3. Defensive Preview, Projected Starting Lineup and Depth Charts
For current UCLA Football roster, click HERE.
Tom Bradley’s defense is a well-oiled machine. Entering his third year, Bradley is looking to take another step forward with his players who were the saviors of this program last season.
If there is one main concern, it is the loss of so many players to the NFL Draft and graduation. The line loses three players as Eddie Vanderdoes, Takkarist McKinley and Eli Ankou have now departed, though the current line is not void of talent. Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner will stabilize the line and adding the pure athleticism of Jaelan Phillips will help hold opponents back and continue to improve the run defense.
Projected Starting Lineup – Defense
- DE Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
- DT Matt Dickerson
- DT Boss Tagaloa
- DE Jaelan Phillips
- OLB Josh Woods
- MLB Lokeni Toailoa
- OLB Kenny Young
- CB Nate Meadors
- S Jaleel Wadood
- S Adarius Pickett
- NB: Darnay Holmes
- CB Denzel Fisher
- Notable reserves: DT Boss Tagaloa, DE Keisean Lucier-South, LB Krys Barnes, S Will Lockett
Fabian Moreau and Marcus Rios have also departed, but that is curable as the defensive backs are quite possibly the deepest position group on the UCLA Football team. The cornerback positions are still getting molded but expect Nate Meadors and Denzel Fisher to get starting nods, though freshman Darnay Holmes could see time with the first string. If he is not playing corner, expect him to get time at the nickel position.