Edge Rusher Draft Crushes
Will McDonald – Iowa State – 6’4″ – 239 lbs – 34 7/8″ arms – 4.69 forty
While it would probably be smarter to put Lukas Van Ness or Myles Murphy here (and I do really like both of them) because they fit the Steve Spagnuolo mold, Will McDonald is my guy. I’m not holding out any real hope that the Chiefs will actually break their mold and pick him, but here’s my reason for hoping they do. The Chiefs’ defensive ends don’t win on the outside. Will McDonald will. I think you can make a case that when it just comes to winning off the edge in pass-rush situations he might have the best tools in this draft class. He corners around tackles like nobody else and has elite closing speed.
I know he wouldn’t be an every-down player, but I’m convinced he would be a double-digit sack guy just as a pass rush specialist in KC’s rotation. They need someone that can complement all the power rushers that they have. While McDonald is older for a prospect, I think five years of cost-controlled pass rush wins is worth the pick. He has the length, the bend, and the closing speed, he’s just too light to hold up vs the run. Some team is going to get a fantastic pass rusher in McDonald, I just won’t hold my breath that it will be the Chiefs.
Isaiah McGuire – Missouri – 6’4″ – 268 lbs – 33 7/8 inch arms – 4.76 forty
I felt obligated to put at least one “Spagsy” edge player on this list. While there are LOTS of guys in this class that Spags might like, the reason I picked McGuire is that I think he actually bends around the edge better than a lot of them and also looks like he might be able to be had later in the draft than some of the other options. He’s strong enough to hold the edge against the run while still offering some pass-rush upside. That’s more than you can say about some of the other Spags-style defensive ends. If you’re a numbers guy, check out how McGuire compares to first-round prospect Myles Murphy in the tweet below.
Jose Ramirez – Eastern Michigan – 6’2″ – 242 lbs – 32 3/4″ arms – 4.73 forty
If the Chiefs won’t consider a pass rush specialist like McDonald in the first round, maybe they will consider one like Jose Ramirez in the late rounds. Ramirez is too small to be an every-down defensive end, but he was a highly productive pass rusher in college. He totaled 31.5 sacks over the past two seasons, winning with a combination of bend and effort. I can think of a lot worse ways to use a late-round pick than on a guy like Ramirez who could be a pass-rush specialist and play on special teams.
Now let’s look at some defensive tackles.