Everyone knows defensive linemen are beefy, but Oregon’s squad in 2013 may be one of the largest (and tallest) in recent memory. Even with the graduation of 6-foot-6 tackle Isaac Remington, the Ducks still have seven defensive linemen 6-5 or taller. All of the Ducks on the line are also superior athletes, not just big bodies.
Stetzon Bair (younger brother of former Duck standout Brandon Bair) is the tallest member of the 2013 flock, standing 6-9, 270 pounds. Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner come in at 6-8 and 6-7 respectively, and it’s been reported that Buckner now tips the scales at around 270 pounds (15-20 more than last season). Other notables include senior Taylor Hart (photo below) at 6-6 and redshirt freshman Cody Carriger, also at 6-6. I mention Carriger because he weighs only 235 pounds but is exceptionally fast and quick for a d-lineman; he could be a contributor in the future as he adds more bulk. Hart had eight sacks last season, and is quietly Oregon’s best performer on the defensive line.
Coupled with the 6-5 pairing of Christian French and T.J. Daniel at defensive end, this abundance of height across the entire d-line will likely have an effect on opponents this season. Shorter quarterbacks will have issues seeing receivers downfield with Armstead, Buckner and Hart in hulking pursuit. Even when they don’t get their hands on the quarterback, they can still use their length to bat down passes (J.J. Watt, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, had 17 passes deflected last season playing defensive end). Thank Chip Kelly and his staff for doing such a great job in recruiting “long” athletes.
Almost too excited for kickoff – this is gonna be the year! Go Ducks!