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Could the Jaguars Draft An Edge Defender in Round 1 of the 2024 Draft?

0419 Edge Rusher Article

JACKSONVILLE – This is an intriguing year for pass rushers.

It's not that the 2024 NFL Draft class contains no quality edge defenders. They're just not being discussed on the level of other "premium" positions.

"The top three guys are good," Jaguars/NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks said, referring to Dallas Turner of Alabama, Laiatu Latu of UCLA and Jared Verse of Florida State.

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said the edge class is perhaps deeper in the late rounds than it is strong early.

"There are some other interesting names you could go after outside the first round at the edge rusher position," Jeremiah said.

Whereas the Houston Texans traded up to No. 3 overall to select outside linebacker Will Anderson in the 2023 NFL Draft – and whereas at least 10 edge defenders have been selected in the Top 5 of the last 10 drafts – quarterbacks and wide receivers likely will define the Top 5-to-7 selections in Round 1 Thursday.

That could push defensive players down the draft board, edge rushers included. Brooks said although there are edge defenders with first-round grades, there appear to be no "elite" players at the position – and used Jaguars outside linebacker/edge defender Josh Allen, the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, as a measure.

Alabama linebacker Chris Braswell runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

"Just to give you a point of reference, Josh Allen was probably a higher-graded prospect than each of those guys coming out," Brooks said.

Turner has been projected as a Top 10 selection, with Latu increasingly projected in the early teens. Verse, Chop Robinson of Penn State and Bralen Trice of Washington are also projected as potential first-round selections.

"There's no one that on their own that you would say, 'Hey, he's the got-to-have-him guy,''' Brooks said. "'I have to have him right now. Trade up everything, do whatever we have to do to get him.' There's really no one like that."

Edge rushers such Chris Braswell of Alabama, Mohamed Kamara of Colorado State, Adisa Isaac of Penn State, Jonah Ellis of Utah Gabriel Murphy of UCLA are among those who have been projected as Round 2-3 selections.

Brooks said such players could develop into contributors and situational players and said the possible lack of a true elite edge defender doesn't signal a trend in that direction.

"It's just this year," Brooks said. "I think you just have to take it as this year's class. I don't know if you can make it a bigger conversation than that."


This will be an area to watch for the Jaguars on draft weekend, though it remains to be seen where exactly when – and if – the team will address the position. Edge defender is the clear area of strength for the defense, with Allen and Travon Walker perhaps the defense's two best players. Allen finished second in the NFL with 17.5 sacks in 2024 and Walker turned in a strong second half of the season to finish with 10 sacks – a combined 27.5 that marked the most sacks in the NFL in 2023 by a tandem. But the Jaguars got little pass-rush production last season after the starting duo, with K'Lavon Chaisson signing with the Carolina Panthers an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Jaguars signed Trevis Gipson as an unrestricted free agent from the Tennessee Titans and second-year veteran Yasir Abdullah remains on the roster. The Jaguars are more than OK here, but it wouldn't be a shock if they addressed it somewhere on Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft.

--John Oehser


Possible – though not as likely as receiver, corner or offensive line.


On the roster:

  • Josh Allen
  • Travon Walker
  • Trevis Gipson
  • Yasir Abdullah
  • DJ Coleman


  1. Laiatu Latu, senior, UCLA
  2. Dallas Turner, junior, Alabama
  3. Jared Verse, senior, Florida State
  4. Chop Robinson, junior, Penn State
  5. Bralen Trice, senior, Washington


Turner; Latu; Verse; Robinson; Trice.

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