Before the Sooners' 31-14 win over Iowa in the Insight Bowl, Jake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon analyzed each Oklahoma position group. Now, the SoonerNation staff is giving each position a grade for its performance in 2011.
You couldn’t asked much more from ends Frank Alexander and Ronnell Lewis, who were all-conference performers. Backup ends R.J. Washington (two sacks in the Insight Bowl) and David King had breakout seasons, as well. Inside, the trio of Casey Walker, Jamarcus McFarland and Stacy McGee were solid, though not spectacular like the ends. Still, this was one of the better d-lines of the Stoops era.
- Jake Trotter
The only bad thing you can say about the Sooners defensive line is that the tackles weren’t as consistently disruptive as Sooner fans are used to. But Sooner fans are used to Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy. Walker, McFarland and McGee were solid for the majority of the year helping OU hold teams to 3.7 yards per carry. At defensive end, Frank Alexander was outstanding and Ronnell Lewis finally found a home at end. OU’s four-man defensive end rotation was one of the Big 12’s best.
- Brandon Chatmon
The highlight of the team, no matter what side of the ball you’re discussing. Ends Lewis and Alexander created havoc all season and should both get selected in the NFL Draft in April. Other players like Washington, King and Walker all had some big-time moments. Depth was clearly a concern for OU in 2011, except on the defensive line as Bobby Jack Wright did a fantastic job with the defensive ends.
- Bob Przybylo
This will be the only defensive group, I suspect, that gets a unanimous 'A' from our staff. Alexander and Lewis were among the best at their position in the Big 12 and both had solid seasons. The defensive tackles didn't dominate but they held their own in the pass-happy Big 12. Though the line struggled in Oklahoma's late-season loss to Oklahoma State, their overall performance for the season earns high marks.
- Dane Beavers
What do you think?