Ranking the 5 best Defensive Linemen in the ACC for 2011

With July starting, I’ve got some big things in the works. Our partner site Sports Page  Network is expanding to include the site Sports Blog United.

SportsBlogUnited will be a growing community of sports bloggers like myself, and it should be good for everyone involved.

Enough of that, we got more ACC player rankings to go through.

We’ve completed our look at the top offensive players in the ACC, and now we turn our attention to the defense starting with the defensive linemen.

Completed Rankings

Running Backs | Quarterbacks  | Wide Receivers | Offensive Linemen | Tight Ends | Linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties | Special Teams

1) Quinton Coples, North Carolina

North Carolina fans got some good news, when Quinton Coples was cleared by the NCAA to play this year. The 6-6 Coples is a versatile player having spent time at DT and DE last year. He has All-American 1st round NFL Pick Talent, and I believe he’s the best defensive lineman in the ACC. He had 10 sacks last year and 15.5 tackles for loss . Coples should expect a lot of double teams this year.

2) Brandon Jenkins, Florida State

Remember 2-3 years ago when the Seminoles defense was pretty much awful? These guys are all grown up and Brandon Jenkins leads the way. This DE was an All-ACC pick last season, and could join Coples on several All-American teams this season. Jenkins is ACC’s best edge pass rusher and had 13.5 sacks last season.

3) Brandon Thompson, Clemson

How good can Brandon Thompson be this year? Some draft services are calling him the nation’s top NFL draft at defensive tackle. He’s a near certain 1st or 2nd round NFL pick. He has the potential to dominate at the line of scrimmage. Thompson is just now beginning to tap into his reservoir of potential. De’Quan Bowers is gone, this is Thompson’s defensive line now.

4) Tydreke Powell, North Carolina

This just doesn’t seem fair does it? The Tar Heels have put another player on my top 5 defensive linemen list. Donte Paige-Moss a 3rd Tar Heel  defensive lineman just missed making this list. Powell had strong jr season finishing with 47 tackles from the DT position. The NFL has taken notice, as I’ve seen him projected as a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

5) Joe Vellano, Maryland

Joe Vellano is one of the more underrated defensive players in the ACC. He may not be as well known as some of the other defensive players on this list, but he’s coming off a 2nd team All-ACC season at DT. He had 59 tackles last season. He also was Terrapins team leader in sacks with 5. Keep an eye on Vellano for even bigger things in 2011.

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