Top 10 Edge Rushers
There are starting points for everything. When you build a house you start with the foundation. When you build a defense that foundation is pressuring the quarterback. There are as many ways to “bring the heat” as defensive coordinators in the NFL. My favorite has always been off the edge. That guy a quarterback has to account for. You know the one, you can see the heads swivel looking for him and fingers point when he’s found. Here are my top 10 edge rushers for 2018.
10. Matt Judon
Baltimore Ravens 6’3″ 275 lbs 3rd season: 8 sacks last year and 18 quarterback hits. Judon is the piece of the Raven’s defensive puzzle that fits anywhere at the start of the play. He usually winds up in the other team’s backfield by the end of it.
9. Demarcus Lawrence
6’3″ 251 lbs 5th season: 14.5 sacks last year. Lawrence looked like a player hitting that sweet spot in his ability last season. He will lead the Cowboys defense this year.
8. Calais Campbell
6’8″ 300 lbs 11th season: 14.5 sacks last year. Campbell, more of a true defensive end than many on this list. He was second among DE in sacks, quarterback hits and tackles for loss. I see a slight slowdown in production but only slight.
7. Khalil Mack
Oakland Raiders 6’3″ 251 lbs 5th season: 10.5 sacks last year. Mack would be higher on my list but he and fellow DE Bruce Irvin are asked to do so much other than just rush the passer.
6. Ryan Kerrigan
Washington Redskins 6’4″ 267 lbs 8th season: The outside linebacker posted 13 sacks last year. Just half a sack short of his career best.
5. Jadeveon Clowney
Houston Texans 6’5″ 266 lbs 5th season: 9.5 sacks last season. It’s not really fair to just call Clowney an edge player. you will see him play all over the defensive front and disrupt opposing offenses no matter where he is.
4. Justin Houston
Kansas City Chiefs 6’3″ 258 lbs 8th season: 9.5 sacks last season. His 22 sacks 4 seasons ago seem so long ago. Houston looked healthy last year and I look for a continued upswing in his production.
3. Chandler Jones
Arizona Cardinals 6’5″ 265 lbs 7th season: The sack leader last year with 17, Jones also had 34 hits on opposing quarterbacks and 28.5 tackles for loss. Jones has posted double-digit sack totals in 4 of the past 5 seasons.
2. Von Miller
Denver Broncos 6’3″ 246 lbs 8th season: 10 sacks last season was the second lowest total of Miller’s career. Still the best in the NFL at using pure speed to get to the quarterback. He is the stuff offensive nightmares are made of.
1. Joey Bosa
Los Angeles Chargers 6’5″ 265 lbs 3rd season: 12.5 sacks last year. The best young pass rusher in the league. It’s unfair that he’s paired with Melvin Ingram, who just missed my list himself. Bosa is the complete package.