Projections For Top Edge Rushers Very Mediocre

April 10th, 2024

UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu.

Perhaps it may be better for Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht to wait until the second day to draft an edge rusher.

There may not be a team that advanced to the 2023 divisional round like the Bucs that needs an edge rusher worse than the Bucs. It’s actually sort of surprising the Bucs got that far with so little pressure from the edge (when the Bucs didn’t use defensive tackles on the edge occasionally like Calijah Kancey and Vita Vea).

A stat guy Joe trusts far more than most of the mockers not named “Daniel Jeremiah,” Aaron Schatz, the inventor of DVOR and founder of Football Outsiders (RIP), has some sort of formula that projects what edge rushers will do in their first five years in the NFL.

Typing for BSPN, Schatz feeds all sorts of statistical intel into his formula. What it spits out for the Class of 2024 isn’t impressive.

For example, Schatz’s formula has Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner having the biggest impact with 26.3 sacks in his first five years (remember, rarely do edge rushers rack up many sacks as rookies). Schatz also has Florida State beast Jared Verse (24.4) projected to have more sacks in his first five seasons than UCLA sackmeister Laiatu Latu (23.4)

After Penn State’s Chop Robinson at No. 4 (21.2) there is a big drop off on Schatz’s list to No. 5 with Western Michigan’s Marshawn Kneeland (15.7).

It may be cheaper for Licht to roll the dice with Kneeland later and instead draft an inside linebacker, corner or receiver at No. 26? Since this is a very deep receiver draft, Licht would get good value at No. 26.

29 Responses to “Projections For Top Edge Rushers Very Mediocre”

  1. Brian in St Pete Says:

    Yes. Some of us have been saying this for months. This is a BAD edge class and it was a BAD FA edge year. But still some just continue with the generic “we have to draft edge in the first.” As if the draft is some Madden create a player activity. Guys…edge is not the strength of this draft. A team is far better off in the long run taking BPA at a needed position rather than being pigeon holed into reaching for a worse player because he fills a supposed immediate need.

  2. Bucben61 Says:

    Maybe it may be cheaper for Licht to roll the dice with Kneeland later and instead, draft an inside linebacker, corner or receiver at No. 26

    Joe why didn’t you mention iol…it’s one of our biggest needs

  3. Dave Pear Says:

    Licht has his own formula, and Headless Chicken Shoyinka has burned him. Jason won’t make a mistake with his first pick again.

  4. Lt. Dan Says:

    I know that undrafted Markees Watts may not be the edge rush answer. I would just say don’t write him off. He shined in very limited playing time. Wasn’t he pressure rate somewhere around 20%?

  5. A Bucs Fan Says:

    What about drafting Darious Robinson? He’s getting comped to Cam Jordan type player. Or another top DT like Byron Murphy or Fiske to replace Gholston’s snaps this year and eventually Vea’s?

  6. Larrd Says:

    DL or OL unless Thomas is there.

  7. Mort Says:

    ILB at 26? Nah. But I’ll have trotter Jr on day 2 thank you very much.

  8. Scott Says:

    After the first few receivers there are question marks and they are a couple year projects. Brian Thomas and Adoni Mitchell. Chop Robinson is better value I think.

  9. Boss Says:

    Dont roll the dice on edge if you have a starting OL player on the board!

  10. UGotRobbed Says:

    Gotta have impact guys with those first 2 players (whatever position)!

  11. Scott Says:

    We have got to keep swinging for an Uber athletic edge. One of them is bound to break out.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Bunch of computer generated BS I bet….

    I like Kneeland. Probably have to move up in the 2nd rd to get him though.

    Latu is one hell of a prospect. Easily the best pass rusher in this draft and IMO may well be the best pure pass rush prospect to come out in the last 2-3 years. Getting Latu at #26 or anywhere in the 20s would be a major score value wise.

  13. Hodad Says:

    Thomas, and Mitchell have prodution. Robinson has none. If we can score more points, have fast starts, and get some leads it won’t matter as much who your edge rushers are. When offenses have to play catch up, pass rushing becomes a lot easier. Our SB Bucs had 3 good receivers. Evans, Gowin, and Brown. Now we have 2, and they are older. Godwin on his final year. Bucs need to add some juice to their receiver room. Best defense is a good offense. When we won the SB our scoring average was one of the best in the league, lately it’s the worst. Yes, scoring more points then the other team wins games, not edge rushers!

