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Footballguys is committed to giving you the best foot to stand on possible when it comes to drafting your fantasy rosters. For us, there is zero off-season. The 2023 NFL Draft is looming and it is time to start learning about the top upcoming IDP prospects. My compadre Kyle Bellefeuil and I are committed to covering these prospects and helping you get a leg up on the competition. I will be covering the top 10 Defensive Linemen in this article, Kyle will be covering the 10 Linebackers, and we will team up to cover the top 10 Defensive Backs.
Concluding the draft, Kyle and I will review the prospects, draft capital, and landing spot and go back over our rankings to create a Top 40 IDP Big Board so you can be best prepped for your IDP rookie drafts. Here are my top 10 pre-combine draft-eligible defensive linemen.
1) Edge Will Anderson, Alabama
Career Stats: 41 games played, 204 Tackles (114 solos), 58.5 tackles for a loss, 34.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 touchdown
Anderson has been an absolute terror, wreaking havoc on the SEC for the past three seasons. Anderson's sophomore season was one to remember, compiling 101 total tackles, 31 for a loss, and 17.5 sacks. He combines power and refined technique into an extremely athletic frame. His spin move routinely leaves offensive linemen in a spin cycle. Anderson has multiple moves in his pass-rush repertoire and shows great instincts with his counters. His snap timing is elite, and he is an incredibly explosive athlete. Anderson is an elite pass rusher with the versatility to play off-ball linebacker. He is as close to a can't-miss prospect as it gets.
2) Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson
Career Stats: 35 Games played, 116 tackles (61 solos), 36 tackles for a loss, 18.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, and 6 forced fumbles
The more I watch Murphy, the more excited I get. His sack numbers aren't as gaudy as some prospects, but he shows up in every aspect of the game. He has an NFL-ready frame matched with elite-level speed and athleticism that should allow him to compete in the NFL right away. His motor runs red-hot and he never quits on his pass-rush showing good primary and secondary counters instinctively. He has powerful and quick outside moves though his spin move is next to none. When he uses an inside spin, he quickly creates space, and his burst off of it collapses the pocket in a flash. He is a surefire NFL prospect.
3) Edge B.J. Ojulari, LSU
Career Stats: 31 Games played, 128 tackles (77 solos), 25.5 tackles for a loss, 16.5 sacks, 2 PASSES DEFENDED, 2 FORCED FUMBLES, 2 FUMBLE RECOVERIES
B.J. Ojulari is the younger brother of New York Giants pass-rusher Azeez Ojulari. The pedigree is there. He displays elite-level snap timing and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage, almost always getting his hands on opposing linemen first. Ojulari has a great football IQ and instincts. This is shown in his natural ability in his pass-rushing counters. A linemen anchors and Ojulari wins with speed. You put your hands on his chest, and he chips them away. You try to drive him, he puts a spin move on. The counters are endless. He could truly thrive as a pass-rusher in the NFL.
4) Edge Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
Career Stats: 26 Games played, 70 tackles (34 solos), 19 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, and 1 pass defended
Van Ness is a quick riser on draft boards, and rightfully so. He is a powerful pass rusher with some of the most violent hands in the draft. His block-shedding and hand-fighting are superb, and he does a great job keeping offensive linemen's hands off his chest. He has terrific snap timing and is regularly the first player off the ball. Van Ness has an NFL-ready build and can play either standing up or with his hand in the dirt, making him scheme versatile. Van Ness uses a nasty, tight spin move to keep linemen off balance and uses quick feet to rocket into the backfield. He is a hard-working, blue-collar Iowa prospect. His grit will bode well in the NFL.
5)Edge Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
Career Stats: 35 Games played, 121 tackles (76 solos), 32 TACKLES FOR A LOSS, 17 SACKS, 1 PASS DEFENDED, 1 FORCED FUMBLE, AND 1 FUMBLE RECOVERY
Wilson has a massive frame and is built to battle the big boys of the NFL. He has unbelievable length in both his wingspan and his strides. Though he may not be the most explosive athlete, his stride helps him cover ground in a hurry. His hands are incredibly strong, and he shows this in his chop and rip moves while hand-fighting with offensive linemen. Matched with his terrific block shedding is his terrific tackling technique. Wilson rarely misses a tackle in run defense and uses every inch of his frame to clog holes and wrap up the opposition. Wilson's size and ability could land him great draft capital, giving him an early opportunity to produce.
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