Foxsports.com recently ranked Ole Miss’ defensive line ninth in the country and fifth in the SEC behind Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Missouri.
The Rebels will return sophomore Breeland Speaks, senior D.J. Jones, senior Isaac Gross, and sophomore Ross Donelly on the interior of the offensive line. A potential first-round pick in Marquis Haynes and three-year starter Fadol Brown return to the Rebels to man the defensive end positions, while John Youngblood, the Chucky Mullins courage award recipient, and Victor Evans will provide depth at the defensive end spots.
Ole Miss’ defensive line was led last year by Haynes who totaled 16.5 tackles for loss, while recording 10 sacks on the year. D.J. Jones recorded 5.5 TFLs and four sacks on the 2015 season. In totality, the Rebels’ defensive line recorded 53 TFLs and 24 sacks on the season.
The Rebels will also be adding true freshmen Benito Jones and Charles Wiley to the defensive line mix. Wiley is a four-star defensive end from Georgia that could factor into playing time immediately for the Rebels, while Jones is a former four-star prospect from Wayne County. Jones’ first step is rather similar to Isaac Gross’, giving him the ability to penetrate and make plays in the backfield.
Ole Miss lost talented members of its defensive line depth after the 2015 season, as Robert Nkmeidche declared for the NFL draft and Woodrow Hamilton, a key cog in Ole Miss’ defensive line success the past three years, graduated. The Rebels also lost C.J. Johnson who would drop down on third downs last year and rush the passer.
Predicated 2016 Defensive line depth chart
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.