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Pac-12 Preseason Positional Rankings: Defensive Line

Will Sutton, Scott Crichton and Morgan Breslin headline a very talented crop of Pac-12 defensive linemen in 2013.


1. Will Sutton Sr. Arizona State

Getting the 2012 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year to come back for his senior year was one of the biggest boons any Pac-12 team got during the off-season. Sutton is a defensive tackle that can play anywhere along the line, stop runs in the backfield and get after the passer.

2. Scott Crichton Jr. Oregon State

Crichton is a big, strong pass-rusher who had 9 sacks in 2012 and was first team All-Pac-12 as a sophomore. Crichton has the potential to be a first round pick in the next couple of years and is far and away the best player on the Beavers' defense.

3. Morgan Breslin Sr. USC

Breslin tied with Sutton for the most sacks by a Pac-12 defensive linemen and might be the best pure pass rusher in the conference. Breslin might be playing a little bit of a hybrid position next season as USC looks to change up his defense, but no matter where he lines up, Breslin is bad news for offenses.

4. Henry Anderson Sr. Stanford

Anderson really came on towards the end of 2012 and was one of the reasons the Cardinal defense was so very tough to do anything against late in the year. A second team All-Pac-12 selection in 2012, the 6'6 282 pound defensive end is a nightmare for running games.

5. Ben Gardner Sr. Stanford

Stanford's other defensive end is just as good. Gardner is nearly as big as Anderson at 6'4 275 and is a little bit of a better pass rusher as he had 7.5 sacks in 2012 while also making second team All-Pac-12.

6. Lenard Williams So. USC

Williams probably has the most potential of any Pac-12 defensive lineman as he had one of the best seasons ever put together by a Pac-12 defensive freshman in 2012 as he finished with eight sacks. Williams is a lot like Sutton as a guy who is versatile and can play anywhere along the line and is adept at getting to the passer.

7. Taylor Hart Sr. Oregon

Dion Jordan may have made first All-Pac-12 last season and been the Top 3 draft pick, but Hart actually led the Ducks in sacks last season while lining up on the other side of the defensive line. Hart has a great motor and quickness off the edge and finished with eight sacks in 2012.

8. Wade Keliikipi Sr. Oregon

Another underrated stalwart returning on the Ducks line, Keliikipi is the run stuffer. He's stout in the middle and is one of the main reasons that the Ducks are harder to run against than many people would assume.

9. Cassius Marsh Sr. UCLA

Marsh is another versatile and athletic player that can get after the passer and play pretty much anywhere along the line. Marsh can start at tackle or end and excel and finished with seven sacks in 2012 while playing a big part in the Bruins' revolution.

10. Danny Shelton Jr. Washington

The 6‘1 315 Shelton is a throwback nose guard that has a little bit of nasty and is very stout against the run. Shelton is probably the best defensive lineman in the Pac-12 this year who checks in at more than 300 pounds.

11. Trevor Reilly Sr. Utah

Reilly has shuffled in between end and linebacker throughout his career and it looks like he will get the bulk of his snaps at end this year which should bolster the Utes‘ pass rush. Reilly is big at 6'4 245, but also brings the linebacker athleticism to the table and can make tackles all over the field.

12. Junior Onyeali Sr. Arizona State

Onyeali has had a tough time with injuries, but is a force to be reckoned with on the edge when healthy. The former Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the year, he could get up to double-digits in sacks if all goes well in 2013.

Others considered

Xavier Cooper So. Washington State

George Uko Jr. USC

DeAndre Coleman Sr. Cal

Nate Orchard Jr. Utah

Jaxon Hood So. Arizona State