Examining Auburn’s 2019 defensive line needs with several potential NFL departures

Much like Justin Ferguson does on the Auburn team side, recruiting reporter Benjamin Wolk  will answer the Recruiting Question of the Day. You can ask him questions on Twitter or Facebook. Look for our  Question of the Day each weekday. Go  here  to see our previous answers.

I wrote a little earlier in the year about what Auburn’s defensive line recruiting approach will be in the 2019 class.

The big question: How many of Auburn’s defensive linemen will test NFL waters after the 2018 season?

Dontavius Russell and Andrew Williams will leave regardless following their final seasons of eligibility. Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe will all be eligible to head to the NFL depending on league interest. Brown seems like the safest bet. As for Davidson and Coe, neither seem to have the same level of likelihood, so it’s too early to project. Technically, Daquan Newkirk will be draft eligible if he recovers from injury and makes an insanely fast rise to stardom.

The threat of an immediate defensive line overhaul is near.

Luckily for Auburn, there’s no better man for the job than Rodney Garner.

He has proven time and time again to be capable of unexpected recruiting success. Nobody saw Auburn as a realistic threat for Big Kat Bryant, and the Tigers got him. Auburn wasn’t the initial primary contender for Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson or Antwuan Jackson, and the Tigers hit on all three. Kayode Oladele? Yet another example of a later Garner pull.

So if Auburn feels the need to add five defensive linemen in the 2019 class — many of whom will be called upon to be ready-now guys — Garner will embrace the challenge and likely succeed.

Four names to track at defensive end:

  • 4-star Curtis Fann, Twin City, Ga.
  • 4-star Nathan Pickering, Seminary, Miss.
  • 4-star Justin Eboigbe, Forest Park, Ga.
  • 4-star Jaren Handy, New Augusta, Miss.

Three names to track at defensive tackle:

  • 4-star Jaelin Humphries, Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • 4-star DJ Dale, Pinson, Ala.
  • 4-star Rashad Cheney, Ellenwood, Ga.

Knowing Garner, however, there are some 5-star talents Auburn is working on behind the scenes. And when those recruitments develop, expect the Tigers to remain heavily involved thanks to Garner.

To see all the answers to prior Auburn questions, click here.

The post Examining Auburn’s 2019 defensive line needs with several potential NFL departures appeared first on SEC Country.

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