Pass rushers are critical in the NFL, and this upcoming draft could see a massive influx of high-end talent. If we look at Shane’s most recent mock, he has five listed in the first round alone. The expected first rounders include Will Anderson, Myles Murphy, Nolan Smith, Isaiah Foskey and BJ Ojulari.
Derek Parish – Houston
NFL teams will probably see him more as a linebacker at the next level, as he’s only 6’2” and 245 pounds. At Houston he’s standing up and rushing off the edge primarily. 4.5 of his 5 sacks this season came against Texas Tech, and all while he had a club on his hand. When watching his film, it does appear that Houston’s primarily using him to rush the passer but he does a pretty solid job setting the edge and holding the lineman on run plays.
Tyree Wilson – Texas Tech
2021 was good to Wilson, producing his best stats in his college career thus far. So far in 2022, he’s definitely on his way to improving upon that strong 2021 production. For me, I’ll be interested to see what NFL teams think Wilson’s best position will be, as I can see him playing inside or outside. At 6’6″ and 275 pounds, Wilson could add weight to stay inside. If he wants to be in play primarily on the outside, he has to add to his pass rushing repertoire.
Derick Hall – Auburn
At 6’3″ and 251lbs. Hall is a guy that’s size has me thinking he’ll be seen more as a 3-4 OLB at the next level. Hall’s done well against the run and produced nicely last season, finishing with 9 sacks. He’s quick, and I still think there’s more room for him to develop, probably a 3rd rounder at this point in the process.
KJ Henry – Clemson
KJ hasn’t produced huge statistics at Clemson but he has shown promise. Looking forward to his NFL future, he looks to me your prototypical 4-3 defensive end, potential on the left side with his size/speed. He shows good power off the edge but it will be interesting to see if he can take it to the next level in 2022.
Zach Harrison – Ohio State
So far, Harrisons been more potential than production but he has a ton of potential to tap into. He’s got solid burst off the edge and a strong athletic profile. I expect NFL team’s to want to see if they can tap into his full potential. At this point, I see him as a day 3 pick, probably rounds 5 or 6.
Will McDonald IV – Iowa State
McDonald has good speed off the edge, and pair that with his 6’4″ frame, teams will take a long look at him as the season progresses. He shows potential with multiple ways to beat the blocker but his tape still seems to be missing something. If he produces another strong season, I expect him to be a day two draft pick.
All these pass rushers are guys that have potential but just as many questions. The players I listed above are guys that I expect to see drafted day 2 or 3 at this point. I will say that if any of these players goes off and has a strong rest of the season and bowl game, they could push for earlier consideration!
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