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Top 2019 Pac-12 defensive lines: Utah’s defensive front is loaded

Ranking the the 2019 Pac-12 defensive lines going into the season.

NCAA Football: Arizona at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Utah (DE Bradlee Anae Sr. DT Leki Fotu Sr. DT John Penisini Sr. DT Pita Tonga Jr. DE Maxs Tupai Jr.) The Utes have one of the better DL units coming back that I can remember in recent history. Anae and Fotu are the best DE and DT in the conference and Penisini is a second-team All-Pac-12 player. I love the talented depth that Tonga and Tupai bring.
  2. USC (DT Christian Rector Sr. DT Jay Tufele So. DT Marlon Tuipulotu So. DT Brandon Pili Jr. DE Connor Murphy Jr.) - The Trojans are beyond stack at defensive tackle. Rector is a first-team All-Pac-12 player and Tufele and Tui are two of the best young defensive tackles in the nation. Pili could be a revelation if he goes back to freshman form.
  3. Cal (DE Luc Bequette Sr. DE Tevin Paul Jr. DT Aaron Maldonado So. DE Zeandae Johnson Sr. DT Siulagisipai Fuimaono So.) - The Bears slowly built up a strong defensive line, led by All-Pac-12 selection Bequette and Paul, who might be more of a linebacker. The rest of the group is experienced and solid.
  4. Washington (DT Levi Onwuzurike Jr. DE Benning Potoa’e Sr. DE Joe Tryon So. DT Sam Taimani Fr.) - The Huskies have lost a lot of DL talent to the NFL as of late with Vita Vea and Greg Gaines, but they have new talent stepping in and a player like Onwuzurike who might be the conference’s best DT at getting upfield. Potoa’e is one to watch to have a huge turn his senior year where he is expected to turn more inside.
  5. Oregon (DT Jordon Scott Jr. DE Austin Faoliu Jr. DT Gary Baker Sr. DE Drayton Carlberg Sr. DE DJ Johnson So. DE Gus Cumberlander Sr. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux Fr.) This group isn’t amazingly talented, but is deep with some standouts. Scott is one of the Pac-12’s best run stuffers and their version of Greg Gaines. Ultra blue chip freshman Thibodeaux could be an All-Pac-12 player by the end of the season.
  6. Colorado (DE Mustafa Johnson Jr. DT Jauntavius Johnson Sr. DE Terrance Lang So. DT Jalen Sami Fr.) - Johnson is one of the best under-the-radar players in the Pac-12 and carries this unit. Not a lot of depth here, but Auburn grad transfer Johnson should help the cause.
  7. Stanford (DE Jovan Swann Jr. DT Michael Williams Sr. DE Dalyn Wade-Perry Jr. DE Thomas Booker So.) - The days of Stanford punishing the rest of the conference with killer defensive lines are gone. They were bad against the run last year. Still, Swann and Booker are major talents that could easily go from good to great in a flash.
  8. Washington State (DT Will Rodgers III Jr. DT Lamonte McDougle So. DE Nnamdi Oguayo Sr. DE Misiona Ailupotea-Pei Sr.) - The Cougars have quiet been one of the nation’s best in developing solid defensive lines in recent seasons. This group should be no different as Rodgers and Oguayo are players that will have a shot at all-conference honors come the end of the season.
  9. UCLA (DE Osa Odighizuwa Jr. DT Antonio Mafi So. DE Otito Ogbonnia So. DT Martin Andrus Jr.) - The Bruins still have work to do up front on their defense. There’s some talent and some experience up here, it’s just not up to the top of the conference.
  10. Arizona (DT Myles Tapusoa Jr. DT Finton Connolly Sr. DE JB Brown Jr. DE Justin Belknap Sr.) - Per the usual, the Wildcats have a small, but fairly scrappy group that just doesn’t have the same level of power as most of the conference.
  11. Arizona State (DE George Lea Sr. DE Jermayne Lole So. DT DJ Davidson So. DE Tyler Johnson So.) - The Sun Devils got a lot of boost out of Renell Wren exploding as a senior. Now they have to rebuild and without the talent and experience they have had in recent seasons.
  12. Oregon State (DT Elu Aydon Sr. DE Addison Gumbs Fr. DE LaMone Williams Sr. DT Isaac Hodgins So. DE Jeromy Reichner Sr.) - The Beavers had one of the worst run defenses I can ever remember in the Pac-12 in 2018. They need to get more from this group in 2019.