TDN Staff: Senior Bowl EDGE Superlatives

Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 Reese's Senior Bowl less than two weeks away, the TDN staff is hard at work studying tape for the upcoming event. As a result, we're able to compile our annual (we did it last year at NDT) Senior Bowl Superlatives pieces on every position group.

Today, we dive into the edge defender class, with each evaluator offering their take on which pass rusher is their top guy coming into the week, who has the most to prove and who is the sleeper out of the group.

Here's the squad:

Josh AllenEDGEKentucky
Montez SweatEDGEMississippi State
D'Andre WalkerEDGEGeorgia
Chase WinovichEDGEMichigan
Christian MillerEDGEAlabama
Jonathan LedbetterEDGEGeorgia
Jalen JelksEDGEOregon
Carl GrandersonEDGEWyoming
Zach AllenEDGEBoston College
Jaylon FergusonEDGELouisiana Tech
Oshane XiminesEDGEOld Dominion
Byron CowartEDGEMaryland
John CominskyEDGEUCWV

Other Senior Bowl Positional Superlatives


Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Tackles

Interior Offensive Linemen


Top Prospect: Josh Allen, Kentucky

Allen is a potential top-5 overall pick, given the teams picking early on. Allen took great strides forward in 2018 as a pass rusher, becoming less of a true athlete and more of a technician.

With that said? Allen is a top shelf athlete who shows very good change of direction skills and first step quickness. Getting to see Allen up front will provide ample temptation for both the 49ers and the Raiders.

Most to Prove: Zach Allen, Boston College

Is Zach an inside or an outside player? He'll get a chance to provide some clarity at the Senior Bowl this month. Allen has great tape setting the edge and offers more range than one might expect for his stature. But he doesn't show a lot of lean or tilt off the edge, he'll need to win with power and collapse angles if he's to play outside in the NFL.

Sleeper: Christian Miller, Alabama

Miller flashes like crazy on tape. He's not been afforded a ton of opportunities to play at Alabama, but let that serve as more of a reminder for what kind of factory the Tide are running in Tuscaloosa. Miller has pretty impressive technique for a limited tape player and provided he is healthy after an injury scare in the CFB playoff, he'll have a chance to shine.


Top Prospect: Josh Allen, Kentucky

Allen has bend and burst for days! After running circles around SEC offensive tackles all season long to the tune of 21.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks this season, I expect him to do the same against the blockers in Mobile. He was able to beat blocks at Kentucky with that combination of burst and bend so I look forward to seeing more variety for him at the Senior Bowl. He has top-10 upside.

Most to Prove: Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

The NCAA’s career sack leader, Ferguson has been a problem for college offensive lineman to block. His pass rush repertoire is impressive but modest physical traits are concerning with his NFL projection in terms of him being a high selection. Ferguson needs to make scouts feel comfortable about his athletic upside with a strong week against top competition in Mobile.

Sleeper: Christian Miller, Alabama

A pass rusher... that is a sleeper... from ALABAMA? Miller is a late-bloomer but enjoyed a breakout senior campaign with 11 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. He is a technically refined pass rusher and stout run defender despite modest physical upside. He has a chance to turn heads in Mobile.


Top Prospect: Josh Allen, Kentucky

Going into the season, I really didn't know what Josh Allen would be. He played a lot of true linebacker responsibilities in 2017, but clearly had potential at edge. Well, after a 21.5 tackle for loss and 17 sack season in 2018, it's safe to say he is an edge rusher -- and the best Mobile will have to offer as a potential Top 5 pick.

Most to Prove: Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

Look, I don't care who you are, anytime you're the NCAA's all-time leader in something, especially in a category as important as sacks, you have my attention. I did a 5-Play prospect column on Ferguson, and where he has some work to do, when the green light is there and he unleashes, he has some serious pass rushing potential. he could be that guy who flies up boards after Senior Bowl Week.

Sleeper: Christian Miller, Alabama

It's tough to think Christian Miller will even participate in this event since an injury kept him out of the National Championship Game, but if he does get to play, he's a guy who really put it all together in his senior season. He could do the same in Mobile.


Top Prospect: Charles Omenihu, Texas

Calm down, Josh Allen is still my top-ranked edge at the Senior Bowl, I just wanted to be a little bit different than the rest of these guys. Omenihu deserves a lot more love with his explosive first step, terrific hand usage and ability to play inside and outside. I think he'll be a big riser from Senior Bowl week, locking himself into at least a Round 2 selection.

Most to Prove: Byron Cowart, Maryland

A five-star recruit who was once the most coveted pass rusher in the country out of high school, Cowart spent three years mostly riding the bench at Auburn before transferring to Maryland for his final season. He wasn't much more productive there either, with just three sacks and five tackles for loss. Is there anything left of the promise scouts once saw in him?

Sleeper: Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion

I really wouldn't consider many of the edge guys in this group sleepers, except for maybe John Cominsky who I haven't seen much of yet. Carl Granderson, L.J. Collier and Jalen Jelks don't do much more me on tape, but Ximines is interesting. I think he's a mid-round pick with average traits, but he plays hard, he's smart and he has a sound technical approach as a pass rusher and run defender. He'll impress in Mobile.