Top 10 EDGEs in the 2023 NFL Draft: Will Anderson Jr. Sits Atop a Talented Podium

We know Will Anderson Jr. is the top edge rusher in the 2023 NFL Draft. But who comes behind him, and could anyone challenge him for the throne?

The 2023 NFL Draft class offers an abundance of talented edge rushers. But now, with the 2022 regular season in the rearview mirror, who are the top 10 edge rushers in the group? The list is headlined by over a half-dozen potential first-round picks, but there’s plenty of movement this time around.

Top 10 EDGEs in the 2023 NFL Draft

10) Tuli Tuipulotu, USC

Tuli Tuipulotu was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Bednarik Award after putting up 21 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in 2022. And for the first time this season, he cracks PFN’s top 10 at the EDGE position in the 2023 NFL Draft.

At 6’4″, 290 pounds, Tuipulotu has played all over the line, but his most translatable pass-rushing reps occur on the edge. There, Tuipulotu has more space to wind up and attack, and he has a perplexing mix of burst, flexibility, hand power, and closing ability.

9) Bralen Trice, Washington

Tuipulotu wasn’t the only Pac-12 defender to punish opposing tackles this year. Farther north, Bralen Trice wrought havoc for the Washington Huskies, accruing eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss in a breakout season.

Trice hasn’t declared for the 2023 NFL Draft yet, but if he does, he’s assuredly an early-round candidate. At 6’4″, 270 pounds, he’s incredibly explosive and powerful, and can send tackles lurching with violent hand strikes and a relentless motor.

8) Derick Hall, Auburn

It’s a sign of a strong EDGE class when a prospect like Derick Hall comes in at eight on this list. Hall grades out as a top 50 prospect on my board, and he could be a fringe first-round candidate. He gets caught in the numbers game here, but he’s a phenomenal player.

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It’s not a 1-to-1 comparison, but Hall does have a very unique combination of natural leverage and proportional length, similar to second-round pick Arnold Ebiketie from the 2022 cycle. Hall is slightly less flexible, but he’s a powerful rusher with good hands, good energy, and closing speed in the pocket.

7) Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State

With 19.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons, Felix Anudike-Uzomah is one of the most prolific pass-rushing threats on the collegiate stage. And soon enough, he’ll get to show off his talents at the NFL level.

Anudike-Uzomah isn’t an elite size or power threat, but he has enough hand strength to work with. Beyond that, he’s an explosive, twitchy rusher with good bend, who can string together hand moves with nearly unmatched violence and zeal.

6) BJ Ojulari, LSU

If you’re an odd-front team who craves finesse rushers off the edge from wider alignments, you’ll be infatuated with LSU’s BJ Ojulari. While his sack production hasn’t been as eye-catching as other prospects, Ojulari’s a consistent pressure generator with very appealing athletic traits.

At 6’3″, 244 pounds, Ojulari lacks elite size and length, and that sometimes impacts his play strength in close quarters. But few rushers are as smooth, flexible, and quick to stack movements as Ojulari is, and he’s shown he can leverage functional power with his base as well.

5) Jared Verse, Florida State

Jared Verse breaks into the top five on this list for the first time this cycle, and you can argue that we didn’t make this move quick enough. We won’t argue with you — the tape doesn’t lie in Verse’s case. The Albany transfer could be a dark horse to go midway through Round 1.

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Verse logged 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in his only season at Florida State. In doing so, he showed off an incredibly complete skill set. At 6’4″, 249 pounds, Verse has explosiveness, twitch, bend, length, pursuit speed, and active hand usage — all components of a first-round profile.

4) Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

With 20.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss over the past two seasons, the production profile is by no means an issue with Isaiah Foskey. And at 6’5″, 260 pounds, with a high-end combination of explosiveness and length, he’s not short on traits, either.

Despite his production in 2022, Foskey regressed a bit with his hand usage, and he’s never had the necessary hip flexibility to turn the corner consistently. But Foskey has flashed brilliance with his hands before, and those flashes are enough to bank on his potential.

3) Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

Power is a trait of its own, but it is largely derived from a culmination of other traits. Prospects use burst, length, and leverage to generate composite power, and no prospect in this class — or the last five classes, for that matter — has the power capacity that Tyree Wilson has.

At 6’6″, 275 pounds, with arms nearly 36″ long, Wilson truly looks like he was built in a lab. With his burst, length, frame density, and aggression, he can plow through tackles and interior blockers alike with resounding brutality. His traits alone make him worthy of early Round 1 consideration.

2) Myles Murphy, Clemson

It says something that, on such a talented defensive line like Clemson’s, Myles Murphy was still able to accumulate 18.5 sacks and 36 tackles for loss across three seasons. Since his true freshman campaign, Murphy has been a first-round pick in waiting, and nothing has changed.

At 6’5″, 275 pounds, Murphy is an outlier athlete with phenomenal burst and foot speed, and he can leverage his burst and frame density into awesome power at the point of attack. This year, he showed growth with his hand usage as well, providing excitement for his future projection.

1) Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

The top four remains the same in PFN’s latest iteration of the top 10 edge rushers in the 2023 NFL Draft. That ultimately means that Will Anderson Jr. still holds down the top spot at his position, and one of the top spots on PFN’s Big Board.

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Some would say it was a down year for Anderson, and he still won his second consecutive Bednarik Award as the best defender in the nation. He’s a ruthless competitor in pursuit, with rare explosiveness, lateral agility, and size-relative strength in contact situations.

Honorable Mentions

  • Nolan Smith, Georgia
  • Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
  • Mike Morris, Michigan
  • Andre Carter II, Army
  • Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
  • Brenton Cox Jr., Florida
  • Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
  • Byron Young, Tennessee
  • Zach Harrison, Ohio State
  • K.J. Henry, Clemson

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