National Football League
2024 NFL Draft edge rusher rankings: 4 potential stars lead our top 10
National Football League

2024 NFL Draft edge rusher rankings: 4 potential stars lead our top 10

Updated Apr. 3, 2024 2:54 p.m. ET

In today's era of pass-happy offenses, edge rushers rank second behind only quarterbacks in terms of their value to NFL teams. Every club is on the lookout for young, inexpensive talent.

This year's class lacks an obvious headliner guaranteed to earn a top-10 selection but don't let that fool you. There is plenty of talent available.

The concern is that many of the top prospects come with as many question marks as exclamation points.

We expect project four edge rushers to be selected in the first round. The pecking order, however, remains to be seen, with a choose-your-favorite-flavor element certain to make this group as hotly debated as any position in the 2024 NFL draft.


2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings | Top 10 QB prospects | Top 10 RB prospects | Top 10 WR prospects | Top 10 TE prospects | Top 10 OT prospects | Top 10 IOL prospects | Joel Klatt's mock draft

1. Laiatu Latu, UCLA — 6-foot-5, 259 pounds, Redshirt Senior

Overview: Prospects don't come much more celebrated than UCLA's Latu, who led the PAC-12 in sacks (13), tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (two) in 2023. For his success, Latu was honored with the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end, the Vince Lombardi Award as the nation's top defensive lineman, the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year and the Polynesian Defensive Player of the Year. His success and resiliency are all the more remarkable given that he initially signed with the University of Washington, where two years ago team doctors told him they thought his football career was over due to a neck injury.


  • Naturally large man with excellent height and weight for the position, including broad shoulders and good arm length.
  • Quick enough off the snap to challenge offensive tackles immediately. He also greases the corner with acceleration and core flexibility.
  • Already boasts an NFL veteran's assortment of quality pass rush moves.
  • Has strong, active hands and coordinates them well with his feet, solving troublesome blockers over 60 minutes.
  • Highly consistent — played in 12 games for the Bruins this season and recorded at least one sack, tackle for loss or interception in every single one of them.


  • A medical evaluation will be key, as a neck injury nearly forced him to retire from football in April, 2021.
  • More smooth than explosive, lacking the elite get-off burst of most top edge rushers.
  • Good but not great speed in pursuit.
  • Lacks the eye-popping musculature of other edge rushers, raising concerns for some about his dedication to the weight room (notably didn't bench press at the combine or his Pro Day).

Summary: From a pure football perspective, Laiatu is the most productive and polished edge rusher in this class, with Defensive Rookie of the Year and eventual Pro Bowl upside. His 2023 campaign was stellar but he was similarly productive with the Bruins in 2022 He isn't without flaws, however. Most important to remember is that every NFL team will have their own opinion on his medical, making Latu one of the real wild cards of the first round.

Grade: Top 20

2. Jared Verse, Florida State — 6-4, 254, Redshirt Junior

Overview: Like the aforementioned Latu, Verse began and ended his college career in different locations, initially starring at Albany (an FCS school), before emerging as one of the brightest success stories of the transfer portal with two dominant seasons at Florida State. He averaged 45 tackles, including 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks in his two years with the Seminoles, becoming the first FSU defender to earn back-to-back First Team All-ACC honors since another first-round edge rusher — Reinard Wilson — in 1995-1996.


  • Impressive blend of size, speed and power including excellent weight-room strength (31 repetitions in the bench press).
  • Whether out of the two- or three-point stance, Verse shows good initial quickness as a speed rusher, with a quality counter and various nuanced pass rush moves to beat would-be blockers in close quarters.
  • Has a phenomenal swim move.
  • Excellent coordination of his upper and lower halves to beat the man in front of him.
  • Good feel for what blockers are trying to do to stop him, sniffing out cut and crackback blocks, as well as misdirection.
  • High-effort defender who showed significant improvement in run defense in 2023.


  • A quality athlete but not exceptional.
  • Quicker vertically than he is laterally, showing some stickiness on stunts and when asked to drop into coverage.
  • Bad habit of lowering his head into contact with ballcarriers, losing sight of his target and failing to wrap securely, leading to broken tackles.

Summary: Verse could have entered the 2023 NFL draft and earned a first-round selection but returned to Tallahassee for a shot at a national championship and to become a more well-rounded player. Sure, he's physically gifted and two seasons of top production in the ACC erase any doubts about his level of competition. It is the maturity Verse showed on and off the field, however, that makes him one of the safer and more pro-ready defenders in this class.

