Clemson football has one obvious overwhelming advantage headed into the season.
One of the strengths, if not THE strength of the 2022 Clemson football team is the defensive line which features a bevy of eventual NFL talent.
I’m often critical of media when I think they’ve gotten something wrong, or write something just for clicks or controversy, so it’s only fair that I say something good when I believe they’re on point and I believe Josh Pate is on point on this one.
"…obviously, I think it is the best defensive line in football. They got Bryan Bresee back from injury, they got Myles Murphy, those are two surefire first round guys if they’re healthy. Tyler Davis is there, he’s a senior, Xavier Thomas is in that mix. Here’s how deep they are, I saw Brad Crawford write this the other day. They’re so deep that K.J. Henry, who is not a bust, he is a fifth year, former five star player, he’s a rotational guy here. Again, I want to stress – he’s not a bust, they’re just so deep that’s the quality of player they rotate."
Pate goes on to state that if Clemson wins the title this year, it’ll be because the defensive line gets it done.
Pate is one of my favorites because I think he’s fair in his criticism and he’s also not afraid to go against the crowd when it comes to Dabo and Clemson. That doesn’t mean I always agree with Pate, but I do on this one.
If they stay healthy, this defensive front could be the best in Clemson history
The key part of the statement for me was up front: “If they’re healthy”. Much like the offensive line, it’s not a question of if there’ll be injuries, but rather when, who and how bad is it.
This defense has a chance to special, much like the 2018 group was. Yes, there are holes to fill and question marks to answer, that’s the nature of college football, especially these days.
Sure, I’d feel more comfortable if Brent Venables was running this group, but if we’ve got to break in a new defensive coordinator this group has a chance to make him look like a genius right out of the box.