Inside The Numbers: The Impact Of The Schematic Change On The Virginia Tech Defensive Line

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Virginia Tech
Emmanuel Belmar was a much-improved player in Virginia Tech’s new scheme until he got hurt. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech’s defensive line – especially the defensive tackles – were impacted by the transition from Bud Foster to Justin Hamilton more than any other unit.  Today we’ll take a look at the PFF numbers from 2019 compared to 2020, and talk a little bit about what we could expect from the ends and tackles in 2021.

Defensive End: The New Scheme Was Helpful

Let’s compare the defensive ends’ grades from 2019 to 2020.  First, 2019…

Emmanuel Belmar: 69.6
TyJuan Garbutt: 69.5
Eli Adams: 64.7
Jaevon Becton: 52.5
Jaylen Griffin: 51.5

And now here’s the list for 2020 (100+ snaps)…

Emmanuel Belmar: 77.8 (5 games)
Amare Barno: 67.2
Justus Reed: 65.9
Jaylen Griffin: 59.3
Robert Wooten: 46.1

Belmar was having a great season before he was injured.  Robert Wooten was the low grader, but we have to remember that he was a true freshman and was quarantined for much of camp in August, thus he didn’t get the