Jack Follman’s 2022 Preseason Pac-12 DL Rankings

Posted on June 9, 2022

  By Jack Follman, SportsPac12

This year’s pre-season defensive line group is super deep.

It’s a rare group this season where there are a lot more than 12 players who are All-Conference type players. It’s also a good mix of interior defenders and edge/pass rushers.

I’ll also note that while a lot of times players that are closer to traditional defensive ends get listed as linebackers now, I keep players I feel are more traditional DL than LB as DL.

Brandon Dorlus | Sean Meagher/The Oregonian

1. Brandon Dorlus, Junior, Defensive Tackle, Oregon

Dorlus came on like a force last year and was one of the most valuable defenders in the league, really helping the Ducks shore up their run defense.

He’s one of the most versatile defenders in the nation and a darkhorse Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

Zion Tupuola-Fetui | 247Sports

2. Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Junior, Defensive End, Washington

Can ZTF get back his 2020 form where he had an all-time great three-game run after an Achilles injury? That’s the big question. Huge potential if he can.

Tuli Tuipulotu | 247Sports

3. Tuli Tuipulotu, Junior, Defensive End, USC

Tuli’s been breaking out the past couple of seasons and it feels like he still has room to grow. He has size, power, pursuit, and major All-American and NFL potential.

Popo Aumavae | Oregon Athletics

4. Popo Aumavae, Senior, Defensive Tackle, Oregon

Like Dorlus, Aumavae really stepped up in 2021 and helped the Ducks win the North. He’s a powerful force in the middle who might be the best run defender up front in the Conference.

Ron Stone Jr. | Washington State Athletics

5. Ron Stone Jr., Junior, Defensive End, Washington State

Stone was deadly on the edge in 2021 and one of the best Cougar defensive ends in quite some time. He had more than 10 tackles for loss and earned All-Conference honors.

Junior Tafuna | Joel Davidson, UteZone, 247Sports

6. Junior Tafuna, Sophomore, Defensive Tackle, Utah

Tafuna was one of the best freshman defenders in the nation last year. Now he’s ready to develop into the next stud defensive tackle at Utah, where they seem to grow on trees.

Kyon Barrs | Arizona Athletics

7. Kyon Barrs, Sophomore, Defensive End, Arizona

Barrs made Second-Team All-Pac-12 last year as a major bright spot on Arizona’s defense. He finished with five sacks and looks poised to be even better in 2022.

Brennan Jackson | Whitney Thornton/CougFancom

8. Brennan Jackson, Junior, Defensive End, Washington State

A two-time All-Pac-12 selection, Jackson is a great pass rusher who’s scary teamed with Stone.

Van Fillinger | 247Sports

9. Van Fillinger, Sophomore, Defensive End, Utah

Like Tafuna, Fillinger flashed as a freshman and Kyle Whittingham and company have a track record of developing excellent defensive linemen.

I think Fillinger is their next star on the edge.

Tuli Letuligasenoa | Alika Jenner/Getty Images

10. Tuli Letuligasenoa, Junior, Defensive Tackle, Washington

A big run-stuffer who can collapse the pocket, Letuligasenoa has been a mainstay for the Huskies for years.

He could still develop a little more and turn into a true All-Conference player in 2022.

Jalen Sami | Cliff Grassmick/Daily Camera, MediaNews Group

11. Jalen Sami, Junior, Defensive Tackle, Colorado

The 6-foot-6, 325-pound monster up front was one of the best players on the Colorado defense in 2021 and is one of the most experienced veterans in the Conference.

He should be a rock for the Buffs in 2022.

Nick Figueroa | USC Athletics

12. Nick Figueroa, Senior, Defensive End, USC

The big, talented veteran looks to get back to his pre-2021 form after struggling with an injury last year.

He’s strong on the edge and has racked up tackles for loss throughout his career as a Trojan.

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