  14. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Who was it we picked in the draft over Jax’s Josh Allen, who had 17.5 sacks last year and just resigned to a long term contract? {sarcasm}

    Like JL says, the biggest cause of draft picks not living up to their physical potential is between their ears. What a waste…

  15. heyjude Says:

    All in on FSU Jared Verse if we can get him.

    I like Latu, however he was seriously injured in practices and was retired. He had neck fusion surgery and was okayed to play. The self-reported success rates for this surgery are analyzed after ten years of follow-up. So there is so much there with all of it. He seems like such a great guy and player, but I worry about him getting that hit that could really do more damage to him.

  16. Dubcity Says:

    Darius Robinson from Mizzou is the real deal

  17. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Inside Linebacker?

    This site is all over the place philosophically lol:

    OG/C don’t make game-changing plays, but OT’s do?

    Top OG/C’s make more than top ILB’s in the NFL, but ILB is a premium position while OG/C is not?

    Top OG/C are drafted in R3 on average – not a conflict in philosophy but it’s just wrong based on there being only 1 in the top 15 contracts.

    Best football site in the country though – love you guys!!

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:


    I would be OK with Darius Robinson. That seems like a production guy vs a workout warrior

  19. Gipper Says:

    If available at 26, Latu worth a shot. He is just to good not to try him notwithstanding injury history. If he can play just 3-4 years and stay reasonably healthy, he will contribute to another SB run. This team with a few more OL pieces is not that far away. That is a remarkable situation considering how many fake experts completely wrote Tampa off in 2023.

  20. HC Grover Says:

    The Bowles love affair with Plan 9 will continue.

  21. PewterStiffArm Says:

    Good article Joe. I am still highly pi$$ed off at Haasan going to the Jets for pennies on the dollar.

  22. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Draft fever getting out of control. Never realized the final stages were gaslighting others and wasting everyone’s time. I will be back in May. Stay well people. Big Storm here I come.

  23. unbelievable Says:

    Id love to see these calculations for the past few years too, to see how accurate they’ve been.

    I don’t think Licht will reach for anyone that they dont have a 1st (or 2nd, 3rd, etc) round grade on, simply to fill a need. Not his style. But if the Bucs do think all the edge rushers in this draft are weak, it begs the question why they didn’t go after anyone in free agency?

  24. BUCman Says:

    Love Darius Robinson but he is more of a 4 3 defensive end…..not a 3 4 edge rusher. His 40 time was 4.95…..he is not going to be coming off the edge as a high sack guy. But a great player so I’m sure Todd would find a way to use him.

  25. geno711 Says:

    Laiatu Latu neck surgery was done by Dr. Robert Watkins who also did the surgery on Danielle Hunter who has 87.5 career sacks in the NFL.

    I usually do not like injury guys, but this guy is the exception. I don’t think there has been a play in college football since the surgery, where there have been any problems.

    People don’t look behind the curtains when it comes to injuries. Just like JPP was very successful after his neck surgery, I think this guy can be as well.

  26. Tony marks Says:

    “It may be cheaper for Licht to roll the dice with Kneeland later and instead draft an inside linebacker, corner or receiver at No. 26? ”

    Or center!! 🙂 🙂

    and throw the silly stupid no noggin rule that a center shouldn’t be drafted in the first round no matter what

    even though umm they have been and to good results

  27. Tony marks Says:

    Its a two edge pass rushing round one of the draft

    Verse or Latu

    you go edge and its not one of those two then the chances you have addressed nothing are high. Verse would be a dream but trading up is the only way that happens and that woud ahve to be some trade.

  28. Chris Bell Says:

    I like Braswell out of Bama at 57 most realistic player to be there with a decent pass rush arsenal (right now) and potential to be really good. Isaac out of Penn St looks to have some good bend but looks a little light in the a$$ and gets washed out alot. A late round guy to take a flier on is Ellis out of Utah got a nasty spin move and great motor but who knows. Licht is aware of the need for pass rush we just can’t wait any longer to hear the names called. We’re like kids knowing that we’re getting a bike just want to see how cool of a bike Mom got us!!!

  29. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Neither newton or sweat are edge guys, but a licht draft always seems to include tough nose tackles early and often. This is where i am looking…