Commentary

Better defense: LSU or Alabama?

Our scouts debate which team has the stronger unit heading into Saturday's showdown

Updated: November 4, 2011, 2:46 PM ET
By Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl | Scouts Inc.
Alabama-LSU DefenseIcon SMI, US Presswire

Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. break down all kinds of tape on the nation's top college players while evaluating prospects for the NFL draft. But they don't always agree. So we asked them to take sides in picking which players, position groups and teams they like better in a series of head-to-head debates.

Question: Which team has the better defense, the LSU Tigers or Alabama Crimson Tide?

WEIDL: Debating whether LSU or Alabama has the better defense is basically choosing which is No. 1 and which is No. 1-A. Both are impressive units, but my preference at this point is LSU. The Tide certainly has its share of quality players and top NFL prospects on the defensive side of the ball, and Alabama has plenty of experienced defenders. However, LSU simply has more overall talent, especially along the defensive line and in the secondary.

I've seen the Tigers play live, and the NFL bodies they have up front are impressive. Ends Sam Montgomery, Kendrick Adams and Barkevious Mingo are fast, long and can wreak havoc off the edge, and they also show great range when stacking the edge against the run. Then you have tackles Michael Brockers and Anthony Johnson -- a true freshman who looks like he's 30 years old -- disrupting things in the middle. The Tigers clearly have the personnel advantage in that area.

Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.