Jake Long, first overall, Miami Dolphins
Still the best argument for drafting a tackle high when rebuilding, Long has been among the league’s best players since coming to Miami.
Coach Hoke answers question:
Does the defensive front have the potential to be as good as last year's? I think so. I know we think so. I think Greg [Mattison] and Jerry [Montgomery] would tell you the same thing
Hoke, Mattison, and Montgomery think this years Defensive Line can be as good as last years. I think it can be better; It's certainly more talented
BWC is as talented or more talented than Mike Martin, and all signs point to his senior season being a breakout one.
Black and Roh are more talented than Van Bergen and Heinenger
We are probably losing some on the end with Clark out and Beyer starting for the first time, compared to what Roh was able to deliver, even though Roh was playing out of position. If Clark is able to get back early in the season, I think the End position will be good.
One reason I think this years D-Line can be better is summed up in 2 words: Ondre Pipkins
When I watched the match-up between Pipkins and 4th year all BIG caliber tackle Michael Schofield, I was impressed. The collision between the two was ferocious, then Pipkins drove Schofield to his knees, shed the block, and made the tackle. Incredible to watch an 18 year old that advanced physically. I don't see anyway Pipkins doesn't see significant playing time early in the season, and by the end of the season, Pipkins and Big Will will be a formidable duo on the inside.
By the way: Nobody knows it, but Pee Wee can dunk.
IFrames so emed doesn't work.
I've seen a lot of rankings:
#8 [Sporting News]
#18 [Pre-Snap Read]
...and of course it's difficult to tell where we *should* be. But if we are to take preseason rankings as a combination of:
A. Indication of relative quality compared to other teams on the list
B. Indication of where we will end the season, considering factors exogenous to our level of quality, such as number of games played away and strength of schedule
...then where would you rank University of Michigan?
I tend to think the #6 and #8 rankings are a bit high. After all, we have a rough schedule that includes 5 games I consider "losable" [quasi-@Alabama, @Notre Dame, MSU, @Nebraska and @Ohio] and three more home games that we should win, but won't necessarily be easy [Air Force. Northwestern and Iowa].
I'm already on record predicting a 9-3 regular season, of either the 9-3 [7-1] or 9-3 [6-2] varieties. Because of that, I'm going to say the #13 ranking looks most realistic to me. We will be good enough to win some big, high-profile games, but I doubt 9-3 would be good enough to crack the top 10. Unless, of course, we make it to the Big 10 Championship, win it, and then beat the very good and highly ranked loser of USC/Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
What does everyone else think?
New Illinois head coach Tim Beckman seems to have found a new recruiting tactic, getting transfers from other B1G schools, and Nebraska seems to be losing linemen weekly, as they lost their 2nd in successive weeks.
Yesterday, Nebraska offensive lineman Ryan Klachko, a RS-freshman from Springfield, IL transferred and will sit out the 2012-2013 season. He was a 4* recruit out of HS last year.
Last week the Illini added Penn State transfer Ryan Nowicki to their offensive line. Nowicki is eligible this season.
Over the weekend, offensive lineman Tyler Moore, 4*, left Nebraska and will take semester off then consider a return to Nebraska or FSU and UF.