Sunday, July 22, 2012
Scouts: UNC's D-line to remain strong
By Craig Haubert
With former coach Butch Davis, North Carolina had some excellent defensive linemen, and new head coach Larry Fedora is working to make sure that unit remains a strong one for the Tar Heels. After landing raw but promising in-state defensive end Nazair Jones (Roanoke Rapids, N.C./Roanoke Rapids), North Carolina picked up two commitments from teammates out of New Jersey, led by ESPN 150 defensive tackle Greg Webb (Erial, N.J./Timber Creek).
The former Penn State verbal is a nice pickup and could be called upon to contribute quickly. Lacking a bit in ideal height, Webb does carry good bulk, displays good playing strength and is capable of being an explosive and active presence in the trenches. He needs to strive for more consistency in areas, but demonstrates the tools to be a tough run-defender who can use his somewhat compact build to gain leverage and can locate the ball well and displays the ability to engage, read and react. He also runs well for his size, looks to give good effort for an interior player, and will work to finish the play. He can also be productive as a pass rusher with Bull Rush ability and he also flashes a nice "quick swim" move, but needs to keep developing a pass-rush arsenal that suits his strengths as a player.
His teammate Dajaun Drennon is a good pickup as well. The high three-star displays a good initial burst off the ball and the ability to get up-field and be disruptive. He needs to keep developing physically and as a player, but does show upside to be a good D-end at the college level, and he could develop into a nice edge rusher for them.
These are three good pickups for North Carolina along the defensive line. Almost all of the key D-linemen who were in Chapel Hill with Davis are gone or getting ready to move on, and the defensive front is an area of need for this new staff. It will be tough to match the type of talent that was at that position, but Fedora has picked up some quality prospects in an effort to reload -- the significant at this stage being Webb, who might be the most ready to contribute and might need to.