2020 NFL Draft Prospects: 3-4 Defensive Ends

By Charlie Campbell.
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The top 2020 3-4 defensive end prospects available for the 2020 NFL Draft. * – denotes 2021 prospect. ** – denotes 2022 prospect.

This page was last updated April 22, 2020. 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. Derrick Brown, 3-4DE, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 326. Arm: 34.25. Hand: 9.
    40 Time: 5.16.
    Projected Round (2020): Top-10.

    4/22/20: Brown had an impressive workout at the combine, showing good speed and athleticism for a tackle of his size. Multiple team sources also say that they really like Brown off the field, as he is a good kid and his team won’t have to worry about him getting in trouble in the NFL.

    Brown totaled 55 tackles with four sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2019. He was an animal against Florida with a strip-sack, two fumble recoveries, lots of yardage on fumble returns, and ton of disruption in the backfield. After only playing one series against Kent State, Brown dominated against Texas A&M. He was a monster in the ground game and collected two sacks and a forced fumble as a pass-rusher. Brown came through with some phenomenal plays to help Auburn win the Iron Bowl and illustrated his freakish skill set. He racked up seven tackles and caused lots of disruption. Brown battled hard against Georgia and made some impressive plays versus the Bulldogs’ all-star offensive line.

    6/29/19: Brown played well as a junior despite facing a bunch of double teams. He is fast and powerful at the point of attack. Some scouts are really high on Brown and feel he has huge upside due to still being a very young player. Brown totaled 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble in 2018. He played well versus LSU and Washington, plus helped to lead a comeback against Texas A&M.

    According to 2018 preseason data from NFL team sources, Brown checks in at 6-foot-4, 322-pounds with 34.25-inch arms, 8.5-inch hands and an 82.75-wing span. They had him down at 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

    Team sources love Brown with his quickness to push the pocket and the strength that he plays with. They see him as a three-technique for a 4-3, and he could play as a one-technique as well. Sources say they see Brown as a future first-round talent.

    In 2017, Brown was a really solid interior lineman for Auburn. He was a tough run defender and contributed some in the pass rush. He totaled 56 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles for the year. Brown has the upside to get better as he gains experience.

  2. Javon Kinlaw, 3-4DE, South Carolina
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 315. Arm: 34.5. Hand: 10.13.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
    Projected Round (2020): Top-20.

    4/22/20: Kinlaw was superb for the Gamecocks in 2019, totaling 35 tackles with six sacks and two passes defended. In 2018, he had 4.5 sacks, 38 tackles and five passes batted.

    Kinlaw was the best football player at the Senior Bowl practices from either team, bar none. South Carolina did not play in a bowl game, but Kinlaw picked up where he left off in SEC play, dominating at the point of attack to open the week in Mobile.

    The first thing that stands out about Kinlaw is his size. He is a tall, thick and good-looking athlete. After passing the eyeball test, one can see some special ability as Kinlaw really fires off the ball. He is quick to close and has strength to fight off blockers. Kinlaw just has an incredible skill set and knows how to use it. He overwhelms offensive linemen with speed and athleticism to dart by them. Kinlaw can overpower them with strength and uses his great length to keep them from getting into his chest to sustain contact. He could go as a top-15 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    For the NFL, Kinlaw could be a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 and would fit well on the inside of a 4-3. Some team sources say there are some makeup and character concerns with Kinlaw.

  3. A.J. Epenesa*, 3-4DE, Iowa
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 275. Arm: 34.5. Hand: 10.13.
    40 Time: 5.04.
    Projected Round (2020): 1-3.

    4/22/20: Epenesa did not impress teams at the combine, and they were mildly disappointed in his workout. He could go in the back half of the first round, but slipping to the second round is possible. A number of teams have Epenesa graded on Day 2, and some have him in the third round.

    In 2019, Epenesa had 49 tackles with 11.5 sacks, three passes batted and four forced fumbles. Some teams have him graded in the second round. Epenesa is a solid base end for a 4-3 defense and could be a five-technique end in a 3-4. Some scouts feel playing end in a 3-4 would be his best fit.

