Day 1 Edge Rushers
1. Bradley Chubb, NC State (6-4, 269, 4.65)
2. Harold Landry, Boston College (6-3, 252, 4.64)
3. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State (6-5, 265, 4.88)
Overview: This is not a strong edge class in the early rounds. I only have three prospects with first round grades, and Hubbard is a late-first to early-second round grade on my board.
Chubb is the clear-cut top pass rusher in this class. He is a well-balanced edge defender who makes just as much of an impact against the run as he does getting after the quarterback. As a three-year starter at NC State he recorded an impressive 58.5 tackles for loss to go along with 25.5 sacks.
He wins with length, power, and explosive athleticism. He will be off the board in the first five picks of the draft.
Landry on the other hand is a very different type of athlete than Chubb. While Chubb wins with power and burst, Landry has a quick first step and incredible bend around the edge. His hip flexibility is impressive, which allows him to dip under a lineman’s shoulder pad and carve a tight corner to the quarterback.
An ankle injury hindered his production in 2017, as he only recorded five sacks and two hurries. However, when healthy he is a very polished pass rusher.
His 2016 season remains one of the more impressive seasons put together by a defender in recent memory. As a junior he notched 22.5 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks, and six hurries.
Given his size and athleticism he’s a natural fit as an upright rusher in a 3-4 defense. He would be a great fit for the Packers at pick 14 if he’s still on the board in the first round.
Hubbard also plays with good bend, but he’s better suited as a 4-3 defensive end. He lacks Landry’s quickness and speed around the edge. However, he’s still an underrated athlete who uses his length and size well to hold the edge against the run.
His high motor and strong punch off the line also enable him to get after the quarterback consistently. He’s a solid player with starting potential, but his ceiling as an athlete is more limited than the other players in this class. He reminds me a lot of the Eagles’ Chris Long.