In order for the Rutgers defense to take a step forward and become a top half Big Ten unit, the defensive line needs to develop enough quality depth to be a consistent force all season.
On the EDGE, the defensive line has legitimate talent. Aaron Lewis is a top tier Big Ten player. Wesley Bailey emerged last season as a talented option who could come up big at times. Mo Toure, who missed all of last season with an injury, could play more at the EDGE with the depth at linebacker so strong. After a promising freshman campaign, Kenny Fletcher has a chance to become a regular contributor this season. Jordan Thompson has experience and should be able to provide quality depth this fall.
In the interior, Mayan Ahanotu, Isaiah Iton, and Kyonte Hamilton all have a chance to make big contributions this season.
Can lineman like Rene Konga, Zaire Angoy, Troy Rainey and others develop along the defensive line?
The Rutgers defensive line is solid. There is real talent in the trenches with this group. However, whether Rutgers has enough to hold up all season and rotate 8-10 players to maximize their effectiveness remains to be seen. If they want to be a top half Big Ten unit, it’s important that they do.
Listen and watch to the second of ten positional previews for Rutgers football below. Joining me for all of these upcoming episodes is football writer and Rutgers fan David Anderson.
To find our first positional preview with the offensive line, click here.
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