What You Need To Know About The Clemson Defense
– Stop it. Just … stop it. Clemson was fourth in the nation in total defense and second in scoring D, and now it’ll be even better.
Name the superpower program and you’ll find at least one front four full of special talents, but if all goes according to plan, the Tigers should have a defensive line that belongs among the greatest of all-time.
If DT Dexter Lawrence isn’t the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, he’ll be in the top five, and Christian Wilkins would be a starting interior presence for a pro team right now if he took off. Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant are brilliant ends, Albert Huggins would be an anchor for just about anyone else, and there’s more talent on the way from an amazing recruiting class.
Be mad if this group doesn’t lead the way to another top five season in sacks and roll up a run D that allows more than 100 yards a game.
– Second-leading tackler and great all-around playmaker Dorian O’Daniel is gone from the linebacking corps, but it’ll be another great group around leading tackler Kendall Joseph. Isaiah Simmons is a giant safety who’ll work at linebacker, J.D. Davis finished sixth on the team in stops, and like everywhere else on the D, there’s amazing depth. The key backups are – for the most part – bigger than the starters.
– Thanks to the amazing pass rush helping the cause, the secondary came up with a great year, allowing 300 yards or more just twice and picked off 14 passes.
Tanner Muse is a good tackler at one safety spot, and K’Von Wallace should be ready to do more filling in for Van Smith at strong safety – even though he’s built more like a corner. There’s depth on the corners with Trayvon Mullen the No. 1 guy after coming up with 40 stops and three interceptions.
Biggest Key To The Clemson Defense
The secondary has to lock down. It’ll be more than fine as one of the best pass defenses in the country no matter what – having a D line that spends most of the game jumping on the head of the opposing quarterback will help that. However, the pass D allowed three touchdown passes three times – including the loss to Syracuse – and Jalen Hurts looked like Aaron Rodgers in the Sugar Bowl with two scoring throws.
Okay, Hurts was simply efficient and not amazing, but the Tigers have to be a rock against the pass, because no one’s running on this front seven.