2019 NFL Draft Prospects: 3-4 Defensive Ends

By Charlie Campbell.
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The top 2019 3-4 defensive end prospects available for the 2019 NFL Draft. * – denotes 2020 prospect. ** – denotes 2021 prospect.

This page was last updated April 20, 2019. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
2023 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

2024 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

2025 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. Quinnen Williams**, 3-4DE, Alabama
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 303. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.83. 10-Yd: 1.67.
    Vertical: 30.5. Broad: 9-4.
    Projected Round (2019): Top-5.

    4/20/19: Williams is in the running with Nick Bosa to be the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft, and it varies by team which player they have rated higher. Williams is a rare player with speed, power, athleticism, and freakish upside. He has the potential to be a franchise defensive player during his pro career. Williams had a superb 2018 season and a combine workout that was reminiscent of Aaron Donald. The pre-draft interviews and workouts served to confirm Williams as a top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

    WalterFootball.com was the first in the media to report and project that Williams could be a high first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Sources from multiple teams, including two general managers, were raving about Williams to me before the other media caught on to him.

    There is no doubt that Williams is a freak athlete. He is extremely fast off the snap with the ability to fire his gap and close on the quarterback in a hurry. He has functional strength to bull rush through blockers, or grab them and toss them aside. On top of his great skill set, Williams shows impressive technique with his hand placement and has a variety in pass-rushing moves. With his sawed-off body, Williams has natural pad level and leverage.

    In speaking with NFL sources, Williams graded out higher than Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, Auburn’s Derrick Brown, Mississippi State’s Jeff Simmons and either member of the Clemson duo of Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. None of those players have a tape from this season as impressive as how Williams dominated LSU.

    In 2018, Williams totaled 71 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and one pass batted. He caused more disruption than the numbers indicate, including routinely wrecking offensive game plans over the season. Considering it was his first year playing on the inside, Williams has tremendous upside as he gains experience and gets more comfortable in his heavier frame. Williams is also a student of the game who has been studying NFL centers and guards for awhile. He has advanced maturity entering the next level.

    Williams was utterly dominant against LSU. He used devastating speed, power and technique to beat the interior of the Tigers’ line. Williams beat double teams from the guard and center for sacks, plus stuffed runs at the point of attack. For the day, he totaled 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 10 tackles. Williams’ outing against LSU was one of the most impressive performances I have seen by a defensive lineman in years. It was probably the best since Myles Garrett (2015) or Jadeveon Clowney (2012) during their amazing sophomore seasons.

  2. Rashan Gary*, 3-4DE, Michigan
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 277. Arm: 34.13. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.58. 10-Yd: 1.63. Three Cone: 7.26.
    Bench: 26. Vertical: 38. Broad: 10-0.
    Projected Round (2019): Top-20.

    4/20/19: Gary had a fabulous combine workout, showing off his freakish combination of size and speed. Tteam sources expect Gary to go in the top 20 and think he probably will be selected in the top half of the first round.

    In 2018, Gary totaled 43 tackles with 7.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He missed three games with an AC shoulder joint sprain and sat out Michigan’s bowl game. Gary played well when on the field, showing a serious skill set of speed, athleticism, and natural size. He has a ton of upside for the NFL. With his size, strength, and speed, Gary is a great fit as a base end in a 4-3 defense. He also could be a five-technique in a 3-4 defense.

    8/29/18: Gary notched 65 tackles with six sacks, one forced fumble and 12 tackles for a loss in 2017. Gary is a rare athlete who could turn into a dominant defender. Scouting sources say Gary has high first-round potential if he puts everything together. That could definitely happen during his junior season. One scouting sources who has done advance work on the 2019 class said that Gary is a rare physical talent similar to some former top-of-the-draft prospects, but Michigan doesn’t turn him loose as a pass-rusher as much as other prospects were.

  3. Christian Wilkins, 3-4DE, Clemson
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 315. Arm: 32.50. Hand: 9.75.
    40 Time: 5.04. 10-Yd: 1.76.
    Bench: 28. Vertical: 29.5. Broad: 8-11.
    Projected Round (2019): Top-20.