    Epenesa went on a tear in the final month of the 2019 regular season, and finished it off with an impressive multi-sack performance against USC left tackle Austin Jackson in the bowl game. Epenesa was phenomenal against Nebraska with massive performance. Epenesa had 14 tackles – nine solo – and two sacks against the Cornhuskers, helping the Hawkeyes to a three-point win. Taking on Illinois, Epenesa had five tackles with a forced fumble. Epenesa put together a huge game versus Minnesota, notching 2.5 sacks and four tackles. Against Wisconsin, Epenesa had a strip-sack to get Iowa some points. He had seven tackles and a sack against Penn State.

    6/29/19: Epenesa is a thick, physical and athletic defensive end who flashed pass-rush ability during an impressive freshman season for the Hawkeyes. For the year, Epenesa totaled 4.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 15 tackles and one forced fumble. He looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential. Epensa then was excellent for Iowa in 2018, recording 10.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four passes batted, 16.5 tackles for a loss and 37 tackles.

  4. Ross Blacklock*, 3-4DE, TCU
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 290. Arm: 32.38. Hand: 9.75.
    40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round (2020): 1-3.

    4/22/20: Blacklock recorded 40 tackles with 3.5 sacks in 2019. He didn’t play in 2018. In 2017, he had 27 tackles and two sacks for the Horned Frogs. Some have projected Blacklock to be a first-round pick, and he could go late on the opening night of the 2020 NFL Draft. Some team sources say they graded Blacklock in Round 2. They feel he is a bit of a 1-year wonder who has some medical and injury concerns. Perhaps the team that likes him enough to draft him does it in the first round, but he should not fall out of the second round if he makes it past Round 1. Blacklock had a good combine workout to help his draft grade.

  5. Marlon Davidson, 3-4DE, Auburn
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 303. Arm: 32.88. Hand: 9.5.
    40 Time: 5.04.
    Projected Round (2020): 1-3.

    4/22/20: Davidson had 49 tackles with 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2019. Team sources say Davidson is a solid player who is smart and has good technique. He doesn’t have a great skill set, but he finds a way to contribute for his defense. At the Senior Bowl, Davidson had a good week of practice. He is as tough as nails and a real fighter at the point of attack. Davidson has gained a lot of weight and could be more of a fit as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense for the NFL.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Davidson had 46 tackles with 4.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks and three passes broken up. He was a big presence on special teams, notching a number of blocked kicks in 2018. He was wise to return for his senior year because he could stand to improve his pass-rushing skills.

    Davidson is a sturdy defender at the point of attack who is a solid performer against the run. He totaled 43 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumblein 2017. As a freshman, he had 38 tackles with six for a loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes batted and one forced fumble.

  6. Jordan Elliott*, 3-4DE, Missouri
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 302. Arm: 32.38. Hand: 10.25.
    40 Time: 5.02.
    Projected Round (2020): 2-3.

    4/22/20: Elliott recorded 44 tackles, 2.5 sacks and three passes batted in 2019. He decided to enter the 2020 NFL Draft rather than return to Missouri. While Elliott has some talent and a pro skill set, he didn’t always play up to it in college. Still, teams like his tools and feel he has upside for the NFL.

    6/29/19: Team sources said that Elliott impressed them last year even though he didn’t produce a big stat line. For 2018, he totaled 24 tackles with three sacks and a pass batted. Elliott has a good skill set with upside to get better now that he has some experience. Some team sources said they projected him as having potential to go in the top half of the 2020 NFL Draft.

  7. Raekwon Davis, 3-4DE, Alabama
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 311. Arm: 33.88. Hand: 11.
    40 Time: 5.12.
    Projected Round (2020): 2-3.

    4/22/20: Davis had 47 tackles with .5 sacks in 2019 and missed some time with a sprained ankle. He was a tremendous run defender for Alabama. Team sources say they have given Davis second-day grades because he looks limited to being a two-down run stuffer in the NFL. There could be some medical concerns with Davis as well.

