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Sports Watch: Here are the best pass rushers of the NFL draft

One thing you can’t have enough of in the NFL is elite pass rushers. Having a dynamic group of edge defenders can be the difference between winning or losing games because of the ability to get the opponent's quarterback on the ground. Many teams at the start of the draft are in desperate need of someone who can provide pressure for their defense and because of that an early run of the top pass rushers in the draft would not be surprising.

Arguably the most dynamic pass rushing prospect in this year's draft is Alabama’s Dallas Turner. While playing under head coach Nick Saban, Turner posted eleven sacks this season, helping Alabama continue its winning ways. Besides his success on the field, Turner also boasts all the attributes teams look for in a franchise pass rusher. Turner possesses an ideal frame for the position, weighing 242 pounds, standing at 6 feet, 4 inches and having a wingspan of 83 inches. He becomes a nightmare for opposing blockers as his physical style of play sees him drive lineman back for him to get ample opportunities at the opposing quarterback. Turner was credited with generating 33 hurries and 55 pressures this season, demonstrating that even when not bringing the quarterback down, he can still make an impact on the game. 

One of the only criticisms of Turner's game is his limited pass rushing package, as he tries to overpower his matchups rather than have an extensive amount of moves to use. Turner is a physical monster who will wreak havoc in the NFL for years to come and will more than likely be the first edge selected in the draft.

One player who may make teams think twice about selecting Turner as the first pass rusher off the board, however, is University of Los Angeles’s Laiatu Latu. Latu’s story is one of the best in the entire draft, even though he medically retired from football back in 2021 due to neck injuries. Despite doctors warning him of the dangers of playing again, Latu came back to the sport – and opposing quarterbacks in the PAC-12 wish he hadn’t. 

Latu has no doubt the best hands in the entire draft, using his long arms and handwork to get around teams' lineman. Over the past couple of years, Latu has had multiple 10-sack seasons while forcing five fumbles in that time period. His size may be something that will make teams think about selecting him over Turner, as he comes in at 6-foot-5-inches and 265 pounds. 

Adaptability is something Latu excels in, as he has the skill sets to rush from either the right or left depending on where the team wants him to line up on the field. Latu may fall because of his medical history but if that is the case a team later in the first round will have lucked out with an extremely gifted choice.

Turner and Latu both have amazing potential that can help a team win now and in the future, but what if a team is looking for someone who is a low-risk, high-reward? Florida State’s Jared Verse would be the first to come to mind. Verse declined to go into last year's draft and play another year in college, which is impressive because earlier mock drafts saw Verse as the second best edge rusher in that class behind Will Anderson Jr. who was selected third overall. 

Verse is the most pro-ready rusher in the class, showcasing explosive energy while also having an extensive number of pass rush moves to use on would-be blockers. Verse may fall in the draft due to not being as high of an upside as other prospects but his work speaks for itself. Posting nine sacks in both of his last two seasons, Verse has showcased not only the ability to sack the quarterback but also great football IQ when it comes to where to be on the field.

After these three, the amount of elite pass rushing prospects falls significantly. Players such as Penn State's Chop Robinson and Missouri’s Darius Robinson show potential to be dynamic pass rushers in the future, but would need the right situation to become elite. As for Latu, Verse and Turner, these pass rushers have the potential to completely overhaul a team's pass rush and could be the answer for years to come.

Jasper Greuel is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note the views expressed in this column do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Jasper about his column? email him at

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