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Early Look at Top Defensive Prospects in 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft will be here before anyone knows it, and with free agency already going off with a flurry of exciting moves, plenty of teams could look a lot different by the time the first pick is announced in April.

The offensive players get a lot of hype in NFL Draft news ahead of the NFL Draft due to their highlight-reel catches and sensational touchdowns, but the defensive stalwarts can’t be ignored either. One lockdown corner or unstoppable pass rusher can improve a defense immensely, and a few could be first-round draft picks as well.

Early Look at Top Defensive Prospects in 2024 NFL Draft
Terrion Arnold #DB02 of Alabama | Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Some teams may be more in need than others at some positions, and while we wait to see what kind of pre-draft trades may go down to switch up the draft order, let’s take a look at some of those top defensive draft prospects that could reshape some of the league’s most mediocre defenses.

1. Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

One of the top corners in this year’s draft, Arnold spent two seasons at Alabama, where he learned how to play both outside and at nickel, disrupting in press coverage and off coverage. Arnold’s high IQ and instincts at the position should help make him one of the earlier cornerbacks off the board.

Arnold also possesses top speed and size that helps make him effective at the position, and his increase in production from his freshman to sophomore season shows that. After finishing with one interception and eight passes defended in 2022, he managed five interceptions and 12 passes defended in 2023. With great footwork and the ability to keep up with receivers, Arnold should be able to find success at the next level as well.

2. Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

Another Alabama product, the Crimson Tide have a strong history of their players finding success in the NFL, and Turner should be no different. NFL draft odds currently have him as one of the first defensive prospects taken in the 2024 Draft, boosted by his burst and athleticism.

Wreaking havoc on opposing offenses, Turner had his best season at Alabama in 2023, finishing with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles. Playing three years with the Crimson Tide, Turner proved his ability to both beat blocks with a quick first step and help stop the run. He should cause issues for opposing quarterbacks at the next level soon enough.

3. Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The second corner that could hear his name called on Day 1, Mitchell’s speed and size are just two things that help him be so productive at the position. Through four years at Toledo, Mitchell also displayed the ability to tackle and has proven his ball skills as well.

Mitchell’s most productive year was in 2022, when he had five interceptions, including two pick-sixes, though he wasn’t challenged as much in 2023. Mitchell made noise at the Senior Bowl while covering some of the top receivers, and his physicality and vision gives him starting corner potential from the get-go.

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4. Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Though his size doesn’t jump out like some of the others on this list, Murphy still possesses the traits that can help teams disrupt the pass or run at the next level. Spending all three years at Texas, Murphy was a key part of a Texas defense that led the Big 12 in holding teams to 17.5 points and 80.8 rushing yards a game.

With his explosiveness and power, Murphy has been able to get to the quarterback, finishing his junior year with a career-high five sacks. His quick feet and ability to change direction fast have helped him limit run plays while his balance also makes him hard to take on one-on-one. Overall, his ability to play and make an impact on all three downs should make him a dynamic player in the NFL.

5. Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Finally, Verse is another edge rusher who could be an early NFL Draft pick. With a powerful build and athleticism, Verse was effective both against the pass and rush with the Seminoles. In his two seasons as Florida State, Verse finished with nine sacks along with at least 40 total tackles in each season.

Using his explosiveness, Verse can get to the passer with both his hands and power while his quick speed helps him control and stop the run. Verse has also been known to use a cross-chop move to advance past blockers, and his ability to shed blocks and read plays quickly should make him a top impact player coming out of the draft.

Though these are just a handful of some of the top defensive players in the 2024 NFL Draft, there are plenty more who are ready to make an impact in the upcoming NFL season as well. Don’t forget to bet on who you believe will be some of the first players taken off the board and more online at the sportsbook before the 2024 NFL Draft begins in April.

Explore the excitement of NFL draft betting odds and Vegas odds NFL draft – your winning play awaits!


Questions Of The Day

When is the 2024 NFL Draft?

The NFL Draft will take place April 25-27, 2024.

How many picks are in the first round of the NFL Draft?

There will be 32 picks in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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