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Jun
30
2016

Ranking the 5 best Defensive Linemen in the ACC for 2016.

Walker

We turn the page now to the ACC’s best players on Defense start with the Defensive Linemen.

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1) DeMarcus Walker, Florida State

Add DeMarcus Walker to the long list of elite Florida State Defensive Linemen that they seem to turn out year after year. Walker recorded 10.5 sacks, and 15 tackles for loss last year, and while he is not the classic FSU speed rusher, his power creates havoc in opposing backfields. He’s projected as a 2nd or 3rd round NFL Draft, and a solid season could see him be a 1st round NFL pick.

2) Carlos Watkins, Clemson

Like FSU, Clemson has reached a point where they just keeping churning out NFL caliber defensive linemen. Carlos Watkins is another. The 6-3 300 lb defensive tackles is ranked the #1 senior player at his position by CBSSportsline. A tremendous interior defensive player, Watkins had 34 tackles with 3.5 sacks. He could be a 1st round NFL pick, and I haven’t seen any projections that have him going past the 3rd round.

3) Ejaun Price, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Ejaun Price is a sack machine. He had 11.5 last year which was the most by a Pitt player since 2000. He was named 1st team All-ACC after an excellent 2015. Against Louisville he had a ridiculous 6 Tackles For Loss and 5 sacks. Price has persevered through ton on injuries and was granted a 6th year of eligibility to cause more headaches for ACC Offensive coordinators.

4) Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Clemson’s 2nd entry into this list is Christian Wilkins. Only a sophomore the 6-3 300 lb is athletic and is described by Clemson coach Dabo Swinney as a dynamic player. SportingNews had him on their freshman All-American list, and many feel he could eventually be a 1st or 2nd round NFL pick.

5) Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech lost most of their starting defensive line from 2015. The good news is talented DE Ken Ekanem returns. Ekanmen has 14 sacks and 24 tackles for loss the last two years. He’s shown flashes of being a great player during his career and was a 3rd team All-ACC selection last year. I’m expecting  a big season out of him this year.

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