Who are the best defensive ends coming into the 2019 college football season? Here are the 2019 CFN All-America defensive ends and 30 top players.
2019 CFN Preseason All-America Defensive Ends
Who are the best defensive ends coming into the 2019 college football season? Based on projections for this year – and not necessarily based on pro talent and potential ….
Honorable Mention All-American Defensive Ends
30. Luc Bequette, Sr. Cal
Used like a defensive end, but really he’s more like a big defensive tackle, the 6-2, 295-pound veteran is quick off the ball and a tone-setter for the great Bear line, coming up with 49 tackles with five sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss last season.
– 2019 Cal Preview
29. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Fr. Oregon
Let’s just get the hype going right away. Arguably the nation’s top recruit, Thibodeaux pulled off a bit of a surprise by blowing off all the other national powers and picking Oregon. The 6-5, 240-pound pass rusher still has room to get bigger, but get him out there and turn him loose.
– 2019 Oregon Preview
28. Joe Gaziano, Sr. Northwestern
The main man up front for the Wildcat defensive front earned all-star honors, and now he’s going into his fourth year as a star. Always working and always finding his way into the backfield, the 6-4, 276-pounder has 21 career sacks with 31.5 tackles for loss and 104 tackles.
– 2019 Northwestern Preview
27. Ty Tyler, Sr. Marshall
Where do you want him to work? He started out as a hybrid, got strong enough to work inside, and beefed up to get to his current 262 pounds on his 6-3 frame, all while becoming a killer pass rusher. He led the team with nine sacks and 44 tackles in an all-star season.
– 2019 Marshall Preview
26. LaDarius Hamilton, Sr. North Texas
North Texas might be all about its high-powered offense, but the 6-3, 255-pound leader and Conference USA all-star makes a whole lot of noise on the other side. All of a sudden, the light went on and he turned into a pass rusher with 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Now he has more help around him.
– 2019 North Texas Preview
25. Aidan Hutchinson, Soph. Michigan
It’s asking a whole lot for the 6-6, 268-pound Hutchinson to be another Chase Winovich right away, but the former superstar recruit is about to be asked to blow up and grow into his expected NFL potential after filling in and making 15 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss as a freshman.
– 2019 Michigan Preview
24. Jacques Turner, Jr. Southern Miss
He might be a bit undersized at 6-1 and 247 pounds, but he’s always working and alway generating pressure. Good as a freshman, he took his game up a notch as a sophomore with 33 tackles with five sacks and ten tackles for loss, and now the amazing USM defense should get even more out of its Conference USA all-star.
– 2019 Southern Miss Preview
23. Alex Highsmith, Sr. Charlotte
Yeah, the 6-4, 242-pounder only came up with three sacks, but he was a playmaker in every other way for the 49er defense, coming up with 17.5 tackles for loss and 60 tackles as one of the Group of Five’s best all-around ends.
– 2019 Charlotte Preview
22. DJ Wonnum, Sr. South Carolina
A nice pro prospect with length to go along with his good first step, the 6-5, 255-pounder was amazing as a sophomore with 57 tackles with six sacks and 13 tackles for loss, but he was banged up last year and worked at half-speed, making 32 stops with 1.5 sacks. If he can stay in one piece, he’s a dangerous all-around playmaker.
– 2019 South Carolina Preview
21. Reggie Walker, Sr. Kansas State
One of the mainstays of the K-State defense over the last three seasons, the 6-2, 250-pound Walker started out his career with a big 6.5-sack freshman season, struggled as a sophomore, and roared back as a junior with 45 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss with four forced fumbles. Now he’s the veteran leader of a new era of Wildcat football.
– 2019 Kansas State Preview
20. Patrick Johnson, Jr. Tulane
It took a little while to get going as a freshman, and then the 6-3, 250-pounder turned it on as a sophomore, turning into one of the American Athletic Conference’s most dangerous defenders. He was always behind the line, coming up with 10.5 sacks with 16 tackles for loss, 49 tackles, and with five broken up passes.
– 2019 Tulane Preview
19. Chauncey Rivers, Sr. Mississippi State
It’s not fair. He’s not Montez Sweat, and he’s not the talent Jeffrey Simmons was on the inside, but the 6-3, 275-pound former Georgia Bulldog and JUCO transfer has a ton of pro potential. He was a part of a rotation behind the stars, but he still made 24 tackles with 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Now it’s his time to shine.
– 2019 Mississippi State Preview
18. Jonathan Garvin, Jr. Miami
The 6-4, 250-pounder took off as a sophomore, living in the backfield with 17 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks to go along with his 60 tackles. Ultra-quick, ultra-active, and able to do a little of everything right – including bat down passes – he’s the star up front.
– 2019 Miami Preview
17. Rashad Weaver, Jr. Pitt
One of the ACC’s rising stars, the 6-5, 265-pounder has the right size and frame, and now he’s coming off a big stepping-stone season making 47 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. While he can get behind the line, he’s tough against the run, too.
– 2019 Pitt Preview
16. Alton Robinson, Sr. Syracuse
It became one of the biggest keys to the Syracuse turnaround – the defense started to do its part. The 6-4, 257-pound Robinson ripped it up after a five-sack sophomore season with ten sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 39 tackles as he turned into a devastating force.
– 2019 Syracuse Preview
15. Mustafa Johnson, Jr. Colorado
A short tackle-sized defender who works on the end, the 6-2, 290-pound Johnson came in from the JUCO ranks and took over as one of the Pac-12’s best defenders, coming up with 57 tackles with 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Now he’s one of the centerpieces of new coach Mel Tucker’s D.
– 2019 Colorado Preview
14. Tipa Galeai, Sr. Utah State
One of the nation’s best returning all-around ends, the 6-5, 230-pound former TCU Horned Frog stepped up and rocked in his first year with the Aggies with 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 14 tackles for loss. He was also versatile enough to come up with two picks, taking one for a score.
– 2019 Utah State Preview
13. Christian Rector, Sr. USC
It didn’t matter if he was on the end or working as a huge outside linebacker, the 6-4, 275-pounder is a versatile defender who can fill a variety of roles. He wasn’t as much of a pass rusher last season as he was as a sophomore – coming up with 4.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss – but he was more of a factor against the run with 48 stops.
– 2019 USC Preview
12. Khalid Kareem, Sr. Notre Dame
Rising into a fantastic pro prospect, the 6-4, 262-pounder combines with Julian Okwara to give the Irish one of the nation’s best defensive end tandems. Kareem is big, quick, and he’s great at getting behind the line with 10.5 tackles for loss last season, 4.5 sacks, and 42 tackles. He’s also a problem to throw over.
– 2019 Notre Dame Preview
11. JaQuan Bailey, Jr. Iowa State
One of the Big 12’s best defense ends on one of the Big 12’s best defenses, the 6-2, 255-pound Bailey might be undersized, but he’s always making something happen. Over the last two seasons he cranked up 15 sacks, 25.5 tackles for loss and 80 stops. Expect it to all continue.
– 2019 Iowa State Preview