Steele: Utah's defensive line ranks atop big boys Alabama, Clemson

Defense end Bradlee Anae had eight sacks for the Utes last season. AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Editor's note: This article was adapted from Phil Steele's college football preview magazine, which is available here.

Which college football programs have the best defensive lines heading into 2019? The top pick returns its entire front four and is poised for another strong season. Here are the top 15.

1. Utah Utes

The Utes continue to produce elite defensive lines, as this position is the primary recruiting emphasis here. This season is no different, as all four starters return after allowing just 100 yards per game on the ground (No. 5 in FBS) while collecting 37 sacks. Defensive end Bradlee Anae (eight sacks in 2018) and defensive tackles Leki Fotu and John Penisini are listed as either first or second on my All-Pac-12 preseason team, with each player likely having a future in the NFL.