    4/20/19: There are some teams that are high on Wilkins and others have him lower, but he stands a good shot of going in the top 20. Wilkins was expected to be a combine standout because he clearly is a very athletic defensive tackle. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder was as advertised with a quick 40-yard dash of 5.04 seconds. After that, he was fast and fluid in the field drills, showing his agility to move through the bags with speed. Following his combine performance, Wilkins has a real shot at going in the top 20 and could go in the top half of the first round.

    In 2018, Wilkins totaled 50 tackles with 14 for a loss, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He played well for Clemson over the course of the season, utilizing his speed to cause a lot of disruption at the point of attack. He put a lot more pressure on the quarterback than his sack total indicates.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Wilkins checks in at 6-foot-3, 312-pounds with 32.38 inch arms, 9.5 inch hands, and 80.5 inch hands. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds.

    In 2017, Wilkins totaled 60 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks. He played well all year, using his speed and athleticism to cause disruption at the point of attack. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, they see Wilkins as a future first-rounder. He is a fast interior pass-rusher who can collapse the pocket and provide an inside pass rush. Wilkins dominated Miami in the ACC Championship.

    Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. The sophomore recorded 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. He has a nice skill set with upside.

    Wilkins had to play a lot of defensive end in 2016 because of injury. He displayed a nice ability to play there, but his NFL home is on the inside. As a pass-rusher, Wilkins is able to get after the quarterback with pressure coming around the corner. He looked the most dangerous when lining up over guards and firing past them to cause disruption in the backfield. While he played a lot of end, at his weight, Wilkins really doesn’t have edge-rusher speed for the NFL. He will have to rush from the inside as a pro, but that is his natural position anyway. Wilkins is a solid run defender, too. He has a strong, thick lower body to hold his ground at the point of attack.

  4. Jeffery Simmons*, 3-4DE, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 301.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

    4/20/19: Simmons recorded 63 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and four passes batted in 2018. He played well despite facing a ton of double teams. Unfortunately for Simmons, he suffered a devastating blow during combine preparation, tearing an ACL. That injury could cost him some of, if not all of, his rookie season in the NFL. Before the injury, he was a likely top-20 pick. If team evaluators are comfortable with Simmons off the field and his rehab projection, he still could be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but it isn’t out of the question for him to slip to Day 2. One general manager told WalterFootball.com that just about no team will hesitate to take Simmons if he is available in the second round.

    Back in a September Hot Press, we reported how one team’s scout said they were going to fight for Simmons in pre-draft meetings after doing their research into the background of Simmons. They said that the staff at Mississippi State and contacts at his hometown town speak highly of Simmons. He will face a lot of scrutiny because of a tape of him in a street fight, but there is no doubt that Simmons is a top-20 talent for the NFL.

    8/29/18: Simmons is extremely talented athletically and possesses a ton of upside. In 2017, he totaled 60 tackles with 12 tackles for a loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a freshman, he had 40 tackles with two forced fumbles. While Simmons is a great athlete with a superb skill set, he comes with off-the-field baggage, including a video of him striking a woman with multiple punches in a street fight. Similar to Joe Mixon, that video could cause Simmons to slide in his draft class.

  5. Dexter Lawrence*, 3-4DE, Clemson
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 342. Arm: 34.75. Hand: 10.50.
    40 Time: 5.05. 10-Yd: 1.76.
    Bench: 36.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

    4/20/19: Lawrence notched 37 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three passes broken up in 2018. In the pass rush, he created some pressure and caused some disruption. Some team sources are disappointed in Lawrence and question why he never got back to being the player he was as a freshman. Some teams graded Lawrence in the second round. He could sneak into the first round, and shouldn’t slip out of the second round.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Lawrence checks in at 6-foot-4, 350 pounds with 35.13-inch arms, 10.25-inch hands, and a wingspan of 85 inches. They him running the 40-yard dash at 5.00 seconds.

