Despite drafting a defensive end in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, most would argue the Cowboys are still in the edge-rusher market entering the upcoming offseason. DeMarcus Lawrence proved he can be the alpha-type rusher the Cowboys need, but adding a speed rushing, weakside defensive end could go a long way in molding this defense into a dominant unit.
Overall, it doesn’t appear the 2018 Draft class features much talent off the edge. Of course players like Bradley Chubb and Harold Landry have been met with a ton of hype, but the depth doesn’t seem to be there like it was a year ago.
After a wildly successful week at the Senior Bowl, however, Rutgers EDGE rusher Kemoko Turay has entered the national discussion. I recently posted a scouting report on Turay to Slant Sports, and discussed what he brings to the table as a pass rusher.
At 6’4, 252 pounds, Kemoko Turay possess good size and length for an edge rusher.
He also shows off elite-level bend at times, and freakish athleticism for someone his size. He is strong, precise, and efficient with his hands and was able to bunch together pass rush moves in succession at the college level to get to the quarterback.
“Here’s a clip from the Senior Bowl where Turay is playing RDE. Turay gets a good get-off, rushes up-field and forces the offensive tackle to flip his hips early. This gets the tackle off-balance rather than square. Then, Turay chops the tackle’s hands, dips his shoulder and bends around the corner effortlessly. This bend is special and his ability to bundle together moves will help him win at the next level as well.”
Turay’s bend, athleticism, and overall quickness steal the show on tape, but his power shouldn’t be overlooked either.
This rep against Washington provides a good example of Turay utilizing his powerful hands to chop and rip across the tackle’s outside shoulder. Turay’s performance against Washington was one of the better EDGE tapes I’ve watched this year.
As dominant as he was at the Senior Bowl, Turay’s college tape and production were nowhere near as consistent. Many scouts have questions about his ability against the run, and his injury history at Rutgers could make teams weary.
I don’t think there’s too much to worry about, however. Kemoko Turay has top-tier edge traits. His flashes are about as good as any pass rusher in this draft class, and with time to grow under better NFL coaching, he can prove worthy of a top-50-to-60 pick.
In my eyes, Turay is a top-50 player. And in an already somewhat barren EDGE class, a team may view him the same way.
Especially if he kills the combine the way I expect he will.