As things stand right now, DeMarcus Lawrence is the only edge rusher the Dallas Cowboys can count on heading into 2020. The loss of Robert Quinn via free agency hurts, but the Cowboys at least have a plethora of options to hopefully help replace some of his lost production. However, that shouldn’t stop them from continuing to try to upgrade and add depth to the position.
The Dallas Cowboys are banking on the reinstatement’s of both Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith to add a boost to their pass rush, although there is a certain amount of risk involved with each player. The same can be said about Tyrone Crawford, who is coming off a shortened 2019 season due to a hip injury that required surgery. Because of all of this, the Cowboys will be keeping a close eye on this year’s EDGE class throughout the 2020 NFL Draft.
Today, I thought I’d share with you potential EDGE prospects the Dallas Cowboys could target in each round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look…
Round 1 – K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
K’Lavon Chaisson was a two-year starter at LSU who is still maturing both physically and emotionally as an EDGE rusher. He has the size, strength, and athleticism to play as either a standup outside linebacker in a 3-4 or as a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme. His explosion, ankle flexion, and natural bend make him a terror off the edge. Lack of production in college is a concern, but I believe his best football is ahead of him as he continues to develop.
Honorable Mention: Zack Baun, Wisconsin
Round 2 – Terrell Lewis, Alabama
Terrell Lewis was a one-year starter in Nick Sabin’s 3-4 defensive scheme and played SAM linebacker, rushing the passer from both a two and three point stance. He is a freakish athlete with a long frame and athleticism to disrupt the pocket, but injuries earlier in his career has stunted his development. He plays with a nonstop motor, but is unrefined as far as his pass rush plan and toolkit is concerned. If/when he puts it all together he could be an impact rusher in the NFL.
Honorable Mention: Curtis Weaver, Boise State
Round 3 – Jonathan Greenard, Florida
Jonathan Greenard was a one-year starter at Florida and split snaps between linebacker and pass rusher in Todd Grantham’s odd and even man fronts. At 6’4″, 263 with 34 7/8″ arms he possesses good size and length for an EDGE rusher. He has above average athleticism, a quick first step, and a relentless motor which helps him capture the edge. He’s also surprisingly stout against the run. He is still a work in progress, but should be able to contribute right away as a pass rush specialist.
Honorable Mention: Bradlee Anae, Utah
Round 4 – Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
Trevis Gipson was a two-year starter at defensive end in Tulsa’s 3-3-5 defensive scheme. He looks the part of an NFL EDGE rusher due to his strongly built frame, but he’s a little high hipped which causes him some balance issues at times. He plays with a chip on the shoulder and is a little mean-spirited as both a pass rusher and run defender. He still really a raw, but his demeanor, athleticism, and the length could earn him a rotational role as a rookie.
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Garvin, Miami
Round 5 – Alton Robinson, Syracuse
Alton Robinson was a three-year starter at left defensive end in Syracuse’s 4-3 defensive scheme. He has a pro-ready build and the skill set to earn a roster spot in the NFL, but he lacks refinement at this point in his development. He tends to spend too much time hand fighting instead of streamlining his rush. He also needs to get stronger in order to hold up better as a run defender. He is likely a backup to start his career until he can add strength and develop his craft more.
Honorable Mention: Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
Round 6 – Derek Tuszka, North Dakota State
Derek Tuszka was a three-year starter at right defensive end in North Dakota State’s 4-3 defensive scheme. He plays with surprising quickness and a motor that always seems to run hot, but his lack of length and strength will give him problems in the NFL. He could be nothing more than a backup/rotational player at the next level, but his effort and relentlessness could earn him a roster spot. He should also be a top special teams performer as well.
Honorable Mention: James Smith-Williams, NC State
Round 7 – Bryce Huff, Memphis
Bryce Huff is a sleeper EDGE prospect in the 2020 draft class whose production continued to explode throughout his four years with the Memphis Tigers. Over his last two seasons he racked up 34.5 tackles for a loss and 16 QB sacks. He’s a little bit of the DE/OLB tweener who some teams may view more as an off-ball LB, but he has the required toolkit to make an NFL roster. He is probably a rotational/pass rush specialist as a rookie with the upside to be more in time.
Honorable Mention: Trevon Hill, Miami