It's the most wonderful time of the year! I'm talking of course about the chance to finalize some draft grades and firm up your position rankings ahead of next month's NFL Draft. This is my sixth year in the space and each season I try to wrap up my film work for all positions by the first week in April, allowing me to prep for the draft itself from more of a macro view and try to continue to hone my pairing of players and picks.
Over the weekend, I finalized my EDGE film. It's one of my personal favorite positions to scout, thanks in part to the nuance required to play it well and the impact it can have on the game. And while there's not any surprising names inside this group of the ten best EDGEs in the 2019 NFL Draft, perhaps some of the ordering will raise an eyebrow.
I suspect placing Brian Burns in the first slot will cause a ruckus, although it shouldn't considering I announced I would be doing so the day he and Nick Bosa finalized their testing numbers at the NFL Combine. Please put the pitchforks away.
Clelin Ferrell in the three-hole will probably catch a number of you by surprise as well. The deciding factor here came from the film: I feel as though Ferrell, although more athletically limited, provides a clearer, cleaner rush plan vs. that of Josh Allen, who also placed in the same tier of players.
My complete 2019 NFL Draft big board won't be complete for another two weeks or so, but as things currently stand the top six EDGE Defenders claim a spot inside my top-32 rankings. Omenihu, who sits 7th in the rankings, will be well on the outside looking in, he currently ranks 47th overall.
Just missing this list is Alabama's Christian Miller, he of high promise, few starts and limited production. I like Miller, a lot. He carries a Third Round Grade as EDGE11. I didn't deduct anything for concerns of health or playing time, but his inability to get on the field with consistency as a player during his time at Alabama clearly has left him with some little things to work on in an effort to hone is skills.
I was as surprised as you are to see Banogu above Collier on this list. Collier is an ascending player. I understand why there's appeal there. But Banogu just has so much more to give from an athleticism and disruption perspective. Both Banogu and Collier received early Third Round Grades from me and I think there's a very good chance both of the Horned Frogs come off the board earlier than I have them ranked because of their ceilings.
Such is the risk and reward involved in the Draft process.
Make sure you send me your EDGE rankings through Build Your Own Big Board! You can save and link them or tweet me screenshots. You can find me here: @GrindingTheTape.