Opponents' Top Tight Ends and Offensive Linemen
|Thursday, July 27, 2017, 11:21 AM- -|
Opponents’ Top Tight Ends and Offensive Linemen
We all have seen the high expectations for Clemson’s defensive line this upcoming season. Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant have been ranked as the nation’s top defensive line by several pre-season publications, but what kinds of offensive lines and tight ends will Clemson face this season?
The good news for the Clemson defensive staff is most of the offensive lines on the schedule have a lot of questions marks. Phil Steele ranks Auburn’s offensive line as nations’ eighth best offensive line. He ranks FSU number 22, NC State 31, South Carolina 38, Louisville 55 and Boston College 66th. So, if Steele is right, the Tigers face only one top 20 offensive line this season.
Auburn’s Braden Smith might be the best offensive lineman the Tigers will face this season. Auburn also returns Darius James, another senior returning starter at tackle.
Florida State returns three starters on the offensive line, but I still consider the front a major question mark for the Seminoles.
Louisville returns both tackles including Geron Christian, but I don't know anyone who would consider this a strength of the Cardinal offense.
The good news for NC State is they have four returning starters on the offensive line. The bad news is none are great difference makers. Senior guard Tony Adams is perhaps the leader of this unit.
South Carolina has a very good player in Zack Bailey. The first problem here is they have had to move him to tackle. The other problem is the lack of overall depth and talent across the rest of the front. New coach Eric Wolford should help a little.
As far as tight ends are concerned, South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst is perhaps the best tight end Clemson will face this season. A season ago, he caught 48 passes for 616 yards and a touchdown.
Cam Serigne of Wake Forest is perhaps the best tight end in the ACC. He had 30 catches for 426 yards and three scores.
FSU’s Ryan Izzo is one of the better tight ends in the league. Last season he had 19 receptions for 227 yards and one score.
Much like the offensive lines, Clemson will not face a long list of All-American candidates at tight end this season either.
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