    Lawrence totaled 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. While he wasn’t as good as he was in 2016, and his production reflected that, he helped create a lot of sacks for those around him. Some team sources wonder if Lawrence was playing injured as a sophomore.

    Lawrence was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win the National Championship. NFL sources raved about Lawrence in the 2017 season, because he was impossible to ignore in 2016. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation while being the ACC Rookie of the Year for that season. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted as a freshman. One national scout for a NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen in 2016, along with Alabama’s Jonathan Allen.

    With other good talent around Lawrence and his experience, he could dominate as a junior.

  6. Jerry Tillery, 3-4DE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 295. Arm: 34.25. Hand: 10.63.
    40 Time: 4.93. 10-Yd: 1.69. Three Cone: 7.45.
    Bench: 23. Vertical: 32. Broad: 9-7.
    Projected Round (2019): 1-3.

    4/20/19: Tillery was phenomenal to open the season and dominated Michigan to help Notre Dame to a seven-point win. For 2018, he totaled 30 tackles with eight sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles. Tillery spent the year playing like an early-round pick for the 2019 NFL Draft. He had a good workout at the combine.

    Teams have red flagged Tillery’s draft report with serious character concerns. Every source with a handful of teams who went through Notre Dame heard about significant character issues with Tillery. It was so renowned that even during TV broadcasts, there were mentions of Tillery being a bad teammate and that he was trying to change that. Team sources say not only are they concerned about Tillery in the locker room, they also are worried about him failing tests and getting suspensions in the NFL. Tillery is a known partier, so it hurt him to miss out on the Senior Bowl interviews to address those concerns and work on convincing teams that he has grown out of those past behaviors.

    For the most part, evaluators like Tillery’s on-the-field potential. Some are not fans of him, while others are high on his pro potential with a skill set that combines size, athleticism and quickness. However, even the sources that like Tillery on the field are not sure he will remain on their draft boards because of the off-the-field concerns.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Tillery checks in at 6-foot-6, 304 pounds with 33.63-inch arms, 10.63-inch hands, and a wingspan of 82 inches. They have him running a fast 40-yard dash at 4.80 seconds.

    Over the past few years, Tillery has played well for Notre Dame and has been active at the point of attack. For 2017, he totaled 47 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Tillery had 37 tackles with three tackles for a loss in 2016. The sophomore played better than the numbers illustrate and caused some havoc in the backfield. Tillery has a good skill set to develop and is capable of compiling more production.

  7. Zach Allen, 3-4DE, Boston College
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 281. Arm: 34.50. Hand: 10.25.
    40 Time: 5.00. Three Cone: 7.34.
    Bench: 24. Vertical: 32. Broad: 9-4.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

    4/20/19: Allen totaled 61 tackles with seven sacks, seven passes batted, one forced fumble and 14.5 tackles for a loss in 2018. He played well for Boston College despite extra attention. Allen is a tough run defender and steadily puts pressure on the quarterback. He has good instincts and feel, and is a well-rounded player who has versatility for a 4-3 or 3-4 in the NFL. Allen is very strong and a bully on the field. He had a decent week at the Senior Bowl that displayed his strength to bully offensive linemen, but he also showed some limitations in terms of speed and athleticism. Allen would fit best as a five-technique defensive end.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Allen checks in at 6-foot-4, 284 pounds with 34-inch arms, 9.5-inch hands, and a wingspan of 79.88 inches. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds.

    Allen didn’t receive the hype of teammate Harold Landry, but Allen was the better pro prospect and could easily have been picked before Landry if Allen had declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. Allen is a tough run defender who is strong to hold his ground at the point of attack. He anchors well and is tough to move. As a pass-rusher, Allen has an impressive first-step and burst out of his stance for a heavy defensive end. He has the strength to get pressure on the bull rush and the speed to close. Allen could use more pass-rushing moves for the NFL, and with his size and strength, it would be nice to see him add a club or rip move.

