Rookies In Focus: Edge Rushers
With the offseason in full gear, it’s time to review the 2013 season, particularly the rookies. After months of pre-draft drama, it’s important to look back and evaluate the success of each position group. If your favorite team was in the market for an offensive tackle, did they take the right one? Needed an edge rusher? Which one fell to your team?
This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.
The search for explosive edge rushers is a yearly practice. The 2013 draft brought us some interesting storylines as the first round unfolded. The Miami Dolphins traded up to No. 3 overall to take Dion Jordan whom many believed to be an exciting option as a 3-4 outside linebacker due to his athleticism in coverage. The Dolphins made the aggressive draft day move and converted him to defensive end.
In the AFC North, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers fans debated throughout the process about which edge rusher best fit their respective team, and now they get to watch Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones battle it out in the years to come. The Detroit Lions added Ezekiel Ansah to an already-loaded defensive front, but would the BYU product live up to his immense upside? Finally, the Indianapolis Colts took Bjoern Werner out of Florida State, with hopes of making the conversion to 3-4 outside linebacker in their scheme. Could he bring his gaudy sack totals to the NFL?
Let’s take a look at how the first round edge rushers fared in Year 1. Check out the graphics comparing their production (below) and then see the detailed breakdown for each player:
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