Luke Easterling's full EDGE rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft

My full EDGE rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft.

*EDGE refers to prospects projected to play either 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB.


1. Joey Bosa | Ohio State | 6'5" | 269 | Junior | 1st Round

He's not the explosive edge-bender you might be used to seeing at the top of this position group, but Bosa is by far the most complete player at defensive end in this year's draft. He wins with power and uses his strength to set the edge and anchor against the run, and he routinely drew double and triple-teams from opponents to try and keep him from taking over the game. He may not have gaudy production, but his film tells a different story.

2. Noah Spence | Eastern Kentucky | 6'2" | 251 | RS Junior | 1st Round

Spence is the best pure edge rusher in this class, with the explosiveness and balance to bend the edge consistently and a nose for the quarterback. His slow 40 time at the combine isn't a big deal, as his 10-yard split was plenty fast enough, and his film shows the kind of impact he can have. At his size, some teams could give him a look as a 3-4 OLB, but I think he'd be best off adding a few pounds and playing DE in a 4-3. His off-field concerns will be his biggest hurdle to overcome, but he's a top-15 talent in this class.

3. Shaq Lawson | Clemson | 6'3" | 269 | RS Junior | 1st Round

The longer the pre-draft process drags on, the more it seems like people are overthinking Lawson. He doesn't have rare explosiveness off the edge, but he's got enough, and it's the same story with his power. He's a balanced player who can get after the quarterback and blow up running plays in the backfield, and he's one of the most mentally tough players in the entire draft. He's a perfect fit as a 4-3 DE, and should be an impact starter for many years.

4. Shilique Calhoun | Michigan State | 6'4" | 251 | RS Senior | 2nd Round

One of the top prospects at the position in last year's draft cycle, Calhoun returned to East Lansing for his senior season to refine his game. He seems like somewhat of a forgotten man in this year's EDGE class, but I'm still pretty high on him. He's not lightning-quick off the ball, but he's explosive enough and uses his length to beat tackles to the quarterback and stack/shed against the run. He's got the frame to add some quality bulk if he wants to play in a 4-3, but has the athleticism to stand up and play OLB in a 3-4.

5. Emmanuel Ogbah | Oklahoma State | 6'4" | 273 | RS Junior | 2nd Round

There's no arguing with Ogbah's production, as he was one of the most successful sack artists in the country over his career. But while the numbers are certainly impressive, his inconsistent motor pops up consistently on on film. He'll have to take his effort to another level if he wants any chance of enjoying the same success he had in college at the pro level, but he's got the physical tools to do just that, if he wants it bad enough.

6. Kevin Dodd | Clemson | 6'5" | 277 | RS Junior | 2nd Round

After finally getting a chance to start full-time, Dodd made the most of his opportunity with a strong showing in 2015. He's more of a power rusher off the edge, but his combination of smarts and quickness makes him a disruptive run defender, as well. He's got the ideal frame for a 4-3 DE, but he'll have to prove he can perform at a high level consistently if he wants to shake the "one-year wonder" moniker.

7. Leonard Floyd | Georgia | 6'6" | 244 | RS Junior | 2nd Round

Floyd is a popular top-20 pick in many mock drafts, but while I see a quick, versatile player who spent plenty of time in opposing backfields for the Bulldogs, I wonder if he'll be able to find the right position fit at the next level. He put on 13 pounds for the combine, but how much bulk can he add while still retaining the explosiveness that made him successful in college? 3-4 teams will likely be particularly interested, but I'm skeptical of his ability to be an effective rusher or well-rounded linebacker in space in the NFL.

8. Kamalei Correa | Boise State | 6'3" | 243 | Junior | 2nd Round

If there's a versatile edge rusher I'm taking a chance on in the first round, it just might be Correa. He can impact the game in every phase (pass rush, run defense, coverage), has the flexibility to play in just about any scheme, and has a more compact frame than Floyd. Many have him projected in the middle rounds, but he should go much higher, and will be a steal if he's taken outside the first two rounds.

9. Kyler Fackrell | Utah State | 6'5" | 245 | RS Senior | 3rd Round

A high-cut defender with good length, Fackrell needs to be put in a situation where he can stand up in a 3-4 and rush the passer most if not all of the time. At the Senior Bowl, he looked uncomfortable when asked to play off the ball and survive in space, but that doesn't mean he won't be a valuable, effective defender at the next level. He just needs to be put in a position to do what he does best.

10. Carl Nassib | Penn State | 6'7" | 277 | RS Senior | 3rd Round

Nassib is one of the more intriguing players in this group. He looked incredible stiff on film and at the Senior Bowl, but somehow, he still manages to get the job done. A former walk-on and special-teamer, Nassib blossomed in his senior season, racking up a 15.5 sacks (school record, which is saying something) and 19.5 tackles for loss. He could conceivably add some bulk and play the 5-technique in a 3-4, but I think at worst, he could be a solid starter as a strong-side end in a 4-3.

11. Jordan Jenkins | Georgia | 6'3" | 259 | Senior | 3rd Round

12. Matt Judon | Grand Valley State | 6'3" | 275 | RS Senior | 3rd Round

13. Charles Tapper | Oklahoma | 6'3" | 271 | Senior | 3rd Round

14. Yannick Ngakoue | Maryland | 6'2" | 252 | Junior | 4th Round

15. Jason Fanaika | Utah | 6'2" | 271 | RS Senior | 4th Round

16. James Cowser | Southern Utah | 6'3" | 248 | RS Senior | 5th Round

17. Stephen Weatherly | Vanderbilt | 6'4" | 267 | RS Junior | 5th Round

18. Eric Striker | Oklahoma | 5'11" | 227 | Senior | 5th Round

19. Tyrone Holmes | Montana | 6'2" | 253 | Senior | 6th Round

20. Jonathan Woodard | Central Arkansas | 6'5" | 271 | RS Senior | 6th Round

21. D.J. Pettway | Alabama | 6'2" | 265 | RS Senior | 6th Round

22. Dadi Nicolas | Virginia Tech | 6'3" | 235 | RS Senior | 6th Round

23. Anthony Zettel | Penn State | 6'4" | 277 | RS Senior | 6th Round

24. Victor Ochi | Stony Brook | 6'1" | 246 | Senior | 7th Round

25. Ian Seau | Nevada | 6'2" | 259 | RS Senior | 7th Round

26. Curt Maggitt | Tennessee | 6'3" | 247 | RS Senior | 7th Round

27. Ron Thompson | Syracuse | 6'3" | 253 | RS Junior | 7th Round


The addition of veteran free agent Robert Ayers should help some in the short-term, but the Bucs still lack a dynamic edge-rushing presence with the potential to finally end their decade-long drought without a double-digit sack artist. Jacquies Smith is promising, but needs to be more consistent, while William Gholston is a perfect rotational player for defensive coordinator Mike Smith's hybrid scheme, but neither has proven to be a top-level starter yet. This year's EDGE class is fairly thin, but the Bucs would be wise to try and snatch one of the better ones early in the draft.

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