Projecting Alabama’s depth along the defensive line entering the 2022 season

·3 min read

Football is back, Tide fans! Alabama will kick the 2022 football season off in one week and the anticipation continues to mount.

As is the case in most seasons, questions regarding the starting lineup for week one are dominating message boards and Twitter threads. Well, with the season just around the corner, I thought I would start dropping my educated projections of who you might see take the first snaps at each position group.

Some groups are obvious such as quarterback and linebacker, but nevertheless, we will take a look at each group and give a little insight into who you might see take the field against Utah State on Sept. 3.

Today we are going to take a look at a group that has plenty of depth but maybe lacks a bit of star power at the moment: the defensive line.

This list will be a touch different because I believe you are going to see several different packages on the defensive line for Alabama, so I will simply list all of the players who I project to have significant playing time.

Let’s roll!

Justin Eboigbe

Alabama defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe (92) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern Miss, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

[autotag]Justin Eboigbe[/autotag] has been receiving playing time for the Tide since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2019. While he doesn’t make a ton of impact plays for Alabama, Eboigbe is as solid as they come.

DJ Dale

Alabama defensive lineman DJ Dale (94) sacks Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the 86th Cotton Bowl in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.

Like Eboigbe [autotag]DJ Dale[/autotag] has been stuffing opposing offenses since his freshman season in 2019. Dale started to play strong toward the end of the 2021 season and should be in for a solid senior season in 2022.

Byron Young

Dec. 5, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Byron Young (47) celebrates after a sack against the LSU Tigers during the second half at Tiger Stadium. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

[autotag]Byron Young[/autotag] was also a part of that solid defensive line class in 2019 and like Eboigbe and Dale, Young has played a lot of meaningful snaps for the Tide. Young could be in for a breakout senior season.

Tim Smith

Jan. 10, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Tim Smith (50) against the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

[autotag]Tim Smith[/autotag] is entering his junior season in Tuscaloosa and has shown flashes of star potential but not put it all together yet. 2022 is a big season for the big defensive lineman from Florida.

Jamil Burroughs

Sept. 18, 2021; Gainesville, Florida; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jamil Burroughs (98) against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

[autotag]Jamil Burroughs[/autotag] is another guy who has shown flashes of playmaking ability from the interior defensive line. Burroughs is coming off a strong spring for the Tide and could be one of the more dominating forces for the Tide in 2022.

Jaheim Oatis

Columbia Wildcats defensive end Jaheim Oatis (90) waits on the sidelines during the third quarter of a football game against the Poplarville Hornets in Poplarville, Mississippi, on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.

Now we come to the true freshman phenom in the massive man from Mississippi, [autotag]Jaheim Oatis[/autotag]. Oatis arrived in Tuscaloosa in January weighing in at over 400 pounds and has since lost over 70 pounds. Oatis has been one of the more impressive defensive linemen during fall camp and should see quite a bit of playing time this fall.

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire