Second, the defensive line was probably the biggest issue coming into the season. For a couple of games, it seemed like maybe those fears were exaggerated, as the Lions generated pressure, stopped the run, and held their own against early opponents.
The biggest factor here is injuries, as well. Haloti Ngata, defensive tackle, is among several injuries up front on a defense that was never that deep or skilled. Ziggy Ansah, our best end, has been battling injuries for the last two years, and has been effective only in limited stretches.
This a clear need area, both from a depth perspective, and a talent perspective.
Tackles- Ngata is very near the end of his career, and we need more than Robinson going forward.
Vita Vea, Washington, Jr, 6-5, 344
Maurice Hurst, Michigan, Sr, 6-2, 282
Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State, Soph, 6-3, 295
Lowell Lotulelei, Utah, Sr, 6-2, 320
Reginald Kahlil McKenzie Jr., Tennessee, Jr, 6-3, 325
Da’Ron Payne, Alabama, Jr, 6-2, 308
Ends- Ziggy Ansah is not signed long-term and Anthony Zettel is still fairly unproven. Without many known commodities, it is a major weakness of the roster.
Josh Sweat, Florida State, Jr, 6-5, 250
Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest, Sr, 6-4, 270
Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama, Sr, 6-4, 282
Sam Hubbard, Ohio State, Jr, 6-5, 265
Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, Soph, 6-5, 265
Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech, Soph, 6-5, 255
Porter Gustin, Southern California, Jr, 6-5, 260
Byron Cowart, Auburn, 6-3, 283
Dorance Armstrong Jr., Kansas, Jr, 6-4, 246