With the first wave of free agency over, NFL teams are turning more attention to setting their boards in anticipation of the 2015 NFL Draft. With that in mind, College Football 24/7 is releasing Lance Zierlein's top-10 lists at each position -- today it is edge rushers. To view Zierlein's full scouting report on each prospect in NFL.com's Draft Tracker, click on the player's name.
Zierlein's bottom line: Strong-side 3-4 outside linebacker with the physical traits and above-average potential to set the edge or spill runs wide to an early demise. Fowler is a competitive pass rusher getting by on athleticism and inside moves right now, but has a Pro Bowl ceiling with double-digit sack potential if he takes coaching and addresses his rush technique.
Zierlein's bottom line: It's hard to find many play weaknesses for Ray, but his lack of overall length is one area that some teams have concerns about. He pursues the quarterback and the ball like it's his last snap. An alpha male packaged in an explosive frame, Ray has the traits and skills to be a dominant pass rusher and potential Pro Bowler. He also has the athleticism and strength to play in any defensive front.
Zierlein's bottom line: Projects as 3-4 outside linebacker. Considered one of the best pure edge rushers in the draft, but needs more sophistication to his approach. Has speed and explosion to become an absolute menace for a creative defensive coordinator. High-impact talent, but needs to crank up competitive nature in order to reach his potential. Teams privately gushed about his ability to carry speed at the combine to go along with his additional weight.
Zierlein's bottom line: A 3-4 outside linebacker with the length, toughness and closing burst to immediately help a run defense. Gregory could stand to add more weight to his frame and needs plenty of technique work and a patient coach for his pass-rush skill to match his traits. High-ceiling, low-floor prospect.
Zierlein's bottom line: Dupree is an explosive, powerful athlete with a background in basketball. While he's been productive at Kentucky, his tape doesn't always do his potential justice. He must continue to improve as a pass rusher, but his traits are undeniable. Difference between being good and great might be his coordinator.
Zierlein's bottom line: Explosive, leggy outside linebacker who has surprising strength at the point of attack, and the hands and length to become an outstanding edge-setter. Harold's burst upfield to threaten the edge is pro caliber and his ability to bend the corner at a 45-degree angle creates potential for him to become a quality pass rusher from either outside linebacker spot in a 3-4.
Zierlein's bottom line: Known for strong mental makeup, Mauldin is expected to check all of the character boxes, according to scouts. Productive pass rusher with a knack for beating tackles inside. Finds the ball quickly and chases against the run. Very active, productive collegiate player.
Zierlein's bottom line: Clark has some explosive qualities and power to his game, but the big question is going to be how badly his off-the-field indiscretions play with NFL teams. He's likely a strong-side 3-4 OLB, but has the ability to play end in a 4-3 as well. Some league insiders believe he could come off the board inside the top 100 picks.
Zierlein's bottom line: Small-school prospects often come with inflated statistics, but Emanuel's tape shows a combination of motor and skill that should be respected inside NFL buildings once he's studied closely. Emanuel has the leverage and hips to get under tackles and turn the corner, but his explosion off the snap will be tested. With his foot quickness and surprising lateral agility, there might be defensive coordinators willing to give him a shot as a 4-3 SAM linebacker.
Zierlein's bottom line: Explosive athlete with only one year of experience at defensive end after transitioning from wide receiver. Gwacham lacks the functional strength to play the run and he's still in the infant stages of learning how to rush the passer. His desire and character combined with his superb physical traits could make him a late-round project who teams show patience with as he gets bigger and continues to learn the position.