    Allen totaled 100 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, three passes broken up and an interception in 2017. In the NFL, Allen will be an asset as a run defender playing end in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He looks like a potential first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft.

  8. Chris Slayton, 3-4DE, Syracuse
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 307. Arm: 33.50. Hand: 10.63.
    40 Time: 5.13. 10-Yd: 1.81.
    Bench: 28. Vertical: 29. Broad: 8-5.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

    4/20/19: Slayton was probably the best player at the East-West Shrine. He dominated in the pass-rushing one-on-ones, using speed, leverage, and strength to consistently get the better of the offensive linemen. Slayton also showed the ability to play a variety of techniques on the defensive line with versatility to fit any NFL defense. The athletic Slayton does a fantastic job of staying low and playing with good leverage while also utilizing the length that comes with his frame.

    Slayton totaled 24 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2018. As a junior, he notched one sack and 28 tackles. Slayton had four sacks as a sophomore.

  9. L.J. Collier, 3-4DE, TCU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 283. Arm: 34.75. Hand: 9.00.
    40 Time: 4.91. 10-Yd: 1.75. Three Cone: 7.71.
    Bench: 25. Vertical: 30. Broad: 9-10.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

    4/20/19: Collier totaled 42 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and four passes batted in 2018. At the Senior Bowl, Collier had a good week of practice, showing strength and performing better than expected in the pass-rushing one-on-ones. He did not work out well in the spring, but Collier has been a riser and could go on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

    In speaking to team sources, they feel that Collier has some late-round developmental potential. They really like his run-defense skills because he is strong and plays hard. Collier’s tape demonstrates an aggressive mentality, and he really beats up offensive linemen. Earlier in 2018, sources called his tape against Kansas State very impressive. What makes Collier a late-rounder is a terrible, soft body that needs a lot of development for the NFL. Evaluators feel that he could be a backup left defensive end to battle right tackles in the NFL if he is able to grow as a player and improve his body.

  10. Terry Beckner Jr., 3-4DE, Missouri
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 296. Arm: 32.25. Hand: 8.63.
    40 Time: 5.19. 10-Yd: 1.86. Three Cone: 7.97.
    Bench: 28. Vertical: 24.5. Broad: 8-2.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

    4/20/19: In 2018, Beckner recorded 34 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and a pass batted. He possesses some athletic ability, but he was inconsistent and had some uneven performances. Beckner has some talent, but he also has a bad body and does not play up to his natural skill set.

    8/29/18: According to NFL teams’ preseason data provided by team sources, Beckner checks in at 6-foot-3, 286 pounds with 32.63-inch arms, 8.38-inch hands, and a 77.5-inch wingspan. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds.

    Beckner played well for Missouri in 2017, showing some ability to rush the passer from the inside. He totaled seven sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, 38 tackles, one interception and two passes batted. Sources who have done advance work on the 2019 class said that Beckner graded out with the potential to go in the first four rounds entering the 2018 season. Beckner could slide in the 2019 NFL Draft because sources say he comes with some concerns about ACL injuries, doesn’t have an impressive body, and is a bit tight as a defender.

  11. Anthony Nelson, 3-4DE, Iowa
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 271. Arm: 34.75. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.82. 10-Yd: 1.65. Three Cone: 6.95.
    Bench: 18. Vertical: 35.5. Broad: 9-10.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

    4/20/19: Nelson recorded 45 tackles with 13.5 for a loss, 9.5 sacks and one pass batted in 2018. He was a solid edge rusher for the Hawkeyes and contributed to them having a tough defensive line on the other side from the talented A.J. Epenesa.

    8/29/18: Nelson was a solid defender for Iowa over the past two seasons. As a sophomore, he totaled 41 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles. He had six sacks, 33 tackles and two forced fumbles as a redshirt freshman.

