The Detroit Lions could find themselves in a position to select the top pass rusher in next month's NFL Draft – Ohio State's Chase Young – with the No. 3 overall pick. It would be an ideal scenario for a Lions team that struggled to consistently rush the passer last season, finishing with 28 sacks, tied for the second fewest in the league last year.
But Washington at No. 2 could also have their eye on the talented Buckeyes pass rusher, and select him before the Lions ever get a chance to at No. 3. If that is indeed the scenario that plays out early in the first night of the draft, where can the Lions find another pass rusher later in the draft, and what traits do they possess?
Let's take a look at the next wave of pass rushers in this draft:
1. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa – Power rusher
Height/weight: 6-5, 275
2019 stats: 49 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles
Combine results: 40: 5.04, Bench: 17, Vertical: 32.5, Broad: 117.0, 3 Cone: 7.34
Scouting report: Epenesa is a skilled pass rusher with outstanding size, strength and effort. He has average get-off quickness, but he boasts strong hands, can flip his hips and is a reliable finisher. He has a variety of hand techniques, including a violent club move, swipe move and a push/pull move. He also will flash a long-arm move with his inside arm ... – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
Draft projection: First round
What Epenesa says about his game: "I'm confident that my best abilities are in the power rush, just using length and using speed and kind of combining it together to move people backwards and make the quarterback uncomfortable by getting in his face."
Twentyman: Teams will go back to the tape on Epenesa after a less than stellar Combine in terms of his athletic traits. It was a particularly disappointing 40 time for him (5.04).
View photos of the defensive line working out at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
2. Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State – The technician
Height/weight: 6-5, 266
2019 stats: 40 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks
Combine results: 40: DNP, Bench: 20, Vertical: 34.0, Broad: 120.0, 3 Cone: DNP
Scouting report: Gross-Matos is a bit of a polarizing prospect, but he flashes traits that remind me of a young Jason Pierre-Paul. He's long, rangy and athletic with active hands and a high-revving motor. – Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Draft projection: Mid to late first round
What Gross-Matos says about his game: "I've been compared to a lot of people but I don't really compare myself to anybody else. My coach in college used to always tell me my work ethic was something of its own."
Twentyman: March 17 will be an important date for Gross-Matos. That's Penn State's Pro Day. That's when teams will match the athletic traits with the film and production. He's got a good repertoire of pass-rushing moves and good bend off the edge.
3. K'Lavon Chaisson – Speed rusher
Height/weight: 6-3, 254
2019 stats: 60 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble
Combine results: Did not take part in drills
Scouting report: Chaisson screams off the edge with the ankle flexion, body bend and length to capture the corner. Although he tends to slow down once engaged and must develop his counters, his twitchy athleticism also shows in coverage, carrying backs and tight ends up and down the field ... – Dane Brugler, The Athletic
Draft projection: Late first round
What Chaisson says about his game: "We watch tape and I'm putting a bunch of guys on their tail. I mean I've got some power behind me, too. A lot of guys, when they say I'm just speed, they obviously don't watch film. I mean that's something. I know I'm definitely more than a one-dimensional player. I've got speed, power, finesse. Whatever you want, I've got."
Twentyman: Speed, speed and more speed coming off the edge, but he's out to prove April 3 at LSU's Pro Day he's more than just a speed guy. LSU used him all over the defense, and he's got tremendous upside.
4. Terrell Lewis, Alabama – Biggest mystery
Height/weight: 6-5, 262
2019 stats: 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, one fumble recovery
Combine results: 40: DNP, Bench: DNP, Vertical: 37.0, Broad: 124.0, 3 Cone: DNP
Scouting report: The evaluation requires both projection and a small leap of faith due to durability concerns after he missed most of two full seasons. He needs to fill out his long, athletic build with more girth and muscle to help set stronger edges and hold his ground against downhill rushing attacks ... – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Draft projection: Day 2
What Lewis says about his game: "Obviously, I feel like I'm versatile as far as the player on the field. You've seen me play at the edge, rush from three-technique, play at the nose, play stack backer and drop back into space and stuff like that. I try to express to teams that, you know, I can play in multiple ways."
Twentyman: He's going to test well at Alabama's pro day March 24, and then teams will go back to work on the tape. He's probably the toughest edge rusher in this class to evaluate because of all the injuries and missed time. When healthy, however, he was productive, but how much will those injuries be part of his story moving forward?
5. Marlon Davidson, Auburn – Bull rusher
Height/weight: 6-3, 303
2019 stats: 48 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery
Combine results: 40: 5:04, Bench: 21, Vertical: DNP, Broad: DNP, 3 Cone: DNP
Scouting report: Davidson has average height and a thick/square build. He typically lined up at defensive end for the Tigers, but also possesses the ability to slide inside. As a pass rusher, he is devastating when he has a runway. He generates a lot of power in his bull rush and has an array of hand moves he can incorporate on the move. He doesn't have an elite get-off, but he wins in the ways just mentioned ... – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
Draft projection: Day 2
What Davidson says about his game: "I still see my role as a strong-side defensive end, moving to 3-technique inside, pass rush type of thing. I'm just getting a lot stronger so my body mass is growing a lot. I'm really taking up with a lifting weights type of thing, but it's nothing too much that you can't get off, 8 to 10 pounds, that's not too bad."
Twentyman: Doesn't have the height and build of a traditional edge rusher, but he's shown to be productive with his power and motor. He'll offer teams some position flex, too, by being able to bump inside to the three-technique in some packages.
6. Bradlee Anae, Utah – Relentless
Height/weight: 6-3, 257
2019 stats: 41 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 13.0 sacks, one forced fumble
Combine results: 40: 4.93, Bench: 25, Vertical: 31.0, Broad: 115.0, 3 Cone: 7.44
Scouting report: Anae is quick out of the gate and accelerates around the edge with relaxed hips and physical hands to run the hoop. Against the run, he has strong ball awareness but can be too easily overwhelmed by size on the edges ... – Dane Brugler, The Athletic
Draft projection: Day 2
What Anae says about his game: "A lot of scouts have me going day two, possible to jump up to day one guy. Those predictions will be more solidified after the combine," Anae told KHON2 right before the Combine. "Day two, possible to jump into day one as a first rounder. As of now, that's my goal to be able to solidify myself as a day one guy and to be able to go to Vegas for draft day and take my family to Vegas. That's just the goal for now so the first step of doing that is this combine."
Twentyman: Utah's all-time leader in sacks (29.0), he has a knack for the football. He's a three-year starter with a lot of experience rushing both with his hand in the dirt and standing up. The Pac-12 offensive linemen voted Anae the conference's top defensive lineman last season.
7. Curtis Weaver, Boise State – Two-point rusher
Height/weight: 6-2, 265
2019 stats: 52 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, one forced fumble
Combine results: 40: DNP, Bench: DNP, Vertical: 32.5, Broad: 116.0, 3 Cone: 7.0
Scouting report: Stand-up end whose production as a pass rusher must be balanced out by his below-average ability and athleticism in stopping the run. Weaver is a naturally instinctive counter-rusher who uses synchronized hands/feet to attack both inside and outside edges as a rusher, but his lack of explosiveness and athletic traits could dull his rush production against NFL offensive tackles ... – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Draft projection: Day 2
What Weaver says about his game: "I feel like my bend is the best in the draft. And then I feel like my get-off is up there."
Twentyman: Weaver doesn't have the ideal measurables, but his 34 sacks are the most ever in the Mountain West Conference. He was a sack and tackle-for-loss machine over the last three years at Boise State.