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Best Defensive Ends in College Football 2022 Rankings

Ranking College Football’s best Defensive Ends of the NCAA 2022-2023 season and the 2023 NFL Draft

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By Fan Rankings | January 15, 2023 - 01:57 PM

The evolution of football continues to make impacts on how the game of football is played each and every weekend both on the College Football Field as well as on the NFL field.

While College Football has always had a ton of scoring and offense it continues to adapt to include more and more passing. This is the same for the NFL making the defensive end position more and more important each year.

With one big sack of the opposing quarterback the momentum of the game can flip. As you look around College Football at the best defensive ends landing on the Top 10 College Football Defensive Ends 2023 Rankings list each one is a game changer.

 

Headlining the list of the top defensive ends in College Football is the Clemson Tigers star defensive player Myles Murphy.

Murphy finished the season with 6.5 sacks while helping to lead the Tigers to a 39-10 win over the UNC Tar Heels in the Subway ACC Championship.

Joining Murphy on the list of the top defensive ends includes Nick Herbig of the Wisconsin Badgers, Isaiah Foskey of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Jared Verse of the Florida State Seminoles. Here is a look at the Top 10 College Football Defensive Ends 2023 Rankings:




Honorable Mention

Habakkuk Baldonado

School: Pittsburgh Panthers

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Just missing the Top 10 College Football Defensive Ends 2023 Rankings list is the Pittsburgh Panthers defensive end Habakkuk Baldonado.

While the numbers and statistics might not show up on the internet or in the box score, it still doesn’t take away how impactful Baldonado is and how much potential he has as one of the best defensive ends in all of College Football.

The Panthers star defensive end who missed the end of the season to an undisclosed injury has all the physical tools and abilities to be an everyday menace in the NFL.

Prior to his injury Baldonado had racked up 24 tackles to go along with two sacks just a year after posting a career high nine sacks.




K.J. Henry

School: Clemson Tigers

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Another talented Clemson Tigers defensive player will be playing football on Sundays as well as Thursdays and Monday in the NFL next season. That star is K.J. Henry should hear his name called within the first 2-3 rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Henry showcased his ability to be an everyday defensive end this season while racking up career highs with 51 tackles while posting 3.5 sacks to go along with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and six passes defended. Henry has great size and length while also being strong to shed blockers.




Top 10 Best College Defensive Ends

10. Tavius Robinson

School: Ole Miss Rebels

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Landing at number 10 on the Top 10 College Football Defensive Ends 2023 Rankings list is the Ole Miss Rebels senior defensive end Tavius Robinson.

After posting career highs in tackles (28) and sacks (3.5) last season, Robinson continued to develop into an all around great defensive end while showcasing his speed and size over the course of the 2022 NCAA Footballs season.

The Rebels star finished the season with a career high seven sacks to go along with five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. His high motor and ability to make a play elevates his draft status for the upcoming NFL draft.




9. Ali Gaye

School: LSU Tigers

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

When healthy the LSU Tigers defensive end Ali Gaye has shown his ability to play the position while also showing flashes of how great of a pass rusher he could develop into. Unfortunately, the stats did not agree this year as he finished with 36 tackles and just 2.5 sacks.

However, Gaye did show his ability to create turnovers forcing two fumbles while also playing well against the pass when called upon.

Gaye has great size at 6 foot 6 inches to go along with power and strong hands to get to the quarterback making him an interesting prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft.




8. Zach Harrison

School: Ohio State Buckeyes

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

The bright lights and top tier play of the Ohio State Buckeyes prestigious program was not a factor for Zach Harrison who put together a stellar four-year career with the team.

Over the four years Harrison was as solid as any defensive end within the Big Ten while being as consistent year in and year out.

Harrison is extremely fast to the quarterback while using that speed to elude defenders en route to opposing quarterbacks.

The Buckeyes defensive end finished the season with 34 tackles, 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles including posting a half sack in the teams disappointing loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.




7. Lukas Van Ness

School: Iowa Hawkeyes

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

One defensive end to keep your eyes on as the 2023 NFL Draft approaches is the Iowa Hawkeyes Lukas Van Ness. Van Ness, who is a redshirt sophomore put together two strong seasons back-to-back for the Iowa Hawkeyes helping to drive his stock value.

