Defense: Grading the two-deep depth chart

Oct 2, 2021 | 0 comments


Today Inside the Gators takes a closer look at Florida’s defensive two-deep depth chart and assigns a grade to each player based on how they've looked during the first four games of the 2021 season.

Defensive End
PlayerCommentGrade
Zachary Carter

This guy has been a force since the year started. He leads the team with four sacks and seven tackles for loss. He’s terrorized both from the interior and the edge.

A
Princley Umanmielen

The playing time comes in spurts because he’s behind Carter. But, when in there, Umanmielen’s been disruptive even if it doesn’t show up on the sheet.

B+

 

BUCK
PlayerCommentGrade
Brenton Cox Jr.

He hasn’t produced the sack numbers and his 3.5 tackles for loss all came in the last two games. However, he affects plays with his pass rush as he leads the team in hurries and seems like a more willing run defender.

B
Jeremiah Moon

The Alabama native has been a revelation this season. He’s been explosive, pressuring the quarterback and setting the edge.

A
Khris Bogle

Florida tries to work Bogle in on occasion. I think he’s done OK when in there. Still seems primarily like a pass rusher because of his length.

B

 

NOSE
PlayerCommentGrade
Antonio Valentino

I’m a sucker for nose tackles. Valentino’s done a good job as the starter at this position. He’s eaten double teams which allows for one-on-ones with the edge guys and I don’t really see him get blown off the ball. Would love to see more interior pressure but he doesn’t need to with such great edge rushers.

A-
Gervon Dexter

A year under his belt and another year with more experienced tackles in front of him allowed Dexter to flourish these first four games. He was an issue against both Alabama and Tennessee. He’s among best pass-rushing interior defensive linemen in all of college football with a 90.7 pass-rush grade according to ESPN.

A

 

TACKLE
PlayerCommentGrade
Daquan Newkirk

Newkirk doesn’t get as many double teams so you’d like to see him win a little bit more in the trenches. He was a little better at that against Tennessee. However, he’s doing his job and holding blockers so the linebackers are freed up to make plays in the gaps.

B+

 

MIDDLE LINEBACKER
PlayerCommentGrade
Mohamoud Diabate

He’s had to fill in for injured Mike backer Ventrell Miller these last two games. I think he’s really held his own. Diabate’s been quick to line and isn’t afraid to get nose dirty.

B+
Jeremiah Moon

Moon also played a little inside this season and likely will continue to with Miller out. He brought that outside explosion to the inside. He’s had some great well-timed blitzes.

A

 

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER
PlayerCommentGrade
Amari Burney

We saw Burney struggle last year. It’s been kind of the same this year in terms of inconsistency. He’ll make a great play one second then whiff on a tackle the next.

C
Ty’Ron HopperPeople have waited for this guy to get more PT. And this season he has. With Miller down his role expanded. He's done well at inside linebacker. His speed allows him to fly to the line and shoot gaps. However, he does have some issues getting off blocks at times. He had a pass break-up against Tennessee and I hope he can be an LB who affects the passing game.B

 

STAR
PlayerCommentGrade
Tre’Vez Johnson

He’s shown flashes but has been inconsistent. Johnson made some really good tackles but also missed several in the open field these first four games. He’s had some good pass break-ups too. Just shows how truly difficult the STAR position is.

C+
Jadarrius Perkins

He had a promising first two games. He’s clearly the No. 2 behind Johnson so his playing time is limited. Perkins looked a little lost against Tennessee at times though.

B-

 

CORNERBACK
PlayerCommentGrade
Kaiir Elam

Obviously, Florida’s best cover corner. The reason his grade isn’t higher is a missed tackle or two in the open field. He had some great defended passes against Alabama.

A-
Jason Marshall Jr,

This grade might be a bit skewed because it factors in expectations. He might be a five-star kid but the SEC’s built differently. We haven’t been hearing his name in terms of busted coverages and he did well in his first start with Elam out. Still has to clean up some missed tackles though.

B

 

CORNERBACK
PlayerCommentGrade
Avery Helm

That game against FAU was shaky. He was beaten several times but he’s seemed improved over the last two games. His biggest play for me was a great pass break-up on third down against Alabama that was subject to a weak PI call. The “C” balances out his first two games.

C
Elijah Blades

He’s played some but not as much as Marshall or Helm. Part of that’s due to him being new and the other being his injury. He’ll likely get more shots to prove himself though.

INC

 

SAFETY
PlayerCommentGrade
Trey Dean

The most senior and best safety on the team. It’s nice to see Dean’s found a home at this spot. He’s aggressive, a smart player and has made some good plays in the backend.

A
Mordecai McDaniel

McDaniel seems to be learning as the season goes on. He had a pretty big gaffe against Tennessee.

C

 

SAFETY
PlayerCommentGrade
Rashad Torrence

It might seem like a broken record but Torrence had bad missed tackles for big gains against Alabama and Tennessee. He’s busted a coverage but he hasn’t been a complete liability.

B
Trey Dean

Florida hasn’t really used four safeties like in years past.

INC
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