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2010 CFN Preview - Unit Rankings, Def. Lines
Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe
Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 16, 2010


CFN 2010 Preview Unit Rankings from top to bottom - Defensive Lines


Preview 2010 - Unit Rankings

Defensive Lines


2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

1. North Carolina
Butch Davis and his assistants have quietly turned Chapel Hill into an NFL pipeline for defensive linemen. Carolina is once again loaded with next-level talent up front, boasting All-America candidates in Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin and a very capable supporting cast. It’ll again dominate the line of scrimmage, clogging running lanes and keeping quarterbacks from getting comfortable in the pocket.

2. Ole Miss
As long as Ted Laurent is a steady reserve in the tackle rotation and if the front four can hold up, the line will be among the best in America. Few will do more to get to the quarterback, and few will be stronger against the weaker running teams. There are at least two NFL players up front, and there are possibly three if Wayne Dorsey plays as expected to go along with Jerrell Powe and Kentrell Lockett.

3. Iowa
This might be the best defensive front in America as long as the starting foursome remains healthy. Adrian Clayborn is the star to build around, while Karl Klug, Christian Ballard, and Broderick Binns are all going to be all-stars. Good luck consistently running on this very active, very good group, but the one flaw might be the rotation. The backups have to prove early on that they can play.

4. Nebraska
Losing Ndamukong Suh is hardly a plus, but the line has excellent end prospects to pick up the pass rushing slack and a future star in Blake Steinkuhler to man the middle. Jared Crick and Pierre Allen are destined for all-star status, and there will be a rush into the backfield from all four spots. This will be a hard working, high motor line that will occasionally stuff running games cold. Consider it a shock if this isn’t the best line in the North by a wide margin.


5. Penn State
Even with the loss of Jared Odrick from the middle, with time this might turn out to be the deepest and best Nittany Lion line in years. While that might seem like a wee bit of a stretch considering the lack of superstar power outside of Jack Crawford, but the tackles are deep, there are too many good pass rushing ends to get on the field at once, and there’s a great combination of youth and experience. The scary part is that there’s only one senior (Ollie Ogbu) on the projected two-deep.

6. Miami
It’s been a few years since the Hurricanes have been this stocked on the first line of defense. While Allen Bailey will be the headline act, getting some All-American attention, he’s going to get plenty of help from a front wall just brimming with size, speed, and the potential to control the line of scrimmage. Miami could have the best D-line rotation in the entire ACC with no holes and so many experienced linemen that the competition is destined to bring out the best in everyone.

7. Florida
Once again the Florida line is deep talented and promising with so much talent for the interior that the coaching staff might want to play around with the idea of using three tackles at times. Outside of the freshmen, the ends might not be flashy, but they’re sound veterans who’ll be more than fine. Generating more tackles for loss would be nice and finding a pass rushing terror early on is a must, but overall this will be a rock of a defensive front once again.

8. Pitt
Everything does indeed begin up front, good news for a Panther team that might again boast the Big East’s best front wall. There’ll be no easy solution for opponents this fall. Sure, they can devote two or three blockers to Greg Romeus, the leading man, but that’ll only create a clearer path to the backfield for Jabaal Sheard, Myles Caragein, and Chas Alecxih.

9. Boise State
When challenged, the line was a brick wall against some of the nation’s most dangerous rushing attacks. Oregon only ran for 31 yards and TCU was shut down for just 36 yards. Fresno State and Ryan Mathews went ballistic, but overall, this was a phenomenal line that should be even better this year with so much returning talent.

10. USC
The Trojans are in terrific shape up front, which will have a ripple effect that reaches the second and third levels of defense. There’s enough size and quickness to be a handful on a weekly basis. Don’t discount the importance of Ed Orgeron, one of the nation’s premier D-line coaches. The keys will be Nick Perry, who’ll have to ignite the pass rush, and at nose tackle, where a sure-thing starter won’t emerge until August. This could be USC’s deepest defensive line in years. There’s size, experience, and talent everywhere, which will help keep everyone fresh and the opposition gassed. It wouldn’t shock anyone if Perry, Jurrell Casey, and Armond Armstead all finished the season on the Pac-10 honor roll.

COULD EASILY BE IN TOP TEN

Alabama SEC
Clemson ACC
Georgia SEC
LSU SEC
Missouri Big 12
Ohio State Big Ten
Oklahoma Big 12
Rutgers  Big East
TCU M-West
Texas Big 12
West Virginia Big East

SOLID, WILL BE A POSITIVE

Arizona Pac 10
Arizona State Pac 10
Arkansas SEC
Auburn SEC
Boston College ACC
California Pac 10
Connecticut Big East
Florida State ACC
Georgia Tech ACC
Kansas Big 12
Kansas State Big 12
Michigan State Big Ten
Mississippi State SEC
Northwestern Big Ten
Notre Dame Ind
Oklahoma State Big 12
Oregon Pac 10
Oregon State Pac 10
Purdue Big Ten
South Carolina SEC
South Florida Big East
Stanford Pac 10
Syracuse Big East
Temple MAC
Tennessee SEC
Texas Tech Big 12
UCLA  Pac 10
Utah   M-West
Virginia   ACC
Virginia Tech ACC
Washington   Pac 10

AVERAGE

Baylor Big 12
BYU M-West
Cincinnati Big East
Colorado   Big 12
Illinois Big Ten
Indiana  Big Ten
Kentucky SEC
Louisville  Big East
Michigan Big Ten
Minnesota Big Ten
NC State ACC
Nevada WAC
New Mexico   M-West
Northern Illinois MAC
Southern Miss C-USAE
Texas A&M Big 12
UCF C-USAE
Vanderbilt SEC
Wake Forest ACC
Washington State Pac 10
Wisconsin Big Ten

NEEDS WORK

Air Force M-West
Akron MAC
Arkansas State Sun Belt
Army Ind
Buffalo MAC
Central Michigan MAC
Colorado State M-West
Duke ACC
East Carolina C-USAE
Fresno State WAC
Houston C-USAW
Iowa State Big 12
Kent State MAC
Louisiana Tech WAC
Marshall C-USAE
Maryland  ACC
Middle Tennessee Sun Belt
Navy Ind
Ohio   MAC
Rice C-USAW
San Diego State M-West
SMU C-USAW
Tulsa C-USAW
UAB C-USAE
UL Monroe Sun Belt

A PROBLEM

Ball State MAC
Bowling Green MAC
Eastern Michigan MAC
FIU Sun Belt
Hawaii WAC
Idaho WAC
Memphis C-USAE
Miami Univ. MAC
North Texas Sun Belt
San Jose State WAC
Troy Sun Belt
UNLV M-West

THE BOTTOM TEN

Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
New Mexico State WAC
Toledo MAC
Tulane C-USAW
UL Lafayette Sun Belt
Utah State WAC
UTEP C-USAW
Western Kentucky Sun Belt
Western Michigan MAC
Wyoming M-West

CFN 2010 Unit Rankings
- Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defenses | Defensive Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries  | Special Teams

2010 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 1 to 5 | 6 to 10 | 11 to 20 | 21 to 30 | 31 to 40 | 41 to 50 | 51 to 60
- 61 to 70 | 71 to 80 | 81 to 90 | 91 to 100 | 101 to 110 | 111 to 120
- CFN Preseason Rankings 2009 | 2008 | 2007