UCLA Football 2018: Projecting the Depth Chart – Defensive Line

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Jermaine Eluemunor
COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Jermaine Eluemunor /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 7: Defensive line/assistant head coach Jerry Azzinaro of the Philadelphia Eagles watches his team warm up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 7, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 7: Defensive line/assistant head coach Jerry Azzinaro of the Philadelphia Eagles watches his team warm up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 7, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Go Joe Bruin continues to look at the UCLA football team and project the depth chart heading into the season. Today we examine the defensive line.

Things are getting violent for the UCLA football team as the defense is looking to change the perception that they are no longer a team to be run over. Instead, they want to do the running over themselves.

DEPTH CHART PROJECTIONS: Special Teams | Defensive Backs | Linebackers

Defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro and defensive line coach Vince Ohgobaase want their front line to attack hard and to attack often. This will all happen based in a 3-4 defensive scheme, but we expect them to show a lot of different looks, especially with help on the edge where the Bruins will be incorporating a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker position.

Last year the Bruins had a horrible run defense as they were near the bottom of the NCAA, giving up an inexcusable 287.4 yards per game. Though things won’t change overnight, the defense should be able to climb a few spots in the stat column under the guidance of their new coaches. So who is going to do it? Let us start with the defensive end spot.

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Defensive Tackle/End

  1. Osa Odighizuwa, 6-2, 280, R-So.
  2. Moses Robinson-Carr, 6-4, 280, So.
  3. Tyler Manoa, 6-4, 290, Fr.
  4. Winston Polite, 6-3, 265, Fr.

This position will be a big help to the DE/OLB. Not only do they have to be aggressive in rushing but also aggressive in blocking. The best candidate for that is Osa Odighizuwa who grew into his position last year. He is one of the smaller Bruin DLs but looks to be one of the more determined. He was still learning last season and had a few misses, but he was also able to figure a few things out. Though he only had 15 tackles, 5.5 of those were for a loss.

Moses Robinson-Carr is also a candidate for the starting position as he has shown a lot of progress since converting from the tight end spot since the end of last season. He was quite a noticeable figure on the defensive line in spring and made strides in his new role, but now he has to put it into action as he has no game time as a DL. He should naturally adapt to the position with time, especially since he is very reactive.

Tyler Manoa is a 4-star recruit that could make an impact on that side of the line. With his height and speed, he should fit seemessly into this position.