2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Defensive End



The top 2021 quarterback prospects available for the 2021 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2021 prospect. ** - denotes 2024 prospect.

This page was last updated Sept. 26, 2020. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

  1. Gregory Rousseau**, DE, Miami
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round (2021): 1.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Rousseau was one of the best edge defenders in college football during 2019. Despite being a redshirt freshman, he collected 15.5 sacks with two forced fumbles and 54 tackles on the year.

    Rousseau has an excellent skill set with upside to develop, but his growth could be slowed down by his decision to opt out of the 2020 season. There is no substitute for experience and a year of refining pass-rushing moves, getting off blocks, taking on double teams, and improving technique. Thus, Rousseau will enter the NFL as a 1-year wonder who could require more developmental time.

    Rousseau might be a top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but he will be more raw and underdeveloped compared to other recent high first-round defensive ends like Jadeveon Clowney, Myles Garrett, Bradley Chubb, and the Bosa brothers.




  2. Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 275.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2021): 1.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Basham has played well so far in 2020, notching sacks in both of his first two games.

    Basham showed a big improvement from his sophomore to junior seasons when went from 4.5 sacks in 2018 to 11 in 2019. His run defense remained steady with 64 tackles as a sophomore and 57 as a junior. In his a breakout redshirt junior year, Basham also had three forced fumbles and three passes batted. He has good size for the NFL in terms of height and weight, but has surprising quickness with an impressive ability to close for a thickly built defensive end. Basham has athletic upside and could be a riser during the draft process.


  3. Joe Tryon*, DE/OLB, Washington
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 262.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2021): 1-3.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: After serving as a backup during his freshman season, Tryon broke out in 2019 as one of the top pass-rushers in the Pac-12. He totaled eight sacks with 41 tackles and one pass batted on the year. With the Pac-12 trying to figure out when they will play again, Tryon opted to make the jump to the NFL even though he needed more developmental snaps.


  4. Kwity Paye*, DE, Michigan
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 277.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Paye had an impressive junior year, as he was a well-balanced defender at the point of attack. Paye's developed strength helps him set the edge and hold his ground. He also showed pass-rush ability with upside, and he could improve with more experience. Paye has the upside to be a riser.




  5. Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Jones had a very good 2019 season and was one of the best edge defenders in the ACC. He was solid in the ground game and productive in the pass rush. It wasn't his first year of solid tape, as he was productive in a backup rotational role as a sophomore. If Jones can get stronger and continues to improve his pass rush, he could rise as a senior.


  6. Aidan Hutchinson*, DE, Michigan
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 278.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.86.
    Projected Round (2021): 2-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Hutchinson had a breakout sophomore season for the Wolverines as a tough defender and flashed pass-rush ability. He has excellent size for the next level, where he could be a base end in a 4-3 or a 3-4 five-technique defensive end. Improving his pass-rush production could help Hutchinson to rise as a junior and/or senior if he returns to college.


  7. Thomas Booker*, DE, Stanford
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 281.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Over his first two seasons at Stanford, Booker was a solid defender at the point of attack. He had 3.5 sacks with 29 tackles as a freshman and improved in his sophomore year with 50 tackles, four sacks and three passes batted. Booker has quality size to him with upside to develop.


  8. Brenton Cox*, DE/OLB, Florida
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-4.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Cox was supposed to be a key edge defender at Georgia, but during August of 2019, he transferred from the Bulldogs to rival Florida after Georgia kicked Cox off the team. He had a misdemeanor marijuana charge during that offseason. As a freshman for Georgia, he was a backup and recorded 20 tackles and a sack. Cox is said to have a big-time skill set, so he could rise high with a breakout year as the Gators' replacement for Jon Greenard.


  9. Tyreke Smith*, DE, Ohio State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 267.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Smith is a talented player who is likely to rise in the 2021 NFL Draft process. He flashed as a backup during his sophomore season, but was buried on the depth chart. With Chase Young now in Washington, Smith has a chance to be a featured edge defender for the Buckeyes Smith could still be a fast-rising prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft if he decides to return to Ohio State for next season.




  10. Quincy Roche, DE/OLB, Miami
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Roche has been solid for Miami in 2020. He has the look of a 3-4 outside linebacker for the NFL. Roche decided to transfer from Temple following the 2019 season and landed at Miami. Over three seasons in Philadelphia, he totaled 26 sacks.

    Roche has created a buzz in the scouting community, and scouts feel he will get bigger. Team evaluators really like his initial explosion off the snap and how he closes on the quarterback. They feel he will get develop as he ages and grows in a pro strength and conditioning program. One team source said they had graded Roche as a fourth- to fifth-rounder, but three others said Round 3 and one said as a third- to fourth-rounder. However, Roche could rise if he works out well.

    There are a few issues that keep teams from Roche grading out in the early rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, with the most cited one being lower body stiffness. Source feel Roche lacks lower body strength and believe he doesn't play hard all the time. Thus, Roche could improve his grade if he gets stronger in the lower body while also showing an improved motor in 2020.


  11. Joshua Kaindoh*, DE, Florida State
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 258.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Kaidoh only played in four games during the 2019 season before going down with a season-ending injury, but he had quality production for a backup player during his sophomore and freshman seasons. Kaidoh should get stronger and fill out his frame for the NFL, but he has good length to go with some quickness and athleticism.


  12. Joshua Paschal*, DE, Kentucky
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 284.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.81.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Paschal could add weight as he ages and move inside to defensive tackle, which might be his best fit for the NFL level. Paschal does have a thick build with strength for a defensive end. He flashed some pass-rush ability in 2019 and 2017. Paschal lost his 2018 season to fighting malignant melanoma, but after beating cancer, he returned to the field in 2019 to put together a quality year for Kentucky.


  13. Elerson Smith, DE, Northern Iowa
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 245.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Smith put together good sack production in 2018, but then he exploded as a junior with the third-most sacks in the FCS. Smith has good length and it would help him to have a good showing at an all-star game. For the NFL, it would help Smith to gain some weight and fill out his frame.


  14. Xavier Thomas*, DE, Clemson
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
    Projected Round (2021): 3-5.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Thomas has played well to start the 2020 season, but Clemson has also faced on some easy opponents.

    Thomas follows a trend of undersized edge rushers from Clemson that includes the likes of Vic Beasley and Shaq Lawson. Thomas was buried on the depth chart behind Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant prior to 2019. Thomas could be even better as a junior now that he has a year of starting experience. He needs to improve his sack production in 2020.




  15. Daelin Hayes, DE/OLB, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Hayes has been quiet for Notre Dame so far this year. He had six tackles and a sack in 2019 before a torn labrum ended his season early. Hayes decided to take a medical redshirt and return to Notre Dame for 2020, which was a wise decision.

    Hayes totaled 31 tackles with five tackles for a loss, one pass batted and two sacks in 2018. He flashed some serious speed and edge-rushing ability, and he was excellent in the 2018 season opener against Michigan, putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. After that though, Hayes had a lot of quiet games.

    According to NFL teams' 2018 preseason data provided by team sources, Hayes checked in at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds with 32.5-inch arms, 9.5-inch hands and a 78.38-inch wingspan. They had him running the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds. Hayes totaled 30 tackles with three sacks as a sophomore. He has upside to do more as a senior.


  16. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 253.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Ogundeji had a fast start to the 2019 season and looked like he was poised for a big year, but then his production fell off. Notre Dame was deep with a lot of edge-rushing talent, so it was difficult for Ogundeji to get playing time with Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem ahead of him on the depth chart. Ogundeji is capable of producing a good senior year and rising. He should get stronger for the NFL.


  17. Dare Odeyingbo, DE, Vanderbilt
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 280.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Odeyingbo is a big defensive end who can set the edge and be a tough run defender at the point of attack. He has good length and the potential to be a base end in a 4-3 or a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4. Odeyingbo needs to improve his pass-rush production in 2020.


  18. Janarius Robinson, DE, Florida State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Robinson was a rotational backup before breaking into the staring lineup as a junior. He showed some ability to defend the run, but he needs to improve his edge-pressure and pass-rush production as a senior.


