Best of the Bunch-Defensive Line Edition
Written by Curt Popejoy on 08/02/2010
I decided this year to take a little different approach to ranking defensive lines. On one hand you could look at stats, which is what I see a lot of pundits do. Defenses that don't allow a lot of rush yards per game get a nod. You could think about the potential NFL millionaires along the line, or you can look at the ability to rush he passer. This year, I really only had 2 lines to consider and what it ultimately came down to for me was star power.
The first is the line of the Iowa Hawkeyes. If you saw last year's Orange Bowl you saw DE Adrian Clayborn totally dominate. I mean dominate like Ndamukong Suh Big 12 Title game dominate. You mix in guys like Broderick Binns opposite Clayborn and big fatties Karl Klug and Christian Ballard manning the middle, you can bet that this group will be great again this year. Clayborn himself might be the best defensive lineman in the country.
The only other team in the picture for me are the North Carolina Tar Heels. This line is stacked. First we've all heard about DT Marvin Austin. A lot of people believe he's the best interior defensive lineman in the nation. On the outside you have another player who some believe is the top at his position in Robert Quinn. This alone has them pusing Iowa hard. While I think Clayborn is a better player than Quinn, I don't think Iowa has another player of the caliber of Austin. But the name to jot down is Tydreke Powell. With Austin and Quinn getting so much attention I expect Powell to have a huge season. The Tar Heels D-line goes about 7 deep, which is rare in college football.
Have you guessed who I'm picking? Yeah, I mean it's close but not that close. Assuming the team isn't blown up by an agent scandal and eligibility problems, the North Carolina defensive line is easily the most talented unit maybe in the nation of all the units I will breakdown. They have star power and great depth and because of that the North Carolina defensive line are the Best of the Bunch.
3-10 shake out like this...
3. Ohio State
7. Miami (FL)
Last Edited: 08/02/2010