Perhaps my favorite position to watch on tape, the defensive ends. The 2015 NFL Draft is not lacking pass rushers, and you’ll see some former defensive ends who are expected to make the change to outside linebacker at the next level on those rankings.
Some of the guys in this top 10 are versatile enough to move outside as well, but I prefer them as 4-3 edge rushers. This years draft is heavy with pass rushers, lacking your edge setters for the first time in awhile, but in a passing league, you can never have enough valuable pass rushers on the roster.
Take a peek at our 2015 NFL Draft rankings of defensive ends:
1. Leonard Williams (USC)
There’s nothing this guy can’t do. He should be the number one pick by default. He can set the edge, command double teams, while being quick enough to penetrate and get to the quarterback.
2. Randy Gregory (Nebraska)
Exceptional first step, although undersized. He’s got a pure skill set to be a dominate edge rusher with some weight and strength.
3. Shane Ray (Missouri)
Another aggressive first step, Ray has a great spin move and can put an offensive tackle on his back. What he lacks in length he makes up for with hustle.
4. Vic Beasley (Clemson)
Beasley is very quick for his size and but lacks a lot of pure pass rush moves. He’s quick around the edge with quick hands as well, but lacks a true inside move.
5. Dante Fowler Jr. (Florida)
He’s moving up my list and may already be too low. This guy has the ability to get to the quarterback from both sides and is strong enough to line up inside at times.
6. Arik Armstead (Oregon)
He’s familiar with the five technique coming out of Oregon, but I’m overall unimpressed with his strength for his size. Still, a space filler with big time upside with some strength.
7. Eli Harold (Virginia)
Harold’s another speedy rusher that has shown an ability to set the edge in the run game. Solid all-around ability.
8. Mario Edwards Jr. (Florida State)
I think Edwards can succeed at the five technique with a bit more (healthy) weight. He’s strong at the point of attack but still has a quick burst off of the line. He’s a guy that would be a steal at the right price with his upside.
9. Preston Smith (Miss State)
Smith is another potential five technique candidate that could also get some sacks. His first step can be dreadful for opposing tackles.
10. Markus Golden (Missouri)
Golden is starting to fall and may not make my next top ten. He’s not quick enough for my liking, and never saw heavy action.