  12. Charles Omenihu, 3-4DE, Texas
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 280. Arm: 36.50. Hand: 9.50.
    40 Time: 4.92. 10-Yd: 1.71. Three Cone: 7.48.
    Vertical: 36.5. Broad: 9-7.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    4/20/19: Omenihu put together a quality senior year for the Longhorns, recording 45 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks and two passes batted. He totaled four sacks as a junior with 3.5 as a sophomore. He had 55 tackles over those two seasons. Team sources say that Omenihu could be a solid backup defensive end who eventually works himself into being a starter.

  13. Byron Cowart*, 3-4DE, Maryland
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 298. Arm: 34.00. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 5.16.
    Bench: 26. Vertical: 30. Broad: 9-3.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    4/20/19: In 2018, Cowart totaled 37 tackles with five for a loss and three sacks. He had another year of eligibility and should have returned to Maryland, but he decided to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Cowart performed better than expected at the Senior Bowl.

    8/29/18: Cowart was the No. 1 recruit in the nation from Seffner, Florida coming out of high school, but he didn’t live up to the hype in two seasons at Auburn. He had six tackles as a freshman and six tackles with one sack as a sophomore. There was talk that he would move inside to tackle as a junior, but he had only three tackles with .5 for a loss before leaving the Auburn program during the season. Cowart then transferred to Maryland.

  14. Renell Wren, 3-4DE, Arizona State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 318. Arm: 33.75. Hand: 9.88.
    40 Time: 5.01. 10-Yd: 1.75. Three Cone: 7.65.
    Bench: 30. Vertical: 32. Broad: 9-10.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    4/20/19: Wren has a good skill set with size, length, quickness and athleticism. In 2018, he notched 43 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two passes batted. Sources say Wren is physically impressive and has strength, but lacks instincts and range. Overall, they were moderately disappointed in his play given his natural talent.

  15. Jonathan Ledbetter, 3-4DE, Georgia
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 280. Arm: 34.25. Hand: 9.75.
    40 Time: 5.14. 10-Yd: 1.81.
    Bench: 22. Vertical: 26.5. Broad: 9-0.
    Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

    4/20/19: In 2018, Ledbetter had 56 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, two forced fumbles and one sack.

    8/29/18: In 2017, Ledbetter totaled 38 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. He flashed late in the season, including 1.5 sacks in the playoff games against Oklahoma and Alabama. Ledbetter also could fit as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense.

  16. Kingsley Keke, 3-4DE, Texas A&M
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 288. Arm: 34.50. Hand: 9.50.
    40 Time: 4.95. 10-Yd: 1.77. Three Cone: 7.55.
    Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-3.
    Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

    4/20/19: Keke recorded 51 tackles with seven sacks, 11 tackles for a loss, one pass batted and one forced fumble during 2018.

    8/29/18: In 2017, Keke totaled 54 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack. He is a quality run defender who showed more pass-rush potential as a sophomore with four sacks.

  17. Amani Bledsoe*, 3-4DE, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 287.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
    Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

    4/20/19: Bledsoe totaled 37 tackles with two sacks, four tackles for a loss and seven passes batted during 2018. The junior should have returned to school for 2019 to improve his pass-rushing skills and production, but he decided to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Bledsoe would probably be best as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He did not participate in the combine.

  18. Corbin Kaufusi, 3-4DE, Brigham Young
    Height: 6-9. Weight: 285.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

    4/20/19: Kaufusi recorded 56 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and two passes batted in 2018. He had an impressive game against Wisconsin, having his way with Badgers right tackle David Edwards. It was embarrassing for Edwards the way Kaufusi routinely beat him and pushed him around. He did not participate in the combine.

    Kaufusi was a good college player, but in speaking to some team sources, they were down on him. Here is how one area scout described him, “In my opinion, he doesn’t have a position. Plays hard and has some length, but not truly strong enough to play defensive end, not a true pass-rusher, and not good enough athlete to play outside linebacker. Others might see him differently.”

    8/29/18: The big-bodied Kaufusi has the potential to break out in 2018. He stopped playing basketball for BYU and is focused on football. He only started five games in 2017 while recording 31 tackles and 2.5 sacks, but is expected to be a starter in 2018.

2023 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

2024 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

2025 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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