top of page

2024 NFL Draft: College Football Mid-Year Defensive All-NFL Draft Team

As we enter the back nine of the 2023 college football season, we are only a few months away from the 2024 NFL Draft season. We have compiled our mid-year college football all-prospect NFL Draft 1st team. Each player listed is eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Who is the top defender in this year's 2024 NFL Draft class?

Unlike the 2023 NFL Draft, the 2024 NFL Draft does not have that clear dominant defender. Last season, it was Will Anderson and Jalen Carter; this year, there is a ton of talent, but it is still up in the air who is the top overall defender.

Mid-Year All NFL Draft Defensive Team

IDL1: T'Vondre Sweat, Texas (6-4, 362lbs)

The Numbers: Sweat is a big-bodied interior defensive lineman. We list him as our top 3-tech in the 2024 NFL Draft class, and for good reason. We have him graded as an elite run stuffer and a near-elite pass rusher. He is versatile enough to play in the A and B gaps. He has 10 total pressures and one sack on the season so far.

IDL2: Jer'Zhan Newton, Illinois (6-2, 295lbs)

The Numbers: Newton is another versatile interior player that we can line up in the B gap on one down and flip to the A gap on the next before aligning him over a tackle. According to our internal grading, he is an elite interior pass rusher and run stopper, and according to PFF, he is nearing the elite range on a play-by-play basis. He leads the nation in total pressures (25) among all interior defenders and has recorded 3 sacks.

Edge1: Dallas Turner, Alabama (6-4, 242)

The Numbers: Turner is the next in a long line of elite-level edge rushers sent to the NFL by Alabama. Turner is an energetic edge player who will align standing up on the edge. He has the athleticism to play in coverage if needed and is an elite pass rusher. So far on the year, he is 3rd nationally in sacks with 7 while he leads the nation in total pressures.

Edge2: Laiatu Latu, UCLA (6-5, 265lbs)

The Numbers: Latu is putting up elite numbers, and his tape also proves he is a very legit round-one talent. He is an elite pass rusher, and on the season, he ranks 5th in total pressures with 29.

ILB1: Deontae Lawson, Alabama (6-2, 230lbs)

The Numbers: We might be a bit early on Lawson, but his tape and grades through the midway point of the season provide us with enough to believe he could be a top inside LB prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft if he chose to declare. Lawson is excellent in all three phases at the position; he can run, stop, pass rush, and cover in space. So far on the season, Lawson has posted 10 pressures with 2 sacks and has stuffed the run 25 times with only one missed tackle.

ILB1: Power Echols, North Carolina (6-0, 225lbs)

The Numbers: Echols is another player we are higher on than other outlets, and for good reason. He is solid vs the run, he can pass rush, but where he is elite from the LB position is in coverage. He has one INT on the season and has given up a low 38.8 NFL passer rating when targeted on 15 targets in 2023.

CB1: Kris Abrams-Draine, Mizzou (5-11, 178lbs)

The Numbers: Abrams Drain is a solid physical press-man corner. Teams have targeted him 10 times in man-to-man coverage, and he has surrendered one catch.

CB2: Cooper DeJean, Iowa (6-1, 207)

The Numbers: DeJean projects as a safety on some draft boards, but he has the athleticism to play corner, and coming from the zone-heavy Iowa defense, he is an absolute ball-hawking playmaker. He has 2 picks and an elite 32.8 NFL passer rate when targeted. In 2022, DeJean posted 3 pick sixes. While he has not run a pick back yet for a TD in 2023, he does have a punt return for a TD.

Nickel1: Mike Sainristil, Michigan (5-10, 182lbs)

The Numbers: Michigan has produced some solid slot corners in recent years; most notable was Dax Hill. The question post-Dax Hill, who would replace him? In came the converted WR Mike Sainristil in 2022. In 2023, his second year at the position, Sainristil has 2 INT's and two defensive TD's. He has a sack and three total pressures through the season's mid-way point. His value in coverage and his ability to support in-run defense are a big reason this Michigan defense plays at such an elite level in 2023.

Safety1: Calen Bullock, USC (6-3, 190lbs)

The Numbers: Bullock provides the versatility you want from a safety in today's football. He can play deep safety, in the box like an additional LB, or in the slot. He is an elite-level defender in coverage in 2023, giving up a low 78.1 NFL passer rating when targeted. He has 1 pick and, 5 PBU's and two defensive TD's.

Safety2: Jaylin Simpson, Auburn (6-1, 178)

The Numbers: Just like Bullock at USC, Simpson provides versatility at deep safety, in the box, and in the slot as needed. Simpson is a solid man-to-man defender but elite as a zone defender. He surrenders an elite 21.3 NFL passer rating when targeted in zone. He has 4 total INT's to this point in the 2023 season.


bottom of page