The 2019 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here are the best 2020 NFL Draft prospects: Edge rushers.
Note: Players will not be ranked in the article.
A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
Epenesa was an All-American in high school and could have gone anywhere he wanted, but decided to play for the Hawkeyes. The 6-foot-6 and 280-pound defensive end has great size, but also good body control, which will make him a coveted prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft.
In 11 games as a freshman, Epenesa registered 4.5 sacks. He had his breakout year as a sophomore with 10.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He made a lot of All-Big Ten teams as voted on by the media and should be in store for a great junior season. Epenesa is in play for being picked in the top five of the 2020 draft if he produces again this season.
Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
Alabama gets a lot of great recruits, so getting Jennings, a four-star defensive prospect was no surprise. Jennings waited his turn to play at Alabama and now can build on his last season for the Crimson Tide before heading to the NFL. He is 6-3 and 266 pounds.
Jennings redshirted his first season on campus and got limited playing time in his first season after that. In his first season starting, as a redshirt sophomore, Jennings had a modest one sack season. In 2018 he followed it up with better production, as he finished the season with 5.5 sacks. He’ll need to add on to that total this year to push his way up draft boards.
Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Gross-Matos wasn’t the highest-rated recruit coming out of high school, but has worked his way into the conversation for the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s 6-foot-5 and 262 pounds entering his junior season for Penn State.
As a freshman Gross-Matos didn’t have much of an impact with just one sack. He was a starter as a sophomore and had a big season for the Nittany Lions. Gross-Matos totaled eight sacks and 20 tackles for loss en route to an appearance on the All-Big Ten First Team. Matching or bettering his production from 2018 will be important for Gross-Matos’ draft stock heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Curtis Weaver, Boise State
Weaver has been one of the most productive pass rushers in college football for the last two seasons at Boise State. He isn’t the tallest edge rusher at 6-foot-3, but has good size already for the NFL at 266 pounds.
He redshirted in his first year on campus, but stepped up the next season for the Broncos. Weaver finished the season with 11 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, which helped him be named to the Freshman All-American Team. As a sophomore, Weaver continued being a dominant edge rusher with 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Although he won’t get as much recognition because he doesn’t play at a Power Five school, if Weaver has another good season, he will be selected early in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Chase Young, Ohio State
Ohio State just keeps on churning out great edge rushers and Young deserves to be mentioned with the great ones of the last few seasons. He has the size, at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, and the athletic ability to be considered in the top five in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Buckeyes had a good defensive line, but Young was able to fight for playing time as a freshman, finishing the season with 2.5 sacks. When Nick Bosa went down with an injury last year, Young took over as the team’s best edge rusher and finished with 9.5 sacks. If he can improve even more this upcoming season the sky is the limit for Young.