1. Christian Wilkins, Clemson (6-4, 300)
2. Maurice Hurst, Michigan (6-2, 290)
3. Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State (6-3, 295)
4. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama (6-2, 308)
5. Vita Vea, Washington (6-5, 340)
Other Notable DL: Derrick Nnadi (Florida State), Harrison Phillips (Stanford), Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama), BJ Hill (NC State), Justin Jones (NC State), Jerry Tillery (Notre Dame), Rasheem Green (USC), Lowell Lotulelei (Utah)
Position outlook: There is quite a bit of top-end talent on the defensive line with this class. Wilkins is an explosive 300-pound defensive tackle who wins with explosion and power at the line of scrimmage.
He couples this with a high motor, making him a very difficult player for offensive linemen to block. His ability to also rush the passer ensure his spot in the first round.
Hurst, Jones, and Payne are also potential first-round talents who can also be highly disruptive in the trenches.
Vea, on the other hand, is a puzzling player to figure out. He’s a freak athlete for his size. He’s a giant 340-pound nose tackle who can also rush off the edge or move smoothly out in space. He is even the lead blocker on the wedge of Washington’s kick return unit.
However, his motor is very inconsistent, and up to this point he has only flashed game-changing ability. His impact on games needs to be more steady.
Dean Lowry is also a young player who could play an expanded role before the year is over, and Quentin Dial has been solid as a veteran free agent pickup.
Defensive line will probably not be an immediate need next season.
However, they could always use another player or two to add to the mix to provide competition and depth, especially if Montravius Adams remains inactive during the season.