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Purdue Football: So, Uhm, What's The Defense Going to Look Like?

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How is new coordinator Ross Els going to deploy his players? I have no idea, but other than Els, I'm not sure anyone has the foggiest. This is my best guess.

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Spring football is in the books, but Purdue has yet to put out an updated depth chart. Don't worry coach, I got you on this one, just log into Hammer and Rails, check out TheLegend's depth chart, and copy that sucker down, You can go back to your office and work on new and interesting ways to tell every to kiss your ass after you win 7 games this year. Also, those hats aren't going to crease themselves.

(Disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge. I have not personally interviewed anyone regarding my hypothetical depth chart. This is just my personal assessment of the roster, and it might not be any good.)

Defense: 4-2-5

RE:

Gelen Robinson (6'1, 265) or Austin Larkin (6'3, 255)

Antoine Miles (6'3, 250)

NG:

Eddy Wilson (6'4, 305)

Fred Brown (6'1, 290)

DT:

Jake Replogle (6'5, 295)

Keiwan Jones (6'2, 285)

DE:

Evan Panfil (6'5, 270)

Shane Henley (6'3 250)

MIKE LB:

Ja'Whaun Bentley (6'2, 250)

Jimmy Herman (6'1, 230)

SAM LB:

Danny Ezechukwu (6'2, 250)

Markus Bailey (6'1, 230)

SS:

Robert Gregory (6'1, 230)

Evyn Cooper (6'2, 200)

FS:

Leroy Clark (5'10, 200)

Brandon Roberts (5'11, 200)

WS:

Austin Logan (6'0, 200)

Andy Chelf (6'01, 190)

CB1:

Da'Wan Hunte (5'9, 190)

Tim Cason (5'11, 195)

CB2:

Kamal Hardy (5'11, 210)

Mike Little (6'0, 175)


Notes:

Purdue is going to play a good bit of 4-2-5, possibly even play the 4-2-5 as a base defense. I'm not sure how well it fits current personnel, because unless guys like Chelf and Cooper figure it out, or someone like Christopher Parker (JuCo) or Navon Mosely (Fr) can come in this fall and make an impact, Purdue only has 4 safeties for a 3 safety look. In reality, Brandon Roberts is the primary backup for all 3 safety positions at this point.

The defense tackle position is 2 strong at the moment, which is horrifying. At a minimum, you need 4 defensive tackles to rotate, but most teams like at least 5, if not 6 viable options. Ra'Zahn Howard could make 3 defensive tackles, but it's looking more and more likely that he won't be back on the team. That is a killer at nose guard, because Purdue really doesn't have anyone big enough to play that position other than Wilson. Purdue is going to need Lorenzo Neal (Fr) and Anthony Watts (Fr) to come into fall camp ready to roll. Neal in particular has a prototypical nose tackle build, and might jump into the 2 deeps.

Purdue has 1 starting cornerback in Hunte, and after that, it's pretty much a guessing game. I went the the physical and experienced Hardy at #2, but that's sheer speculation on my part. Other than Hunte, this position is totally up in the air, and any number of players, including the 3 freshman coming into fall camp could move in on the #2 position or at least show up on the depth chart.

Purdue is stacked at linebacker, providing some interesting options in terms of sub packages. You will probably see more 3 linebacker looks against run heavy teams like Wisconsin. In that case, you'll have the WS off the field, and replaced with Jimmy Herman. If Bailey's knee is full go, I expect to see a good bit of him this season. He was flashing some serious talent as a freshman before he got Purdue'd in the knee.

If This Were A Video-Game:

If you took away any sort of learning time, and fit a scheme to Purdue's personnel, I'm pretty sure we would line up in a 3-4. We have precious few interior linemen, and a decent selection of linebackers. College teams often struggle to field a 3-4 because it's really hard to find a nose tackle up for the job. Purdue doesn't really have one either, but I think Wilson would do O.K. considering the size of our linebackers behind him.

RE:

Jake Replogle (6'5, 295)

Shane Henley (6'3 250)

NG:

Eddy Wilson (6'4, 305)

Fred Brown (6'1, 290)

LE:

Evan Panfil (6'5, 270)

Chazmyn Turner (6'5 260)

OLB:

Jimmy Herman (6'1, 230)

Gelen Robinson (6'1, 265

MLB:

Danny Ezechukwu (6'2, 250)

Jimmy Herman (6'1, 230)

MLB:

Ja'Whaun Bentley (6'2, 250)

Garrett Hudson (6'3, 240)

OLB:

Markus Bailey (6'1, 230)

Austin Larkin (6'3, 255)

CB1:

Da'Wan Hunte (5'9, 190)

Tim Cason (5'11, 195)

CB2:

Kamal Hardy (5'11, 210)

Mike Little (6'0, 175)

SS:

Robert Gregory (6'1, 230)

Evyn Cooper (6'2, 200)

FS:

Leroy Clark (5'10, 200)

Brandon Roberts (5'11, 200)