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Scouting Report: Who are the top edge rushers?

Posted Feb 19, 2017

Giants.com takes a look at NFL.com's scouting reports on the 2017 draft prospects:


Leading up to the NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Media’s Mike Mayock unveiled his first position-by-position rankings for the 2017 NFL Draft. The draft expert will update this list a few times before the first round eventually kicks off April 27 in Philadelphia.

>> MAKE THE CASE: DE BARNETT VS. LB MCKINLEY

In the meantime, Giants.com will take a closer look at each position. Today, we break down Mayock’s top edge rushers:

MYLES GARRETT, TEXAS A&M

Height: 6-5
Weight: 270
NFL.com Scouting Report: Elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard. Good size, but he's never likely going to be a hold-your-ground run defender, and might be best suited as an outside linebacker. However, his ability to explode into the backfield through a gap or around the edge gives him disruptive potential on every snap. Garrett still needs to fine-tune his pass-rush strategy and could stand to give more consistent effort from the start of the snap until the whistle. But his pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career. NFL comparison: Julius Peppers.

TIM WILLIAMS, ALABAMA

Height: 6-4
Weight: 252
NFL.com Scouting Report: Alabama has the type of talent and scheme on defense that can make life much easier for everyone along the front seven, but Williams has explosiveness and pass-rush talent to create his own havoc as a pass rusher regardless of what is around him. Scouts say he is lighter than his listed weight and needs to prove he can play with increased toughness in order to reach his potential. Williams' career might be as a pass-rush specialist, but he's talented enough at that endeavor to become a dangerous rush linebacker in the NFL. NFL comparison: Leonard Floyd.

DEREK BARNETT, TENNESSEE

Height: 6-3
Weight: 265
NFL.com Scouting Report: Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages. NFL comparison: Nick Perry.

SOLOMON THOMAS, STANFORD

Height: 6-3
Weight: 273
NFL.com Scouting Report: Explosive defender who combines strength, quickness, and a muscle-car motor to drive him around the field making play after play. Has the hands and feet to be a quick-win specialist and the size to fit as a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end who can reduce inside for pass-rush downs. He has all the athletic traits to become a high-impact player and possesses more than enough skill and talent to believe he will continue to elevate his game as a pro. Thomas has the potential to become the best defender from this draft class and a future all-pro. NFL comparison: Justin Smith.

TAKKARIST MCKINLEY, UCLA

Height: 6-2
Weight: 265
NFL.com Scouting Report: Ascending edge prospect who racked up impressive TFL and sack numbers this year despite a relatively raw approach and skill set. He's a little stiff in his lower body, but flashes good athleticism once the ball is snapped. McKinley's motor is a translatable characteristic, but improved hand usage and pass rush mechanics are what could elevate his game to another level as a starting, 3-4 outside linebacker. NFL comparison: Tamba Hali.

Next on Giants.com: interior defensive linemen…

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