Looking for the next Von Miller (good luck): Edge-rushing options for Jets

Bruce Irvin could be an affordable option at edge rusher for the Jets in free agency. Stephen Brashear/AP

One of the New York Jets' biggest needs this offseason is a 3-4 outside linebacker -- specifically, an edge rusher who can complement their strong interior players. They can try to find that guy in free agency and/or the draft with the 20th pick.

A look at some of the prominent options:


Von Miller, Denver Broncos -- Dream on. If he gets the non-exclusive franchise tag (likely), the Broncos would be entitled to two first-round picks as compensation if they declined to match an offer sheet.

Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks -- The Jets loved him in the 2012 draft, but that was a previous administration. Because of the short supply of pass-rushers, Irvin could command as much as $10 million a year. He had 5.5 sacks in 2015, but a closer look reveals he was used in coverage on 30 percent of his passing downs last season, according to Pro Football Focus. His sack numbers would rise in a different system.

Olivier Vernon, Miami Dolphins -- Vernon, still only 25, will make a killing if he hits the open market. He's an ascending player, with 25.5 sacks over the last three seasons. He played in a three-point stance in Miami, but he probably could transition to a stand-up player. He'll probably be too rich for the Jets' blood.

Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore Ravens -- He's more of an edge-setting run stopper than a pass rusher. He's had only five sacks in four seasons.

Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs -- At 32, he's a hold-the-fort player at this stage of his career but could mentor a young pass rusher. Hali has gone seven straight season with at least six sacks and played close to 800 snaps last season, showing his durability.


Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky -- Because of his checkered background (tossed by Ohio State after flunking multiple drug tests), Spence would be a risky pick for the Jets at No. 20. His talent is unquestioned, as he produced 13.5 sacks last season and impressed at the Senior Bowl.

Shaq Lawson, Clemson -- He played defensive end in college, but some feel he's not too big (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) to stand up in a 3-4. He had 12.5 sacks in his first season as a full-time starter.

Leonard Floyd, Georgia -- At 6-4, 231 pounds, Floyd needs to bulk up to be an every-down defender in a 3-4. He's a natural pass rusher with 17 sacks over three seasons.