    6/29/19: Davis totaled 55 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks in 2018. For the NFL, he projects as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3, yet he could also play five-technique end in a 3-4 defense. His lateral anchor is rare and truly phenomenal. Teams just can’t move him at all in the ground game. Davis’ lower and upper body strength gives him a rare ability to handle bump blocks and double teams without giving up any movement in the ground game. Davis did not produce the big sack total in 2018 that he did in 2017, but team sources say they still felt that Davis was worthy of going as a top-20 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft if he had declared.

    According to NFL teams’ 2018 preseason data provided by team sources, Davis checks in at 6-foot-6, 316 pounds with 35.25-inch arms, 10.88-inch hands, and a 85.25-inch wingspan. They have him running the 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds.

    Like former teammate Da’Ron Payne, Davis has a freaky combination of size, quickness and athleticism. As a sophomore, Davis showed interior pass-rush skills with a fast first-step, active hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, and a burst to close. Davis can use powerful bull rushes to power through blockers as well.

    Davis broke out in 2017 for the eventual National Champions, racking up 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and one interception. It was his first season of extended playing time, and he was very impressive. Davis definitely has early-round potential for his draft class.

  8. Jason Strowbridge, 3-4DE, North Carolina
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 267. Arm: 32.88. Hand: 9.88.
    40 Time: 4.89.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-4.

    4/22/20: Strowbridge had 45 tackles with three sacks, a forced fumble and a pass broken up in 2019. He accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl and had a good week of practice, displaying toughness at the point of attack. He also showed more speed and athleticism in the pass-rushing one-on-ones than his 2019 sack total would have suggested. A number of teams have Strowbridge in play for their third-round pick.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Strowbridge totaled 36 tackles with 5.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss and one pass batted. He had 34 tackles with one sack for 2017. NFL teams have Strowbridge on their preseason watch list. If his pass-rush skills improve, he could be a riser during the 2019 season.

  9. Nick Coe*, 3-4DE, Auburn
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 280. Arm: 33.75. Hand: 10.25.
    40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: Coe recorded just 15 tackles and zero sacks over a disappointing 2019 season, but did play well in the Iron Bowl against Alabama. Team sources say Coe has a good skill set with a lot of ability, but is raw, lacks consistency, and doesn’t play up to his physical talent. He definitely should have returned for his senior year to improve before entering the NFL, but Coe decided to skip his final season at Auburn.

    6/29/19: Coe broke out for Auburn in 2018 and showed the ability to be a dangerous edge rusher. The sophomore totaled seven sacks, two forced fumbles, 27 tackles and 13.5 tackles for a loss on the year. In 2017, he notched 29 tackles and two sacks. With Derrick Brown coming back to Auburn, Coe could form a dynamic tandem with the fantastic interior defender.

  10. Leki Fotu, 3-4DE, Utah
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 330. Arm: 33.88. Hand: 10.25.
    40 Time: 5.15.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: Fotu had 28 tackles with 1.5 sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble in 2019. Team source say Fotu is a quality nose tackle and run defender, but he doesn’t have the pass rush to be a three-down player in the NFL. They view him as a two-down stuffer. That projection was given further confirmation at the Senior Bowl.

    6/29/19: Fotu is a heavy nose tackle who is a tough run defender and occupies blockers at the point of attack. In 2018, Fotu had 33 tackles with three sacks. His best fit could come in a 3-4 as a nose tackle or heavy five-technique.

  11. Rashard Lawrence, 3-4DE, LSU
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 308. Arm: 34.13. Hand: 11.
    40 Time: 5.07.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Lawrence recorded 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks and three passes defended. He had a good game against Alabama to help the Tigers notch a huge road win.

    6/29/19: Lawrence got off to a good start in 2018, turning in a statement game against Auburn to help LSU pull off a tough road upset. When he is playing his best, Lawrence is a disruptor behind the line of scrimmage as he has the speed and athleticism to fire into the backfield and wreck plays. As a junior, Lawrence flashed speed, athleticism and strength to push through blockers, but he was also not consistent enough.

    During 2018, Lawrence totaled 54 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, four sacks and three passes batted, but he was more disruptive than the numbers indicate. He closed out the season with an excellent Fiesta Bowl performance.

