Articles

2021 NFL Draft: Top 10 Defensive Ends

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

This will be part 8 in a series of 13 as we focus on the Defensive Ends in the upcoming draft. In my opinion, the talent at this position is top heavy in the first three rounds and then it tampers off a bit on Day 3. The Giants haven’t had a bona fide edge rusher since Jason Pierre Paul and there are strong indications that this will be the year the Giants change that. Let’s take a look at my Top 10 Defensive Ends in the 2021 NFL draft.

  1. Kwity Paye (Michigan)-6’4/277:  Paye has that rare combination of power and speed off the edge and can make plays from sideline to sideline Paye is projected to go in the top 10-15 of the 2021 NFL draft.
  2. Gregory Rousseau (Miami)-6’6/260: Rousseau finished 2nd in the nation in sacks (15) in 2019 only behind Chase Young. Rousseau decision to sit out the 2020 moves him to 2nd on this list as many believe he could be a one year wonder, however; he could still go somewhere between picks 10-20 in the NFL draft.
  3. Carlos Basham Jr. (Wake Forest)-6’5/280: Basham Jr. is a well-rounded edge rusher who is also solid against the run. Basham Jr. is projected to go in the backend of the 1st or early in Day 2.
  4. Joseph Ossai (Texas)-6’4/255: Ossai possesses great size, strength and athletic ability with an explosive first step off the edge. Ossai can also play in a two-point stance as many NFL teams deploying a 3-4 scheme envision him as an OLB. Ossai could be taken in 2nd half of the first round or early on Day 2.
  5. Patrick Jones (Pittsburgh)-6’5/260: Jones possesses an elite burst off the edge, length and strength to be solid as a run stuffer as well. Jones still needs to fine tune his craft technique wise, but all the bells and whistles are there and he should hear his name called early on Day 2.
  6. Jayson Oweh (Penn State)-6’5/257:   Oweh has the body frame to add more size and strength and only needs to fine tune some areas technique wise. Oweh should be a late Day 1 or early Day 2 pick. 
  7. Joe Tryon (Washington)-6’5/262: Tryon is versatile enough to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 schemes and also has skills as a pass defender in coverage. Look for Tryon to be a Day 2 pick.
  8. Rashad Weaver (Pittsburgh)-6’5/270: Weaver along with fellow edge rusher and teammate Patrick Jones form a dynamic duo for the Panthers. Weaver is a crafty edge rusher with a variety of moves and solid technique as he is projected to go early on Day 3.
  9. Aiden Hutchinson (Michigan)-6’6/278: Hutchinson is a stronger run defender than he is a pass rusher, but he can still get to the quarterback. Many project Hutchinson to be a Day 3 selection.
  10. Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati)-6’5/258: Sanders has a long frame and could certainly add size and strength to handle the NFL game. Sanders is more advance as an edge rusher than he is a run stopper and he needs to balance this out to be successful in the NFL. Sanders is projected to go on Day 3 of the draft.  

 I left off a few prospects who played Defensive End in college, but will transition over to the OLB possible in my opinion. The Giants are lacking that elite edge rusher, which would be a solid addition to add to their current defensive personnel. The number one question among Giant fans is not if the Giants draft a defensive end, but when? Opinions vary within the 1st three rounds as the consensus in a recent poll among Giant fans has the Giants drafting a WR in the 1st round. Once the free agent dust has cleared, we’ll have a better understanding of which direction the Giants could go early in the draft.