The NFL Combine is a big part of the draft process as it allows prospects to confirm some of the athletic traits that they display on tape. On Thursday, edge rushers tested in some of the athletic drills and there several standouts, showing just how athletic this draft class is at the position.
With a need at edge rusher, the Los Angeles Rams were certainly paying attention. Here are five names that stood out at the edge position.
1. EDGE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
Among edge rushers at the NFL Combine, Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey ran the 9th-fastest 40-time. While an edge rusher is rarely going to be judged on the field for running 40-yards at full speed, this is also a tell of explosiveness. This is confirmed by Foskey’s 125-inch broad jump.
One big winner on the day is Isaiah Foskey. He was already pretty well stuck in that late day 1, early day 2 range, but a performance like this one likely puts him closer to the former than the latter. #RAS pic.twitter.com/2HxzDVXt53— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
When it comes to edge rushers, the Los Angeles Rams look for explosiveness. Four of the seven edge rushers that they have drafted since 2017 have put up great to elite scores in explosiveness. Foskey had a good day of testing at the Combine. The Rams just need to hope he falls to them at 36.
2. EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
It shouldn't be any surprise that Will McDonald IV tested well at the Combine. McDonald was considered an insane athlete coming into the weekend in Indianapolis and his testing numbers confirmed that.
Will McDonald jumps over a car pic.twitter.com/6z5slhJyKR— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 2, 2023
While McDonald didn’t run the 40, he put up elite numbers in the broad jump and vertical to show off his explosiveness. His 36-inch vertical is a little lower than the Rams have gone for in the past, but was still an impressive number. Where McDonald really stood out was with an 11-foot score in the broad jump. It wouldn’t be surprising to see McDonald go in the early-mid second round.
3. EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
One of the best performances at the combine on Thursday came from Northwestern’s Adebawore. He put up top scores in nearly every category for edge rushers. Considered an early second-round pick, Adebawore may have just catapulted himself into the first round.
Northwestern EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore put up an elite combine performance for his weight (282 lbs), earning a 97 athleticism score pending shuttle drills.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 2, 2023
Combine Ranks since 2003 (275+ lbs):
4.49 40-yard dash (1st)
10' 5" broad jump (T-2nd)
37.5" vertical (3rd) pic.twitter.com/oDHpgHxDHS
The Rams like drafting athletes at the edge rusher position and Adebawore may have been the best among the edge rushers at the Combine. He needs to clean up some things on tape and there are concerns about his size, but the tools are clearly there.
4. EDGE Byron Young, Tennessee
Young will likely be among the edge rushers that the Rams will have to consider atop the second round with the 36th overall pick. On Thursday at the combine, the athleticism that he showed on tape was on full display.
Tennessee pass rusher Byron Young has a very close #RAS athletic comp to pro bowl pass rusher Khalil Mack, though Young is faster but not quite as agile. pic.twitter.com/V7iUIZJqyM— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
The Tennessee edge rusher put up the second-best 40-time, second-best vertical, tied for the best broad jump with McDonald IV, and was top-5 in the three-cone. Young was one of the most explosive edge rushers on Thursday in testing and it wouldn’t be surprising if he caught the Rams’ attention.
5. EDGE Isaiah Land, Florida A&M
Many of the options included above are players that the Rams will likely need to consider with the 36th overall pick or in a trade down. Land is someone that the Rams would be able to target later and as a small school player, he impressed on Thursday.
Isaiah Land #RAS so far.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
*Splits Projected pic.twitter.com/0y2b1WIybU
Land posted the fifth-best score in the broad jump among edge rushers as well as the three-cone. His speed scores were also good, but didn’t crack the top-10. He’ll certainly be someone to keep an eye on on the next month and a half.
- EDGE YaYa Diaby, Louisville
- EDGE Lonnie Phelps
4.62u from @Lonniephelps10— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) March 3, 2023
#NFLCombine March 2-5 on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/dXjgRwUnj4
Lonnie Phelps is a name to watch. He posted a 4.55 40-time which ranked eighth among edge rusher and also led the group with 31 reps on the bench press. He’s strong and fast which is a good combination to have. Phelps is someone who will be available later on, but he impressed in Mobile and is having a good Combine.