PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 04: Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Branson Taylor (78) blocks against Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) during a college football game on November 04, 2023 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 04: Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Branson Taylor (78) blocks against Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) during a college football game on November 04, 2023 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jared Verse More Upside Than Will Anderson Jr.

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ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 03: Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) reacts on the sideline during a college football game against the LSU Tigers on September 03, 2023 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I have now evaluated FSU Edge Jared Verse in 14 games spanning two seasons, and I’ve seen enough to know he will dominate in the National Football League.

Verse is a unique mixture of the Chargers’ Khalil Mack, Giants’ Kayvon Thibodeaux, and the Texans’ Will Anderson Jr., who won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors (Congratulations).

I had a pre-draft top-five grade on Thibodeaux, but was not as high on Anderson (pre-draft second-round grade) because his play was too uninspiring for my tastes at Alabama during his final season there. Thibodeaux was tied for No. 12 in the league this past season with 11.5 sacks.

Thibodeaux is who Verse reminds me of the most.

That’s because he stood up off the edge at FSU and he put his hand down in the dirt. It’s also because of the way he attacks.

The bottom line ⎯is that Verse is pretty darn good and if I hold up what Anderson put on film at Alabama and compare it to what I’ve seen out of Verse…

No question, I’m picking Verse.

Why?

Better agility, better pass rush moves, and better motor.

What does Verse look like on game film?

Dominant.

If you don’t believe me, watch the Florida game.

HEAVY HANDS ⎯that’s what stands out most. Verse’s hands are like a heavyweight champion boxer. His hands are like two stun guns delivering a jolt when he initially gets into offensive tackles at the point of attack.

Brute power.

Those are the words I’m looking for. That’s what I would say if I was sitting in a team’s pre-draft meeting and I was called upon.

Verse is brute power and straight-line speed. Additionally, he flashed a short-area burst and a fast start from a stopped position.

Tending to match up against offensive left tackles, he continuously tests and challenges them with several polished-looking pass-rush moves. Either that, or he will put the offensive tackle on skates right back into the quarterback.

Opportunistic. That’s another word I would use to describe him. He loves to stunt and shoot gaps if he can even sense a crease of leverage. He’s got that nose for the quarterback, and the smell of the pocket is like blood in the water.

Answers to questions

During this draft cycle, I started doing something different. I began studying as many games as possible for two (sometimes three) seasons to gain a broader perspective of prospects.

These were the four questions from the film study of Verse on 2022 game film:

1. Sack production increase? Verse logged nine sacks in 2022 and nine sacks in 2023.

2. Pressures increase? Pressures increased from 36 (2022) to 62 (2023) according to Pro Football Focus per Sports Illustrated

3. Ability to change direction quickly in the pocket shown? Once he showed a crisper change of direction off the edge, but commonly he was not able to make quick or crisp adjustments in the pocket or in the open field.

4. Stay healthy? Started 12 games for the Seminoles in 2023.

Additional concern?

Yes.

Verse looked sluggish against Duke and LSU.

#5 Jared Verse 6-foot-4, 260 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s 2024 NFL Draft Grade: First-Round (I would select him)

Projected by 95.2% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of February 12, 2024 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

FSU Pass Rusher Jared Verse Shows Explosive Brute Power (3 games evaluated)

FSU Edge Jared Verse Continues to Look Elite on Game Film (5 games evaluated)

2023 game film reviewed: Duke, LSU, Clemson, Florida, Louisville, and Miami (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

2023 stats: 41 tackles (23 solo), 18 assists, and 9 sacks

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Alpha male with explosive big man strength and a solid wrapping run tackler. Equally distributed power. Thick muscular lower legs. Long arms. Decent motor. Capable of quickness off the snap. Attacks from all angles (inside, outside, or straight through). Excellent hand technique. Possesses speed to win the edge. Some tightness. Showed swim, spin, and head fake pass rush moves. He’s a handful. Draws double teams. Capable of disengaging off run blocks. Can make strong wrapping tackles. Bangs around with the big boys. Mostly contain.

Final words

Verse brings it.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock, contributes at Yardbarker, and has written for Sports Illustrated Lions, Jets, and 49ers, as well as a featured guest on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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