Grade: Top 20

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]

3. Dallas Turner, Alabama, 6-3, 247, Junior

Overview: Even with Nick Saban opting to retire, the turnstile of talent at Alabama was never more obvious than this past season with Turner — a former five-star recruit — capably taking over for Will Anderson Jr. as the elite edge rusher in the SEC. Turner's success was no surprise. He racked up 10 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks as a true freshman playing opposite Anderson three years ago. But he took his game to another level this past season, earning All-American accolades by setting career-highs in tackles (53), tackles for loss (14.5), sacks (10) and forced fumbles (two) before bypassing his remaining eligibility to enter the draft.


  • Explosive athlete with eye-popping test numbers (including a 4.46-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 40.5" vertical jump) normally associated with players 50 pounds lighter.
  • Sculpted athlete with good muscular definition and very long arms (34 3/8") and large hands (9 7/8") to ultimately become a much more functionally powerful rusher.
  • Impressive burst off the ball to beat tackles with his speed rush alone.
  • Naturally converts speed to power, shocking would-be blockers with the force of his bull rush and ballcarriers with his knockdown collisions.
  • Three-year standout at Alabama who regularly practiced against NFL-caliber competition.
  • Just turned 21 years old in February


  • A better athlete than a football player at this point, relying on his speed to overwhelm opponents.
  • Struggles to break free if blockers latch on.
  • Needs to do a better job of stacking and shedding blockers in the running game, currently lacking both the anchor and awareness expected of an NFL starter.

Summary: Turner is the elite athlete of the edge rusher class, tantalizing scouts with his burst, bend and upside. He isn't yet as instinctive or technically refined, however, and may need some time to put it all together. Often compared to his predecessor Anderson Jr. now of the Houston Texans, Turner actually projects as an even better pass rusher than the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, though he isn't nearly as good (at least not yet) against the run.

Grade: First round

Chop Robinson and Dallas Turner among Joel Klatt’s top five defensive players

4. Chop Robinson, Penn State, 6-3, 254, Junior

Overview: Robinson began his college career with his home-state Maryland Terrapins as a four-star recruit, flashing as a true freshman with 19 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and two sacks. He opted to transfer to Penn State prior to his sophomore season and splashed, recording what would be career-highs in tackles (26), tackles for loss (10) and sacks (5.5). A concussion suffered against Ohio State limited Robinson to 10 games in 2023 and his statistics dropped (15-7.5-4) but he received favorable feedback from the NFL Advisory Committee and opted to make the early jump to the pros, anyway.


  • As twitchy as it gets, with the best first step of this year's class.
  • Complements the sheer explosiveness of his initial rush by coming off the ball low and hard, effectively turning his speed to power.
  • Impressive balance and agility, easily shifting directions and closing in a blink.
  • Long arms and good hand-eye coordination to lasso the legs of ballcarriers or poke the ball free (three forced fumbles).


  • Undersized with a relatively slight frame including narrow shoulders and hips and already has a history of injury.
  • Reliant upon his suddenness to beat blockers and can get taken for a ride when he mistimes the snap and they're able to latch on.
  • Gets into the backfield so quickly that he runs by as many plays as he makes.

Summary: Robinson explodes off the ball like he has springs in his shoes — a trait so appealing to NFL teams that an early first-round pick is possible. While the splash is undeniable, the lack of statistics are worrisome. In a position group full of boom-or-bust prospects, Robinson is the biggest lottery ticket of them all.

Grade: First Round

5. Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State, 6-1, 248, Redshirt Senior

Overview: Teams scared off by the lack of production from the aforementioned Chop Robinson might take solace with Kamara, who dominated the Mountain West Conference the past three seasons with 42.5 TFL, 28 sacks and five forced fumbles during that time. A stubby frame led to plenty of skeptics, with only a few FBS programs offering the Newark, NJ native a scholarship. Kamara originally signed with Temple, where his older brother Amara had played, but ultimately decided to head west, where he became the first CSU defender to earn All-American honors since 1994.


  • Crafty and natural pass-rusher who makes up a surprising lack of explosive "get-off" with a blinding shift to second gear, consistently surprising offensive linemen and ballcarriers (including QBs) with his closing speed and an explosive pop on contact.
  • Compactly built and uses his natural leverage advantage to effectively bullrush much larger opponents, using his disproportionately long arms (32 3/8") and heavy hands as anvils.
  • Understands blocking angles and sees chip and cut blocks coming, reacting appropriately.


