Now, here are the five best pass rushers in this year’s draft class, along with the pro comparison that best illustrate their NFL potential:
Pro comparison: Michael Strahan (141.5 career sacks, 854 tackles, 131 tackles for loss in 15 seasons, 1993-2007).
The athletic Young is a difference-maker as a pass-rusher, having collected 31 sacks in 23 starts over three seasons at Ohio State. And he also has the strength to stop the run, as reflected in his 42.5 tackles for loss. Young really possesses all four of the key traits needed for pass-rushing success at the NFL level, and the comparison to Strahan, who reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro after 15 seasons with the Giants (and who holds the single-season sack record, with 22.5 in 2001), should give you an idea of the impact Young could have in his career.
Pro comparison: DeMarcus Ware (138.5 career sacks, 654 tackles, 171 tackles for loss in 12 seasons, 2005-2016).
While we don’t have any measurables on Chaisson, who did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine, all you have to do when considering his pro potential is zero in on his ability to rush the passer, as seen specifically in the tape of him against Alabama and how well he played against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoffs. Don’t be misled by Chaisson’s apparent lack of productivity at LSU (9.5 sacks in three years); I think he’s a better player than fellow LSU product Danielle Hunter, who has made it to two Pro Bowls while amassing 54.5 sacks in five seasons with the Vikings. Chaisson looks like the kind of basketball player-esque pass rusher who can bend, turn the corner and get after the quarterback because of his athleticism. I see him as being similar to Ware, who excelled at getting off quickly.
Pro comparison: Aaron Kampman (58 career sacks, 483 tackles, 66 tackles for loss in 10 seasons, 2002-2011).
Gross-Matos is a very good bender with an exceedingly quick get-off. He has a long history of making sacks, going back to his senior year of high school, when he racked up 18.5, and running through his college career, in which he collected 19 sacks and 37 tackles for loss. He reminds me of Kampman, a former fifth-round pick who surprised a lot of people with his pass-rushing ability during a career with the Packers and Jaguars that included a three-year stretch in which he had 37 sacks.