  19. Kameron Butler*, DE, Miami (Ohio)
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Butler had a solid sophomore season, and that landed him on the radar for the NFL advance scouts. Butler needed a shot to improve his pass-rush production and should grow stronger for the next level.


  20. Rashad Weaver*, DE, Pittsburgh
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 270.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.8.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Weaver has started the 2020 season off well, including an impressive performance against Syracuse. He had a strong 2018 season to get on the radar for NFL advance scouts, but his redshirt junior year ended before it started with a season-ending injury suffered in training camp. If Weaver can stay healthy and build on his 2018 production, he could be a riser for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  21. Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Jackson lacks length for the NFL, but he has a stout build and a nose for the quarterback. He broke out in 2019 with double-digit sacks. Jackson needs to stay consistent in 2020 with his sack production and perform well at an all-star game to rise.


  22. Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Projected Round (2021): 4-6.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Dimukeje had an excellent game against Boston College in Week 2 of 2020.

    Dimukeje is a short edge defender, but he showed good pass-rush ability as a junior and really got after the quarterback. Even though he lacks length, Dimukeje has been a solid run defender for the Blue Devils over the past three seasons.


  23. Marquiss Spencer, DE, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.9.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Spencer played in four games of 2019 before going out for the year with an upper body injury. Prior to that, Spencer was a rotational backup for Mississippi State. He needs to stay healthy and produce as a senior.


  24. Shaka Toney, DE/OLB, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 236.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.7.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Toney has increased his sack production each year with Penn State, showing improvement in his ability to get pressure on the quarterback. His production in run defense has also improved, but Toney has to get stronger for the NFL. At his present listed numbers, he will have to move to outside linebacker.


  25. Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 270.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.86.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Golston was a solid base end for Iowa in 2019, doing a dependable job in ground support and contributing some to the pass rush. Golston needs to up his sack production as a senior.


  26. Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 258.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2021): 5-7.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Hubert showed improved pass-rush ability as a junior and did a solid job of pressuring the quarterback for Kansas State. He needs to continue that trend in 2020 to move up draft boards.


  27. Jamal Hines, DE/OLB, Toledo
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Hines does not have big production, but NFL advance scouts put him on their preseason watch list. Hines needed to increase his pass-rush production and grow stronger. Going to an all-star game and playing well there would help Hines' stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  28. Chauncey Manac, DE/OLB, La.-Lafayette
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Manac put together modest production over the past two seasons, but he also showed enough of a skill set that the NFL advance scouts put him on their preseason watch list. Manac needs to improve his production as a senior, plus it would help him to impress at an all-star game or the combine.


  29. Tariquios Tisdale, DE, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 290.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.9.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Tisdale is a heavy defensive end who could end up moving inside to tackle if he gains more weight. While he did not have big production in 2019, Tisdale was solid and stout at the line of scrimmage. It would help the senior to improve his sack production in 2020.


  30. William Bradley-King, DE, Baylor
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
    Projected Round (2021): 6-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Bradley-King is a graduate transfer who previous played at Arkansas State. He had two straight solid seasons for the Red Wolves, showing an ability to get after the passer. As a junior, his run defense was improved as well. For the NFL, he needs to get stronger.


  31. Randy Charlton*, DE, Central Florida
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 258.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2021): 7-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Charlton played well against Georgia Tech in Week 2. He has the ability to be a capable edge defender, but needs to get stronger. He also has to up his pass production as an upperclassman.


  32. Boye Mafe*, DE, Minnesota
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Projected Round (2021): 7-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Mafe has the skill set to rise as an upperclassman and should be better due to having gained more experience. Earning more playing time and getting after the quarterback could help Mafe to rise for the 2021 NFL Draft.


  33. Michael Clemons, DE, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 270.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2021): 7-FA.
    View Ranking History


    9/26/20: Clemons has potential, but he has not yet produced a big year for Texas A&M. Clemons, however, has enough upside that scouts place him on their preseason watch lists. The senior needs to produce more in 2020.




2020 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P





 








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