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2021 NFL Draft: BTD’s Favorites - Edge/Linebackers

Our favorite hybrid rushers in the 2021 class.

Penn State v Memphis Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

The_Coach: Malcolm Koonce (Buffalo)

Buffalo v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

Buffalo has donated some pretty solid talent to the NFL over the years and in edge rusher Malcolm Koonce, they may just have their next memorable piece. The 6’ 3”, 250-pounder lives in opposing backfields, including finishing with 6.5 tackles for loss and 30 total tackles in just 6 games of action in 2020. While he needs to clean up hand usage and his angle of attack, he’ll likely hear his name called early on Day 2.

John: Gregory Rousseau (Miami)

Central Michigan v Miami Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

One of the more intriguing pass rushing prospects in the draft. Rousseau had one dynamite season with the Hurricanes in 2019, but sat out all of 2020 due to COVID-19. That means there’s really only one year’s worth of tape for NFL scouts to grade him on. What is there is pretty strong. Rousseau has a great frame for a pass rusher, and his production in his one season with Miami was impressive; 15.5 sacks and 54 total tackles. He’s a risky pick, but there’s a tremendous upside here.

Ross: Joseph Ossai (Texas)

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Joseph Ossai is a high-effort player with an incredible motor that never gives up on the play. Ossai is fairly new to playing with his hand in the dirt, switching between an off-ball linebacker and pass rusher, and is still learning the position. While that lack of experience may scare some teams off, there’s an argument to be made that it leaves room for an incredible amount of upside considering how he dominated the Big 12 this past season with limited experience. Ossai has the quick-twitch needed to get a good jump off the ball and the ideal length to keep opposing linemen from getting their hands on him. He relies on speed rushing more than bull rushing, but still shows great moves in that department. Combine all of this with his work ethic, and a team lucky enough to get him could be drafting a future stud pass rusher.

2021 NFL Draft - BTD’s Favorites