2007 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings ... D Line

Posted Aug 9, 2007

CFN 2007 Preview Unit Rankings - Defensive Line Ranked 1 to 119

2007 CFN Unit Rankings

Defensive Lines

CFN 2007 Unit Rankings
2007 Preview | Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs
Receivers | Offensive Lines | Defenses
Linebackers | Secondaries | Special Teams

1. LSU
Utter destruction. No one's running on Glenn Dorsey, Charles Alexander and Marlon Favorite, while the pass rushing from all four spots should be relentless. If Rahim Alem and Tremaine Johnson can be merely adequate on the right side, this group will be a dominant force.

2. USC

Arguably the nation’s toughest defensive line will set the tone for the entire defense, winning the battle for the line of scrimmage and clamping down on every opponent intent on establishing a ground game. Sedrick Ellis and Lawrence Jackson are All-America caliber playmakers to work around, while Fili Moala is an unsung rock on the inside who'll swallow everything up. 

3. Iowa
New defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski inherits a heater of a hand. If everyone stays healthy, this might turn into the Big Ten's best front four. All the starters are legitimate All-Big Ten candidates with Ken Iwebema in a salary drive before becoming a top 50 draft pick next year. The backups aren't experienced, but there's plenty of talent and upside to get excited about.

4. Georgia Tech
This should be one of the ACC's best lines as long as the tackles hold up. There are too many good ends to get on the field at the same time, and that's a good thing. The coaching staff knows how to juggle talent creating a good result with plenty of sacks, lots of fresh bodies late in the season, and plenty of plays behind the line. 

5. Miami
As always, the Canes will generate pressure up front and get plenty of production from the talented front four. Calais Campbell is an All-American, Eric Moncur has all-star talent, and Antonio Dixon could be a high draft pick if he plays up to his skills. Forget running on this group.

6. Texas
It's not all doom and gloom after losing 16 sacks and 96 tackles from Brian Robison and Tim Crowder. The tackles will make up for any problems on the outside early on, and eventually, there will be an excellent rotation of active defenders at the end. The line will hardly be a weakness.

7. TCU
As long as Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz are Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, TCU will finish in the top ten in America in sacks and tackle for loss. Everything revolves around the outside going in, and James Vess and Cody Moore should shine with all the focus on the stars. TCU always finds productive playmakers to fill the gaps, and it'll have to hope a good rotation forms among the reserves over the course of the season.

8. Virginia Tech
There might not be any sure-thing all-stars on the line, outside of, possibly, Chris Ellis and Kory Robertson, if he plays up to his potential. Even so, this will be among the ACC's most productive lines, with good pass rushing from all four spots, and good drive and motors from most to make up for any mistakes. This is an active group that'll do what's needed to allow the stellar linebacking corps to do their thing.

Just how much will Justin Hickman and his 19 tackles for loss be missed this year? If the Bruins can find a way to keep the heat off Bruce Davis in 2007, they’ll again boast one of the toughest defensive lines in the Pac-10.

10. Clemson
Georgia Tech, Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech will all be loaded on the defensive line and should get plenty of attention, but Clemson's will be every bit as good. The tackles are fantastic, with Dorrell Scott about to blow up into a star, while Phillip Merling and Ricky Sapp will ease the loss of Gaines Adams. Everyone can get into the backfield, and everyone can make plays against the run.

11 Boston College 
12 Florida State 
13 Auburn
14 Rutgers
15 Oklahoma
16 Louisville 
17 South Florida
18 Ohio State
19 Nebraska
20 Virginia
21 Oregon State 
22 Florida  
23 Michigan
24 Kansas State
25 Georgia
26 NC State
27 Cincinnati
28 Southern Miss 
29 Washington
30 Mississippi  
31 East Carolina
32 Penn State
33 Wisconsin
34 Arizona  
35 Tennessee
36 Colorado  
37 California
38 Missouri
39 Arkansas  
40 Maryland
41 Texas A&M
42 Wake Forest
43 Arizona State
44 South Carolina
45 Oklahoma State
46 BYU
47 Alabama
48 New Mexico
49 Notre Dame
50 West Virginia
51 Oregon
52 Michigan State
53 Mississippi State
54 Vanderbilt
55 Pitt
56 Washington State
57 Syracuse
58 Colorado State
59 Western Michigan
60 Fresno State
61 Northwestern
62 North Carolina
63 Duke
64 Illinois
65 Boise State
66 Nevada
67 Wyoming 
68 Connecticut
69 Kansas
70 Stanford
71 Central Michigan 
72 Indiana
73 Kentucky
74 Utah  
75 Minnesota
76 Houston
77 Purdue
78 Memphis
79 Troy
80 Marshall
81 Ohio
82 Middle Tennessee
83 Texas Tech
84 Baylor
85 San Jose State
86 Tulsa
87 Hawaii
88 Iowa State
89 Akron
90 Kent State
91 Northern Illinois
92 Bowling Green
93 Toledo
94 UCF
96 SMU
97 Miami Univ.
98 Air Force
99 Florida Atlantic
100 FIU
101 Ball State
102 Rice
103 Tulane
104 North Texas
105 Buffalo
106 UTEP
107 UAB
108 Louisiana Tech
109 San Diego State
110 Arkansas State
111 Eastern Michigan
112 New Mexico State
113 UL Monroe
114 Utah State
115 UL Lafayette
116 Army
117 Navy
118 Temple
119 Idaho