Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Speed rusher. Very long. Plays with outstanding leverage and heavy hands. Plus burst and bend to the quarterback. Consistent hand fighter. Could stand to add weight to hold up against the run. Best football is in front of him.
The native of Chesapeake, Va., was regarded as arguably the top high school football player in the country prior to a devastating knee injury his senior season. Sweat tore multiple ligaments and his knee was dislocated to the point where he feared that amputation could’ve been necessary. Of course, that did not happen, although Sweat needed to alter his game to compensate for the injury. Sweat somehow managed to emerge as a full-time starter less than a year after the injury, totaling 41 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks as a freshman at Florida State.
He made strides as a pass-rusher as sophomore, bouncing back from an in-season meniscus tear to post seven sacks in 2016. The 6-foot-5 edge defender then led FSU with 5.5 sacks this past season and settled into a new role as a strong-side defensive end. Productive and consistent, Sweat managed 56 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss this season before opting to sit out FSU’s bowl game as he focused on starting his NFL career early. -- Brendan Sonnone