This position group is similar to the linebacker unit. FSU went into the 2022 season with huge questions at the defensive end position. Jared Verse was unproven, and Derrick McLendon was serviceable, not great, and Patrick Payton was a redshirt freshman.
Fast forward a year, and Jared Verse will likely be a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2024, and Patrick Payton is the reigning ACC Rookie Defensive Player of the Year.
Derrick McLendon transferred to Colorado(which is telling in itself), and FSU got a proven defensive end from the transfer portal in Gilber Edmonds. The biggest question mark surrounding this unit is who will be the fourth guy?
That question may have already been answered by Byron Turner Jr. The FSU pass rush was great last year, and that’s with Jared Verse playing with an injury most of the year.
I expect this unit to be even better in 2023, plus I expect FSU to be ahead in many games, which will allow these defensive ends to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback even more.