The Hawkeyes defensive end was all over the field while showcasing his talent down the stretch. Van Ness finished the season with 6.5 sacks after finishing last season with seven.

However, In the team’s final five games, Van Ness notched 2.5 sacks including posting a half sack in the teams 21-0 win in the Music City Bowl. Van Ness is big and strong while athletic to free himself up to get to the ball. 




6. Tyree Wilson

School: Texas Tech Red Raiders

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

When you are looking for a big-time playmaker on the football field each Saturday during College Football Season it is hard to look past Tyree Wilson of the Texas Red Raiders.

Wilson continued to develop over the past two seasons into one of the best defensive players on the Red Raiders defense.

Over the course of the 2022 NCAA season, Wilson registered 61 total tackles to go along with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and a career high seven sacks tying his 2021 sack total. 

Wilson is tremendous off the line while having the agility to change direction to make the play on both the running back and quarterback. 




5. Isaiah Foskey

School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

Rounding out the Top 5 defensive ends on the Top 10 College Football Defensive Ends 2023 Rankings is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Isaiah Foskey.

One of the powerhouse’s schools of the ACC conference continues to find extraordinary talent year in and year out and that is the case with Isaiah Foskey.

Foskey on the defensive side of the ball has been a playmaker over the past two seasons including in 2022 finishing with 11 sacks and tied for 6th in College Football in sacks.

On film Foskey does it all from showing great vision of the backfield and ball carrier to using his strength to get past offensive tackles and lineman.




4. Dylan Horton

School: TCU Horned Frogs

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

A big strong physical defensive end who lacks great length and arm size but makes up for it with his powerful legs and speed. Horton uses a stellar spin move to position himself around blockers while also opening his path to the quarterback.

His ability to get to the quarterback showed over the course of the season as the senior defensive end racked up a career high 10 sacks.

His best performances of the year came in the Big 12 Championship Game (5 tackles, 2 Sacks) before posting a four-sack performance in the teams 51-45 win over the Michigan Wolverines in the VRBO Fiesta Bowl.




3. Nick Herbig

School: Wisconsin Badgers

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

20 Sacks, three forced fumbles, six passes defended and 47 tackles over the past two years lets you know how good Nick Herbig is and how important he has been to the Wisconsin Badgers defense.

Herbig, who is from Kauai, Hawaii has been as good as any player in the Big Ten on the defensive side of the ball the past two years while being a force in the backfield for opposing quarterbacks.

Herbig, who is smaller than many of the other defensive ends on the ball, uses his speed, quickness and understanding of the game of football to play like one of the bigger defensive ends in College Football.

In the end, the Badgers junior defensive end finished the season with 47 tackles, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles.




2. Jared Verse

School: Florida State Seminoles

NFL Draft Status: Returning to Florida State for 2023

While ranking among the best defensive ends in all of College Football, Florida State Seminoles Jared Verse has elected to return to school for the upcoming 2023 College Football season. 

Verse, who slowly came into his own this season, stepped up down the stretch allowing room for Seminoles fans to be excited for the upcoming season.

Verse posted 5.5 of his nine sacks in the team’s final five games including 1.5 against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Verse lists at 6 foot 4 inches and 251 pounds while having great ability to bend and move while exploding off the line. 

 



1. Myles Murphy

School: Clemson Tigers

NFL Draft Status: 2023 NFL Draft

In the end the best defensive end in College Football upon the completion of the 2022 NCAA Football season is Myles Murphy.

Murphy, who ranks amongst the best defensive players as well, is expected to be one of the top defensive players off the NFL Draft Board during the 2023 NFL Draft.

One big freak of a machine, Murphy racked up a long list of awards during the 2022 NCAA Season including First Team All-ACC team and ranked 33rd among all College Football Players in 2022.

The Clemson Tigers defensive end is as explosive as any in the game while posting 40 tackles with 6.5 sacks and one forced fumble this season.



How would you rank these College Defensive Ends in the 2022-2023 BCS season? Rank below to be added in the NCAA Power Rankings

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