As it stands right now, the Oregon Ducks do not have any seniors defensive lineman this year. Unless anyone decides to go pro or transfer, that gives them a little more breathing room and time when it comes to replacing them.
Come the 2015 season, Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Tui Talia, Alex Balducci, and Sam Kemp will all be senior defensive lineman.
What helps the Ducks out is a deep freshman and sophomore class when it comes to defensive lineman. From Jalen Jelks to Spencer Stark, the youth in the system right now will take some of the pressure off of next years' freshman d-lineman.
And who might next year's freshman be? Let's take a look.
Josh Sweat: A five-star defensive end out of Virginia, Josh Sweat is widely considered not only the best defensive end in this class, but one of the best recruits at any position. 6'5" and 230 pounds is just about the perfect size for a defensive end, and when you add in the fact that his burst off the line is unlike any other, it's hard not to salivate over the idea of seeing him in a Ducks uniform.
Bud Elliot gave us his thoughts on the highly rated defensive stud back in March:
But what really stands out about Sweat is the ridiculous, incredible burst that most great weak-side pass rushers. He explodes at the snap and overwhelms blockers with his speed. Defensive ends either have this or they don't. And Sweat does.
Oregon is in competition with Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, and Ohio State to land Sweat.
Mufi Hunt: Hailing from the great state of Utah, 6'6" defensive lineman Mufi Hunt has been looked at by BYU, Utah, Utah State, and the University of Oregon. The Desert News gave a quick report on what kind of system Hunt could thrive in:
Keisean Lucier-South: Another five-star defensive end, the Orange County produce is being looked at by Michigan, Oregon, Oklahoma, and UCLA. He's got some freakish size, with a long wingspan to boot. It wouldn't hurt Lucier-Smith to add some weight to his frame to help stop the run, but he's still got some time to do so. He's a good blend of speed and size, and that can only project nicely in an Oregon defense.
Lucier-South probably carries the most overall upside as a pass-rusher. Off the edge, Lucier-South is a nice blend of length, agility, and closing speed. He carries a good first step and comes off the ball with full extension of his arms, using his length to keep offensive linemen away from his frame. Like a boxer uses his jab, he utilizes his arm length to control the distance between himself and offensive lineman.
For the full scouting report, click here.
Rasheem Green: While the first three on our list were of the defensive end variety, Rasheem Green is a defensive tackle, and a mighty fine one at that. The five-star out of California is coming out of the same high school that produced Marquise Lee and Robert Woods (so basically, there's some good history). His length allows him to break away from blockers and get to the quarterbacks quicker.