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How We Scout The Edge Rusher Position | NFL Draft | Football Scouting and Analytics

Scouting edge rushers in the NFL requires evaluating a player's size, athleticism, technique, and versatility.

Below is a list of critical components we use to grade the EDGE position during the NFL Draft process. Every EDGE defender receives a grade on a scale of 1-10 for each of the below components during the scouting process. Once each player component is graded, we attach a final grade to indicate where the player stands before entering the NFL Draft, and then we attach a ceiling grade based on future potential.

Here are some key factors to consider when scouting an edge rusher:

Size and Length: An edge rusher needs size and length to create separation from offensive linemen and disrupt the quarterback's throwing motion. This includes their ability to generate power at the point of attack, maintain leverage, and finish sacks.

Speed and Agility: An edge rusher must be fast and agile enough to beat offensive linemen and get to the quarterback quickly. This includes their ability to change direction quickly, accelerate off the snap, and bend around the edge.

Pass Rushing Ability: An edge rusher needs to be able to get to the quarterback and disrupt the passing game. This includes their ability to generate pressure, penetrate the offensive line, and use various pass-rushing techniques such as the bull rush, swim move, and spin move.

Run Stopping Ability: An edge rusher must stop the run and limit the yardage gained by ball carriers. This includes their ability to maintain gap control, set the edge, and pursue ball carriers.

Versatility: An edge rusher needs to be versatile enough to play on both sides of the defensive line, drop back into coverage, and execute different pass-rushing techniques. This includes their ability to adjust to different offensive schemes, work effectively with different defensive linemen, and contribute to special teams.

Football IQ: An edge rusher's football intelligence is essential to make quick decisions and adjustments on the field. This includes their ability to recognize offensive formations, diagnose plays, and communicate with their teammates.

Durability: An edge rusher's durability is important, as they will be taking a lot of hits on the field. This includes their ability to stay healthy and recover quickly from injuries.

When scouting an edge rusher, it's important to evaluate all of these factors and the player's overall performance on the field. It's also important to consider the team's specific needs and whether the edge rusher's skills and attributes match the team's defensive system and style of play. Additionally, it's important to consider the edge rusher's penalties and mental mistakes, as these can be a liability for the defense.


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