College Football Playoffs Alabama Vs Cincinnati
The 2023 NFL Draft rankings series is back, and now, we’re going over the top defensive prospects as we get closer to the calendar turning over. If you haven’t seen the breakdown of the offense yet, here’s the full list of my top 5 prospects at each position.
As for the defensive side of the ball, we get things started by talking about everyone’s favorite group of players: the EDGE rushers.
1. Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama)
All the praises that can be made for Will Anderson Jr. have already been said. Anderson, widely considered to be the very best prospect in the entire 2023 Draft class. He has all the tools of a top EDGE prospect in the league. The Alabama product is lightning quick, has ridiculous strength, and he glides on the field in his pass rush moves.
There’s certainly going to be the argument for a QB with the No. 1 pick, especially if the top pick goes to Houston. However, Anderson is the most NFL-ready player in this class.
2. Myles Murphy (Clemson)
If there’s any player that helped his draft stock due to his development throughout 2022, it’s Myles Murphy. The Clemson pass rusher always has had the physical traits of an NFL player with athleticism, length, and strength, but we truly saw him put it all together throughout this season.
He didn’t necessarily pile up massive stats in 2022, with 8.0 sacks, but he consistently found ways into the backfield, regardless of opponents. Murphy has seen an Aidan Hutchinson-esque rise in 2022, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he went in the top 5 picks come April.
3. Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
Tyree Wilson is yet another player in this class where we can point to excellent length as well as ridiculous strength. He’s burst onto the scene in 2022 with 61 tackles, 14 TFLs, 7.0 sacks, and a forced fumble in just 10 games.
Wilson is not the dominant presence with speed in the way that Will Anderson is, but he has all the power and strength in the world. He spent the entire season plowing over opposing offensive tackles in 2022, and he should be a first-round pick in April.
4. Isaiah Foskey (Notre Dame)
Had the 2022 Draft class not been a historic one for pass rushers, Isaiah Foskey would have been a first-round candidate in 2022. Instead, he decided to return back to Notre Dame for another year and further prove himself as worthy of first-round consideration.
He’s done just that, and his dense frame combined with violent power has been an anchor for a talented Irish defense. Moving into the 2023 Draft, he looks to be a mid-first-round talent, and he could go even higher depending on his measurements at the combine.
5. Andre Carter II (Army)
Andre Carter is a bit of a wild card, especially being ranked this highly in a talented EDGE class. That being said, he brings undeniable speed and athleticism to the defensive front, and his size should translate to the NFL very well.
Overall, he’s a very raw product at this point in time, but the skillset is there to be an NFL pass rusher. There’s still a question of if he’ll be allowed to enter the draft considering he plays for a military school and is obligated to perform military service. However, that seems to be on the way towards being cleared up as of now. Perhaps he won’t be a first-round pick, but it’d be very surprising to see him still on the board at the end of Day Two.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.