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Most improved defensive lines after the 2024 NFL Draft: Rams, Dolphins add their fronts | NFL draft

• Dolphins desperately needed the two defensive linemen they selected: Chop Robinson and Mohamed Kamara will bolster a unit that lacked any firepower before the 2024 NFL Draft.

• Rams try to reload after Aaron Donald‘s pension: Los Angeles added several defensive prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, including Jared Verse and Braden Fiske in the first two rounds.

• Check out PFF’s fantasy football rankings: PFF’s fantasy football rankings include ranks from our experts, projections and our strength of schedule stats.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


With the 2024 NFL Draft With everything wrapped up, we now start to look back at which teams have improved the most in certain areas. The line of defense is our focus here.


ATLANTA FALKENS

Additions:

Round 2, pick 35: TU Ruke Orhorhoro
Round 3, pick 74: EDGE Bralen Trice
Round 4, pick 109: TU Brandon Dorlus
Round 6, pick 197: DI Zion Lodge

The Atlanta Falcons They needed to prioritize their defensive line in the 2024 draft, and while they didn’t go in that direction with their top-10 pick, the rest of their draft reflected their emphasis on getting better in the trenches. In the second round they traded for Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro, a player who wins with very good athleticism and can play multiple spots in Raheem Morris’ 3-4 front. The Falcons lined up next Washington edge rusher Bralen Trice in the second round after leading the FBS in pressure (79) as a power defensive end.

The Falcons ended their streak of three consecutive defensive line selections with Oregon‘S Brandon Dorlus in the fourth round, another versatile player who played both the interior defensive line and edge rusher throughout his college career. Atlanta also added Georgia interior defensive lineman Zion Lodge in Round 6. Those first three names should rotate through the lineup quickly.


LOS ANGELES RAMS

Additions:

Round 1, pick 19: EDGE Jared Vers
Round 2, pick 39: TU Braden Fiske
Round 5, pick 154: EDGE Brennan Jackson
Round 6, pick 196: DI Tyler Davis

The Rams added two players to their defensive front last year Kobie Turner And Byron Young. But they wanted to re-prioritize that spot in the 2024 draft, especially with Aaron Donald retire. They invested heavily early and often in the defensive trenches State of Florida‘S Jared Vers in the first round. They then traded for Verse’s college teammate defensive tackle Braden Fiskein the second round.

On Day 3, Los Angeles returned to the defensive line well Washington state edge rusher Brennan Jackson And Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis. Each of these players will have a chance to make the roster and contribute to the youth movement of the team’s defensive line, with Fiske likely teaming up with Turner where Donald did so much damage.

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CARDINALS OF ARIZONA

Additions:

Round 1, pick 27: DL Darius Robinson
Round 5, pick 138: EDGE Xavier Thomas

While the Cardinals didn’t make many additions to the defensive line in the draft, the players they selected could have a big impact. Robinson was a reach on my plate for true Arizona I picked it out, but I really like the fit. Jonathan Gannon’s multiple defense can really maximize what Robinson does best, as a player who started at both defensive tackle and edge during his college career. He can give inside players passes with his height and really push back tackles with his strength.

Thomas was a former No. 3 overall recruit and five-star player coming out of high school. Injuries and some bad timing kept him in college longer than intended, but he is a very good athlete with tremendous explosiveness and a pass-rush style that never lets up. Both players could immediately contribute to a defensive line that needs it.


DOLPHINS OF MIAMI

Additions:

Round 1, pick 21: EDGE Hak Robinson
Round 5, pick 158: EDGE Muhammad Kamara

When healthy, the Dolphins already have a good starting trio of edge rushers inside Jaelan Philips, Bradley Chubb and now Shaq Barrett. But both Phillips and Chubb are recovering from season-ending injuries in 2023. Barrett himself is up there in age and hasn’t looked the same since his Achilles injury in 2022.

All of this leaves the door open for Robinson and Kamara to make early contributions — or at least some much-needed depth pieces. Robinson is a very impressive athlete for his size, something the Dolphins coaching staff knows throughout their roster, and Kamara, while limited in size, is a relentless worker in the trenches with good strength to his game.