College Football 2017: Power Ranking Top 10 Defensive Linemen
Top-10 Defensive Linemen In College Football
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We’re inching closer and closer to the 2017 college football season, which means you’re running out of time to do your homework. If you hope to make a profit this season and crush the bookies, you should already have a good idea of what’s what before the season even starts. This article, I’m looking at the top defensive linemen in college football, otherwise known as the first line of defense and the guys who make life easier or harder on the back end.
Every great defense needs a great defensive front and it helps to have one of these guys on the list.
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Here are the top 10 defensive linemen heading into the 2017 college football season.
1. Ed Oliver, Houston Cougars - Ed Oliver lived up to the hype his freshman year in which he produced 66 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and nine pass deflections. Oliver is a man amongst boys and could be the most dominating defensive lineman since Jadeveon Clowney.
2. Harold Landry, Boston College Golden Eagles - Harold Landry is coming off a season in which he had 22 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Yikes. In three seasons, Landry has 39.5 tackles for loss and 10 forced fumbles. The guy simply makes plays on the football field like few other.
3. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson Tigers - Dexter Lawrence was key in Clemson winning the national title, as he had 62 tackles, 6.5 sacks and consistently clogged running lanes. Lawrence has possible No. 1 pick potential if he continues on this track as arguably the best defensive tackle in college football.
4. Christian Wilkins, Clemson Tigers - Christian Wilkins has his fun on special teams and offense now and then, but he’s still one of the top defensive linemen in the country who had 13 tackles for loss and 10 pass deflections. A 1-2 punch of Wilkins and Lawrence make Clemson a factor in the ACC despite so much talent lost overall.
5. Vita Vea, Washington Huskies - Vita Vea received Pac-12 honors last season despite only a handful of starts, and this season he’s posted for an even bigger year as he enters at nearly 350 pounds. Vea doesn’t have the fancy stats, but he’s a monster in the middle and will be a first round pick.
6. Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State Wolfpack - Bradley Chubb has gotten better each season with NC State, which is rather scary when you consider he had 21 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last year. Chubb is an all-around great defensive lineman and gives the Wolfpack one of the more underrated defensive fronts.
7. Maurice Hurst, Michigan Wolverines - Maurice Hurst is another player who has limited starts in his career, but he’s shown promise with 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. This year, Hurst is going to be the go-to guy up front and will certainly become a household name before his career comes to an end.
8. Da'Ron Payne, Alabama Crimson Tide - Da'Ron Payne doesn’t have the stats as the other guys on this list, but the defensive tackle is one of the best in the country at stopping the run and consistently demands double teams. Payne will be one of the faces of this Crimson Tide defense due to more turnover with Nick Saban’s club.
9. Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss Rebels - In three seasons with Ole Miss, Marquis Haynes has 127 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries. Haynes is the perfect athlete for Wesley McGriff’s defense and has proven he’s good for at least a healthy seven sacks a season.
10. Trenton Thompson, Georgia Bulldogs - Trenton Thompson hasn’t exactly lived up to his recruiting status and has been battling injury issues this offseason, but he’s expected to be ready to go come August. Thompson is a mountain of a man who is impossible to move and is starting to consistently get in the backfield. Thompson has tons of upside to climb this list rather quickly.