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2023 NFL Scouting Combine Positional Analysis - Edge Rushers

(Adetomiwa Adebawore / Edge-5T / Northwestern)

2023 NFL Scouting Combine Positional Analysis

Edge Rushers

High Risers

Lukas Van Ness / Iowa

6046 / 272 / 34” Arms

Perhaps no defensive lineman has improved his standing more since the conclusion of the 2022 season than the raw and talented Van Ness. Van Ness never started a game in his career but was productive and recorded 6.5 sacks and 2 blocked punts in 2022. Most of that production is when he slides inside and rushes from DT. He needs development as a 4-3 DE but offers intriguing raw ability – ran a 4.58 40-yard time and recorded a solid 7.02 three-cone drill, indicating bend and agility needed for a 4-3 Edge. Expect him to be drafted in the first round in April.

Will McDonald IV / Iowa State

6035 / 239 / 34.7” Arms / 82.2” Wingspan

McDonald is a productive, proven Edge Rusher who lit up the combine with an athletic performance that indicates the burst, bend, and ability to flatten – all desired skills for a pass rusher. McDonald is a tremendous athlete – 11’ broad jump and 36” vertical. And he did this while participating in field exercises despite a 104-degree temperature two days before working out in Indianapolis!

Byron Young / Tennessee

6022 / 250 / 32.4” Arms

Providing a reminder that the 2023 Edge Rusher class is much deeper than previously viewed, Young displays the skills to rush the passer and the athleticism to play off the ball LB in the NFL. Young is fast (4.43), light on his feet and is fluid in his movements (7.19 three-cone drill). Exhibits enough athleticism to drop in coverage like as an off the ball LB. Young could sneak into the bottom of the first round in April.

Jose Ramirez / Eastern Michigan

6017 / 242 / 32.6” Arms

Ramirez has been on a roll. He recorded 12 sacks in 2022 and was named MAC Defensive POY. He followed that up with a solid Shrine Bowl performance and now he shined at the combine. Smooth, agile. Looked naturally athletic throughout the drills. Looked comfortable in LB drills. Ran a solid 4.73 40 and recorded a 6.95 three-cone drill – best amongst DL. Ramirez will be an early day 3 pick next month.

Disappointing Performance

Mike Morris / Michigan

6052 / 275 / 33.4” Arms

Not only did Morris run a poor 40 time (4.95 – slowest amongst Edge Rushers) but he looked stiff in his movements and had balance issues throughout drills on 3/2. Morris is a power rusher who had an outstanding final season in Ann Arbor. He’ll need to improve his 40 time and look smoother on the field or risk going undrafted in April.

What? Guess I Need to Watch More Film…

Adetomiwa Adebawore / Northwestern

6015 / 282 / 33.7” Arms

Adebawore displayed little production over the last two years for a couple of bad Wildcats teams. Part of the problem was playing out of position, as his immense raw athletic ability was not utilized playing DT. Adebawore blew up the combine on Thursday with a 10’5” broad and a 37.5” vertical. And he ran an amazing 4.49 40…at 281 pounds! Every team that runs a 3-4 defense will be able to use him as a 5T and he will be considered as an Edge by teams that deploy a 4-3 defense.


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