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2016 Texas Tech Football Position Preview: Defensive Line

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Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing this week and going through the next couple of weeks, I will be previewing different position groups for the upcoming 2016 Tech football team. This week, we will be previewing defensive line.

This week kicks off our first look at the defensive side of the football for the Red Raiders. It’s going to be very difficult to have complete positivity about this side of the football team.

Speaking on the whole of the defense, they have nowhere to go but up. That’s quite the white flag waving of saying this defense was not good last year. I know that. You know that. The team recognizes that. That does not mean this year will be as bad as last.

Defenses and teams in general have to play together in order to maximize their potential. You can have sides of the ball or individual players that are fantastic in specific their fields, but to use the most cliché quote of all-time: "you’re only as good as your weakest player." The New Orleans Pelicans were 30-52 this season with arguably the best center in the NBA. The Los Angeles Angels have not won a playoff game since Mike Trout made his MLB debut. Texas Tech won 7 games last season in a quarterback-driven league with a quarterback that was the best in the conference.

To take a deeper look into the defensive line, here are some analytics from FootballOutsiders.com (the rankings are out of 128 teams):

The defense has to be better, and that has to start with stopping the running game. Getting a push from the defensive line would help in that fact.

Breiden Fehoko is a fan-freaking-tastic football player. He is still a young football player, and was thrown into the middle of the fire last year as a true freshman. I loved this play last year:

The rest of the defensive line depth chart looks like this:

DE: Zach Barnes, Kolin Hill

DT: Broderick Washington, Ondre Pipkins

DT: Breiden Fehoko, Lonzell Gilmore

DE: Gary Moore, Kris Williams

Fehoko is the type of defensive player that you can build a defensive line around. With a year under his belt, the hope is that Fehoko can continue on that path to leading this unit and make it better than it was a year ago. I believe that we will see Fehoko take another step this year, and that will help the guys around him immensely.

Thanks to Fox Sports and the Big 12 for the clip.