While highlight-reel offensive are part of what makes football exciting, few things get a home crowd pumped up as much a timely sack. After all, the key to winning championships is to keep the ball out of the opposing quarterback's hands, which is why teams constantly throw out a lot of cash to edge rushers every free agency period.
This year's Philadelphia Eagles are proof that a strong pass rush equates to success. The Eagles paced the NFL regular season with 70 sacks (15 ahead of the next closest team) and wound up finishing as the NFC's top squad.
Whether your team is looking to improve their pass rush or maintain their high level of play, here are the 10 best free-agent edge rushers available in the 2023 NFL offseason.
10 Best Free Agent Edge Rushers 2023
1. Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints
Marcus Davenport disappointed New Orleans Saints fans this year, only recording 0.5 sacks in 15 games (nine starts). Considering how he finished with nine sacks in 11 games just a year ago, I'm chalking up his recent performance as an anomaly. At 26 years old, Davenport likely has a lot of great football ahead of him. His on-field discipline must be worked on, but if he can stay healthy and out of trouble, Davenport has the potential to put up double-digit sacks any year.
2. Yannick Ngakoue, Indianapolis Colts
A journeyman throughout his career, Yannick Ngakoue was one of the bright spots in an otherwise ugly season for the Indianapolis Colts. The former Pro-Bowler finished the campaign with 9.5 sacks in 15 games, giving him 19.5 total over the last two seasons. Ngakoue also racked up 27 pressures, 10 hurries and five QB knockdowns while only missing 9.4% of tackles — the lowest mark of his career. He missed the end of the campaign with a throat injury but should be good to go for the 2023 campaign.
3. Justin Houston, Baltimore Ravens
Despite only getting one start in 14 appearances with the Baltimore Ravens, Justin Houston was still productive. The 12-year veteran racked up 9.5 sacks (his most since 2019) while also tallying 17 QB hits, 25 pressures and eight hurries. He might not be in his prime anymore, but Houston can still be a rotational piece in any contender's edge rush.
4. Jadeveon Clowney, Cleveland Browns
Another failed season in Cleveland likely means that Jadeveon Clowney won't be with the Browns in 2023. The three-time Pro-Bowler is coming off a quieter season where he amassed 28 tackles, three broken-up passes and two sacks in 12 games. Having said that, he still showed reliability by not missing a single tackle. After racking up nine sacks in 2021, there's a chance that Clowney could bounce back in the right environment.
5. Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Brandon Graham has been with the Philadelphia Eagles for his entire career, but don't be shocked when other teams come knocking on his door. The former Super Bowl Champion racked up a career-high 11.0 sacks this season and didn't miss on any of his 35 tackle attempts. The 34-year-old defender isn't getting any younger, but he's still more than good enough to knock down opposing QBs.
6. Melvin Ingram, Miami Dolphins
Like Houston with Ravens, Melvin Ingram found himself in more of a backup role with the Miami Dolphins. It didn't stop the South Carolina product from succeeding, though. Ingram finished the year with six sacks, 10 QB hits and 18 pressures, even returning a fumble for a touchdown. Whether it's as a starter or in a backup role, Ingram is still a legitimate contributor.
7. Robert Quinn, Philadelphia Eagles
After recording 18.5 sacks in 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles thought they were acquiring a difference-maker when the Chicago Bears traded him ahead of this campaign's trade deadline. Instead, Quinn missed four games due to injury down the stretch and wasn't productive in the games he did play, recording just two tackles without a sack in six games (zero starts) with Philly. Even with those struggles, his resumé will have suitors lining up when free agency opens.
8. Charles Omenihu, San Francisco 49ers
Charles Omenihu's first full regular season with the San Francisco 49ers was a memorable one. The former Texas Longhorn finished with career highs in both sacks (4.5) and tackles (20), also tying his previous best with 16 QB hits. He only has 61 career games under his belt as well, meaning the NFL has likely yet to see the best that he has to offer.
9. Arden Key, Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite only starting three games since 2019, Arden Key should get some decent attention this offseason. On top of the Jacksonville Jaguars winning the three lone games that he started, Key finished the campaign with 4.5 sacks, 15 QB hits and a career-high 20 pressures. He'll get the opportunity to start somewhere.
10. Dawuane Smoot, Jacksonville Jaguars
Dawuane Smoot has provided the Jaguars with a consistent edge rush presence over the last few years. The former Illinois product's five sacks this season marked the fourth straight campaign he's finished with at least that number. What's even more impressive is that Smoot did it without a single start in 15 games this season. He tore his Achilles at the end of December, but all signs point to him making a full recovery and being a force again at some point
The Duel also ranked the 10 best NFL free agents for each position group:
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Quarterbacks in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Running Backs in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Tight Ends in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Defensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Edge Rushers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Linebackers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Safeties in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Punters in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Kickers in 2023
Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.