  • Lacks ideal size for the position and is too easily sealed off and made a non-factor in the running game.
  • Not a true speed rusher; as he is often the last defender off the ball.
  • Long-armed for his height but only possesses an average reach. Has small hands (8 5/8") that allow too many ballcarriers to wiggle free.
  • All-or-nothing rusher with limited awareness of passing lanes, recording just two tipped passes in 40 career games.

Summary: If Kamara had played in the SEC, I think he'd widely be considered a first-round pick. He may lack ideal twitch and length, but Kamara is among the smartest and most explosive edge rushers in this class. He's a Day Two lock and given the value of pass rushers in the NFL, it should surprise no one if he cracks the first round.

Grade: Second round

6. Austin Booker, Kansas — 6-5, 240, Redshirt Sophomore

Overview: Booker enjoyed a storybook ascent this past season, going from a little-used reserve at the University of Minnesota to the Big 12's Defensive Newcomer of the Year for the Jayhawks. He redshirted his first year with the Golden Gophers and recorded two tackles (one for loss) for Minnesota in 2022 before exploding for 56 tackles, including 12 for loss and eight sacks to earn All-Big 12 accolades for Kansas. 


  • Deceptive strength and speed for his lanky frame.
  • Surprisingly powerful and accurate punch to knock tackles back and create space.
  • Impressive agility for his height, showing good lateral agility and balance on spins and counters.
  • Faster on the field than in workouts, showing great closing speed as he shifts from first to second gear.
  • Long arms and excellent hand-eye coordination to knock the ball free (two forced fumbles in 2023) and lasso the legs of ballcarriers.


  • Has a high-cut frame that makes him appear like more of a big receiver than a fearsome edge rusher.
  • Unique frame gives blockers a huge target and he currently lacks the strength and hand-fighting technique to rip himself free once opponents latch on.
  • Was allowed to freelance a bit at KU, providing opponents with some gaping holes to exploit with some of his wide-looping rushes.

Summary: It will be fascinating to see how NFL teams view Booker, who this past season enjoyed one of the greatest and least expected breakout campaigns of any defensive prospect in recent memory. While his 2023 is full of plays that translate well to the NFL, the one-year wonder element can make even the most confident general manager a bit nervous, especially given Booker's relatively ho-hum athletic testing at the Combine. I think some club rolls the dice on Day Two, hoping Booker's breakout is just the beginning.

Grade: Second-to-third round

7. Chris Braswell, Alabama — 6-3, 251, Senior

Overview: Yet another former five-star recruit for Alabama, Braswell bypassed offers from Clemson, Georgia and LSU (as well as his home-state Maryland Terrapins) to get in line in Tuscaloosa. Despite his pedigree, Braswell didn't get on the field as a true freshman and recorded a total of 33 tackles, including five for loss over the next two seasons before enjoying a breakout campaign of his own in 2023 opposite the more celebrated Turner. Braswell more than doubled his previous career highs as a senior, recording 42 stops overall, including 10.5 for loss and eight sacks, while leading Alabama with three forced fumbles.


  • Punches above his weight class, setting a firm edge in the running game and consistently pushing the pocket with a hard-charging bull rush.
  • Has an explosive late burst to close, generating bone-rattling collisions.
  • Complements his bull rush with a nice variety of chops, spins and skips to keep his opponent guessing.
  • Good awareness off the ball with passionate effort in pursuit.
  • Forced three fumbles in just 75 career tackles.


  • Not as explosive off the snap as his 4.6-second 40-yard dash time would suggest. Braswell, in fact, is almost sluggish off the snap in comparison to other top edge rushers in this class.
  • Featured on twists and stunts to free him up and with opponents often focusing their blocking assignments elsewhere.

Summary: Braswell lacks the burst scouts would prefer for a rusher of his size but he does many other things well. Overshadowed by all the talent in Tuscaloosa, I think Braswell's best football might still be ahead of him.

Grade: Second-to-third round

8. Marshawn Kneeland, Western Michigan — 6-3, 267, Redshirt Senior

Overview: Every year, there is a prospect who stars at the Senior Bowl and surprises as a Top 100 selection. Kneeland is among this year's top candidates for that honor. A Grand Rapids native, he signed with the Broncos amid little fanfare despite a stellar prep career. He emerged as a standout for Western Michigan back in 2021, recording 7.5 tackles for loss while playing in all 13 games. He emerged as an All-MAC performer this past season by recording a career-high 57 stops, as well as 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks prior to an impressive showing in Mobile and at the Scouting Combine.


