Armchair Analysis


How will the D-Line Fair for 2009?

By: Harvey Birdman

I’ll start today with our D-linemen. On our Defensive line, I show the following payers who will obviously be in the rotation and some guys who will be backups and/or contribute. I see these 4 rotating on the interior.

Mike Blanc 6’4″ 288
Zack Clayton 6’3″ 281
Jake Ricks 6’4″ 292
Nick Fairley 6’5″ 293

Backup could come from

Derrick Lykes 6’2 284
Jamar Travis 6’0 308

Blanc, Ricks and Clayton all have a wealth of experience and I feel great about them.  Fairley comes in with good size and credentials but still an unknown with no SEC experience.  I hated losing Jomarcus Savage, which really left us thin in the numbers department.  Certainly, you’d like to have a couple more guys to plug in but if they’re still running a 4-3 (I’m making a big assumption there because I don’t know what Roof runs) you realistically need 4-5 guys ready to consistently go in and out of the game.  Lykes had a good spring and of course, Travis is a true freshman.  I can’t see Travis redshirting with the possibility of being in the rotation right off the bat if we get a couple of guys banged up.  We have decent size across the front but I still would like to have that 300+ lb. guy to stuff the middle.

The ends are a big strength with tons of talent coming back.  You definitely have to start with preseason All-American in many publications, Antonio Coleman.  To me, Coleman makes the huge, athletic plays while Michael Goggans is about as consistent as any end I’ve seen at Auburn.  I’m also ready for Antoine Carter to have a real breakout year.  He came to Auburn at about 225 and was unblockable, getting a lot of PT early.  He’s put on a lot of weight and I’m wondering if he might be better off in the 235-240 range.  As it looks right now, the ends go:

Antonio Coleman: 6’3 261
Michael Goggans 6’3″ 257
Antoine Carter 6’4″ 263
Cameron Henderson 6’5″ 230
Nosa Eguae 6’2 244

On another note, I haven’t heard squat about Gabe McKenzie this year.  He moved back to TE late last year but I thought he played very well at DE during his time there.  Anyone know if he’s still in the mix on either side of the ball?  He’s a beast of an athlete so I hope they find a place for him.




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