  12. Robert Windsor, 3-4DE, Penn State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 287. Arm: 33. Hand: 10.
    40 Time: 4.90.
    Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Windsor had 40 tackles with 3.5 sacks. He was a solid defender for Penn State but is undersized for the NFL. At the Senior Bowl, Windsor showed some quickness at the point of attack, but he needs to get stronger to battle pro offensive linemen.

    6/29/19: Windsor was a solid defender for Penn State in 2018 and showed some interior pass-rushing skills with 7.5 sacks. He also had 11 tackles for a loss, 39 tackles and two forced fumbles on the year. Over the previous two seasons, Windsor had three sacks. If he continues to improve, he could be riser during the 2020 process.

  13. Josiah Coatney, 3-4DE, Ole Miss
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 309. Arm: 33.13. Hand: 9.5.
    40 Time: 5.21.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: Coatney is a big run-stuffing nose tackle who was a good run defender for the Rebels. In his sophomore – 65 tackles – and junior seasons – 63 tackles -, Coatney was productive in defending the ground game. He had 3.5 sacks as a sophomore and one as a junior. As a senior, Coatney totaled 46 tackles with two sacks. He was then okay at the Senior Bowl.

  14. Chauncey Rivers, 3-4DE, Mississippi State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 262. Arm: 32.88. Hand: 9.75.
    40 Time: 4.97.
    Projected Round (2020): 4-6.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Rivers recorded 43 tackles with five sacks and a forced fumble. He had a slow start for Mississippi State, but played better in the back half of the season.

    6/29/19: Rivers started out his collegiate career at Georgia before leaving the Bulldogs for the junior college ranks. After excelling there, he landed at Mississippi State and had a solid debut for the Bulldogs in 2018, totaling 24 tackles with seven for a loss, and 2.5 sacks. Rivers has a lot of upside, and some teams projected him as having the ability to go in the top half of the 2020 NFL Draft.

  15. Raequan Williams, 3-4DE, Michigan State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 308. Arm: 33.38. Hand: 9.38.
    40 Time: 5.04.
    Projected Round (2020): 5-7.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Williams had 48 tackles with five sacks, two passes batted and one forced fumble. He made some nice plays against Arizona State, but he also committed some critical penalties that helped the Sun Devils get a tough road win.

    6/29/19: Williams collected 53 tackles with 10.5 for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and five passes batted in 2018. He was wise to return for his senior year. Williams has flashed some talent for the Spartans over his career. In 2017, he collected 31 tackles with 2.5 sacks after recording two sacks. That was after 28 tackles during his freshman campaign. Williams has the upside to produce more.

  16. Christian Rector, 3-4DE, USC
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 275.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2020): 6-FA.

    4/22/20: Rector turned in a disappointing 2019 season, recording 19 tackles with a sack and an interception. He didn’t play up to his skill set.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Rector totaled 48 tackles with nine for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes batted and one forced fumble. He was a solid defender for USC, but was wise to return to the Trojans to improve before going pro.

    With Porter Gustin injured in 2017, Rector took advantage of the opportunity to have an impressive season for the Trojans. He totaled 7.5 sacks with 11 tackles for a loss, 35 tackles and two forced fumbles on the year. Rector was also held back by a hand injury that forced him to miss a couple of games after surgery. As Gustin’s replacement, Rector showed some flexibility to play defensive end and outside linebacker.

  17. Tyler Clark, 3-4DE, Georgia
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 300.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
    Projected Round (2020): 7-FA.

    4/22/20: In 2019, Clark recorded 2.5 sacks and 26 tackles.

    6/29/19: In 2018, Clark totaled 31 tackles with four for a loss, three passes defended and one sack. He had 41 tackles with 2.5 sacks in 2017. Clark has the upside to improve as a senior.

  18. Kevin Thurmon, 3-4DE, Arkansas State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 298.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
    Projected Round (2020): 7-FA.

    4/22/20: Thurmon had 54 tackles with 4.5 sacks and a pass batted in 2019.

    6/29/19: Thurmon made NFL teams’ preseason watch list for 2020 NFL Draft prospects, and some teams project him as having the potential to go in the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft. In 2018, he totaled 16 tackles with 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. If Thurmon can build on those numbers and perform well at an all-star game, that would help his draft grade.

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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