Michigan Football: Wolverines defense loaded with talent

Michigan football’s defense reloads for 2020

Last month’s NFL Draft saw five Michigan football defenders have their names called. Uche, Hudson, Danna, Metellus, and Glasgow all played big roles on Don Brown’s defense last season. Replacing their production won’t be easy.

One of the constant themes, while Brown has been the defensive coordinator, has been the ability to reload the defense.

In each of Brown’s four seasons leading the defense, Michigan’s unit has listed among the top 12 in the NCAA in total defense, with three seasons in the top three. Per the M Go Blue website.

That speaks to Brown’s ability to coach up the players that he has and put them in a position to succeed.

The defense in 2020 is reloading with the likes of Paye, Hutchinson, McGrone, and many more.

One of Don Brown’s best defenses?

Michigan football is bringing back a lot of experience on defense. All three levels of the defense -defensive line, linebackers, and the secondary- will blend experience with untapped potential.

Anchored by fifth-year senior and captain Carlo Kemp, the D-line could be the most talented position group on the team. Hutchinson and Paye are back to form the “Salt and Pepper” duo for another season. Those three combined for 12 sacks in 2019.

Chris Hinton, Mazi Smith, and Donovan Jeter will provide some beef to the interior of the defensive line. They will receive more playing time and look to take advantage of their increased roles.

Don Brown talked to the media the other day and mentioned the likes of David Ojabo, Taylor Upshaw, and Luiji Vilain. Building depth along the defensive line is important. Having 6-8 contributors improves the strength of the line as a whole.

Moving on to the linebackers, Cam McGrone and Josh Ross are an electric duo. McGrone got an opportunity to play last season in part because of the injury to Ross. The two will provide a lot of playmaking in the middle of the field.

Michael Barrett looks to be the heir to Khaleke Hudson at the viper position. The viper is asked to do a lot in Brown’s defense. If you look at Hudson and Peppers, it takes an extremely athletic player to do the job. Barrett will provide that for the Wolverines.

The secondary is bringing back players that have starting experience. Ambry Thomas and Brad Hawkins are the seniors in the group that includes Daxton Hill and Vincent Gray.

Hill and Gray showed great potential last season and are going to be counted on to take the next step as second-year starters.

The speed of the secondary is something to note. Ambry and Dax are two of the fastest players on the team and can hang with the best receivers in the Big Ten. In a man to man scheme that is very important.

One final note

Michigan’s defense is bringing back a lot of talent for the 2020 season and that will give the Wolverines a chance to win every week.

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The biggest question is going to be how they play against the Buckeyes. Results have been poor the last two seasons and that needs to change for the defense to be considered elite.