Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Travis Etienne and a talented group of wide receivers will be the most predominant headliners for the 2021 NFL Draft, but let me tell you right now: the edge-rusher class is awesome. Multiple blue-chip talents who deserve to be selected in the top half of the first round, and a rare amount of fringe Round 1 defenders who’ll ultimately land as wonderful value picks on Day 2.

And here’s what’s fascinating: there wasn’t much preseason hype about the position from a draft perspective, and then the presumed top prospect, Miami’s Gregory Rousseau, decided to opt out in the summer. Even in this truncated college football season, a variety of outside rushers have emerged onto the NFL radar.

Below, you’ll be introduced to all the edge defenders you need to know.

Kwity Paye, Michigan
Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Patrick Jones, Pittsburgh
Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
Joseph Ossai, Texas
Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
Jaelan Phillips, Miami
Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati
Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Quincy Roche, Miami
Jordan Smith, UAB

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