Even several years into the future, the Kansas City Chiefs' top pass rusher is still expected to be among the best in the entire NFL. That's a testament to just how elite he has become after the 2011 season. As Scouts, Inc.'s Matt Williamson puts together his Top Players of 2015 series, pass rushers are up next and Hali just makes the cut as he will have aged after another three NFL seasons.
Williamson writes, "Hali will turn 29 in November, which gives me pause about his initial burst for the 2015 season. But that burst is just superb right now, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Hali finally got some edge help last season in the form of Justin Houston, but for much of the time before Houston's emergence, Hali was far and away the focal point of every pass protection scheme that Kansas City's defense faced."
Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith, former Mizzou star, are the top two. Smith was used in specialty situations and never played an entire NFL game but still ranked among the NFL's leaders in sacks for the 49ers last season. About him, Williamson writes:
Smith is 22 and is already among the best pass-rushers in the league. While he was aided by a tremendous supporting cast in San Francisco, namely Justin Smith, who helped him dominate offensive lines with stunts, Aldon was phenomenal on his own. As a rookie, in a part-time role no less, Aldon sacked opposing quarterbacks 14 times. He has the long body type you look for in an edge-rusher, but he can also get low and is remarkably violent for someone with such long arms and great height. He eats up space quickly with long powerful strides closing in on the quarterback.