With training camp beginning in earnest in a couple of weeks, I’m going to break down some of the position battles as the team tries to make a leap from a horrendous 1-win season. Today, I’m starting with the defensive line.
At defensive end, shiny new No. 1 pick Myles Garrett will lead the charge on the right side with Emmanuel Ogbah holding down the left side. Jamie Meder is Garrett’s primary backup with second-year player Xavier Cooper also in the mix. On the left side, Desmond Bryant and Carl Nassib will vie for playing time with Ogbah.
Danny Shelton continues as the starter at nose tackle with rookies Larry Ogunjobi and Caleb Brantley (who looks to stay now that he is not being charged with assault) are vying to unseat him. It’s one of the more interesting camp battles.
Position grade: B-
If he’s healthy, Garrett will be an immediate improvement in the pass rush. I expect all three of the top nose tackle players to get significant playing time this season under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ multiple-front scheme. The left side needs to provide a player who can consistently rush the passer. This is a young group with some promise, but nowhere near the threat that other teams have on the defensive line.