Ranking college football’s top 10 returning edge defenders for 2020

Chase Young might not be rejoining the college ranks in 2020, but there’s no shortage of talent among edge defenders as we look forward to the upcoming college football season. Using a combination of Pro Football Focus grades and PFF’s wins above average (WAA) metric, we present the top 10 edge defenders returning to college football in 2020, as well as a sleeper to watch.

1. Quincy Roche, Miami

The recently transferred Roche was a solid pass-rusher in 2017 and 2018, earning above-average grades in both seasons, but he just so happened to produce one of the biggest breakout seasons in 2019, which cements his standing atop this list.

Roche’s 93.3 pass-rush grade ranked behind only Young among edge defenders last season, while his 18.4% pressure rate tied for eighth. His quick, violent hands helped him to secure 68 total pressures a season ago, the fourth most among edge defenders, and that helped him finish the season as the nation’s second-most valuable edge rusher in terms of PFF WAA. Miami’s pass rush was its greatest strength last season, and that’ll likely be the case again now that Roche is on the roster.

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