  • Powerfully built defender who uses his fists as sledgehammers when attacking and breaking past blockers.
  • Complements his powerful hands with disproportionately long (34 ½") arms.
  • Testing shows untapped potential as a "mover," with impressive agility and explosiveness, including a 35.5" vertical jump and 7.02-second three-cone time — scores normally associated with players 40 pounds lighter.
  • Production didn't waver despite playing multiple positions.


  • More efficient than explosive off the snap, relying on power and lateral agility to beat opponents but lacking elite first-step quickness.
  • Currently more of a brute than a polished edge rusher.
  • Could do a better job of bringing his hips to finish tackles, relying too often on his long arms and pull-down strength to wrestle ballcarriers to the turf, resulting in too many broken tackles.
  • Has missed a couple of games each of the past two seasons due to injury

Summary: A former tight end still learning the nuances of defense, Kneeland turned heads at both the Senior Bowl and Combine with his unusual combination of size, power and agility. He's a bit of a project but possesses the frame and game to intrigue every NFL team, with some viewing his greatest fit as a traditional hand-in-the-dirt defensive end and others as a stand-up rusher.

Grade: Second-to-third round

9. Jaylen Harrell, Michigan — 6-4, 250, Senior

Overview: Harrell signed with Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines as a four-star recruit out of Florida. He spent much of his first two years in Michigan on special teams before emerging as a standout at outside linebacker in 2022, recording 30 tackles, including 7.5 for loss and three sacks. He led the national champions in both tackles for loss (nine) and sacks (6.5) in 2023, earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten accolades from both the media and rival coaches.


  • An ascending pass rusher with the long arms, explosive get-off and bend around the edge teams are looking to develop.
  • Times the snap well and accelerates through his rush.
  • Good hand-eye coordination to slap at the ball even while being engaged by blockers.
  • Experienced rushing off either edge.
  • NFL bloodlines, with his father (James) playing in the league from 1979-1987


  • He's smooth running the arc but is a bit sticky in his core, struggling to break down and tackle ballcarriers when one-on-one in space.
  • Needs to gain some variety and violence in his hand play, too often getting locked up if blockers latch on initially.
  • Played almost exclusively out of the two-point stance at Michigan.

Summary: Harrell is more of an instigator than a finisher. He is quick enough to cross the face of tackles and force quarterbacks to step up in the pocket, creating opportunities for teammates. Ideally, he'll be drafted as a complementary rusher.

Grade: Third round

10. Jonah Elliss, Utah — 6-2, 248, Junior

Overview: Just like the previously mentioned Harrell, Elliss entered the 2023 campaign already well on the radar of scouts, given the success that his father (and coach), Luther, enjoyed over 10 seasons in the NFL. With his dad now coaching defensive tackles at Utah, it made sense that Jonah – the highest-ranked recruit out of the state of Idaho in 2020 – would join him. 

He played mostly as a reserve and on special teams as a freshman but earned Honorable Mention All-PAC-12 honors in his second season (recording 26 tackles, including six for loss). Prior to sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 10, Elliss led all Power Five rushers with 12 sacks and was tied for third with 16 tackles for loss.


  • Sudden and slippery as a pass rusher and isn't afraid of contact.
  • Disproportionately long arms (33") and big hands (10 ½") which make him functionally bigger and stronger than his size suggests.
  • Plays with his head on a swivel, recognizing cut and crack-back blocks coming and adjusting effectively.
  • Terrific effort in lateral and downfield pursuit.
  • NFL bloodlines, with his father and two older brothers all playing in the league.


  • Lacks ideal girth and anchor for run defense and already has durability concerns after his breakout 2023 campaign was cut short due to a shoulder injury.
  • Frenetic playing style that can leave teammates guessing as to which gap he's taking.
  • Great effort in pursuit but gets bounced around and loses sight of the ball.

Summary: What Elliss lacks in size, he makes up for with quickness and the pass-rush tool belt of an NFL veteran. The team that invests a Top 100 selection in Elliss is acknowledging that he'll get pushed around in the running game a bit, but he just might become the best pure pass rusher of this class.

Grade: Third round

Other NFL Draft Positional Rankings

Rob Rang is an NFL Draft analyst for FOX Sports. He has been covering the NFL Draft for more than 20 years, with work at FOX, Sports Illustrated,, USA Today, Yahoo, and, among others. He also works as a scout with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Follow him on Twitter @RobRang.


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more