Take Five: 2019 Edge Defenders

The “Take Five” series aims to preview prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.

These names will appear in a one-through-five order and “ranked”, but given the publish date, thoughts and opinions are far from finalized. Rather, it is best to use this list as a starting point of sorts, in order to get familiar with some of the top names in the class and how they might satisfy a need and fit on the Raiders’ roster.

Currently, the Raiders’ depth chart reads as follows:

Bruce Irvin — Playing out of position in 2017, and certainly not as effective as you’d like him to be opposite Khalil Mack. Now, sans Mack, all expectations have evaporated.

Fadol Brown — Big preseason winner, but ultimately, probably “just a guy”.

Arden Key — Value was there in the draft, anyway.

Frostee Rucker — Played in Cincinnati and Arizona before landing in Oakland for his age-35 season.

Shilique Calhoun — Some way, some how still on the 53-man roster.

Looking ahead:

The Raiders stunning lack of pressure will once again be a topic of conversation all season- and offseason-long. Inexplicably cutting ties with future Hall of Famer Khalil Mack certainly didn’t help the situation, Jon Gruden is now looking at a total rebuild for the Raiders. Oakland’s sacks by season, 2017-2012: 31 (t-24th) > 25 (32nd) > 38 (20th) > 22 (30th) > 38 (19th) > 25 (31st). Clearly not a strength. Now, with additional draft capital, the hope is that early investments are made up front.

Early “top 5” prospects: 

Nick Bosa, Ohio State, Junior — The best (overall) player in the 2019 class.

Brian Burns, Florida State, Junior — Former five-start recruit dripping with athleticism, through eight weeks, Burns has registered 46 quarterback pressures, which was good enough for tops in the country per PFF.

Montez Sweat, Mississippi State, Junior — Athletic, like the aforementioned Florida State Seminole, but arguably has better and more consistent strength at this point in their respective games. I favor the former, giving Burns the slight edge athletically. Wouldn’t debate if you had them flip-flopped. Sweat has drawn Jason Taylor comparisons, per Dane Brugler.

Josh Allen, Kentucky, Senior — Allen is a great example of when returning to school pays off. The Wildcat has made himself some serious cash with his elevated level of play; I’m not sure there’s been a player in the country that has made more of a leap. Another PFF favorite, Allen has notched 8 sacks, 7 quarterback hits, and a total of 36 quarterback pressures through eight weeks. Arrow is screaming up.

Jachai Polite, Florida, Junior — Listed at 6-1, 242 per NFL Draft Scout, I’m thinking his size is going to come into conversation and ultimately limit his ceiling. Then again, if his production keeps trending in this direction, it’ll be hard to keep him from moving up everyone’s list: 5 sacks and 5 quarterback hits through eight (per PFF).

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


3 thoughts on “Take Five: 2019 Edge Defenders

    1. Agreed. Ferrell would be my #2 behind Bosa as both can rush and play the run. The dream would be to land both Bosa and Allen. In fact if Bosa is gone they should try to move down, get more picks, and take Ferrell.

  1. FALDO BROWN is still young and I see improvement ability in him. Just stepping in and terrorizing QBs ain’t easy as everyone can see with ARDEN KEY.

    Multiple DE picks will be needed in this draft unless we go after another Veteran in the offseason. DE is still a bigger need than DT because Jelly and Vanderoos have been hurt.

    Bosa will still be and should be our #1 target. DT and CB are still atop of our list.

    Keep cheering for the Bears and Cowboys to lose!!

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