereas the 2020 class is projected to be equal to the 2018 class. Therefore; selecting a quarterback may not be a priority as some might think; especially in the 1st round. Despite all the bashing that Manning has received by the media and the fan base, he is projected to throw for over 4,000 yards with a high pass completion percentage rating.

 

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