Virginia Tech Defensive Line: A Two-Deep At Both Positions

Virginia Tech
J.C. Price should have a solid defensive line at Virginia Tech in 2022. (Jon Fleming)

Virginia Tech’s defensive line will feature a lot of names that we’re used to, but one defensive end is expected to take up his spot in the rotation for the first time in his career. Let’s talk about the Hokies’ two-deep at defensive end and defensive tackle in today’s article.

Defensive End Sack Production: A Thing Of The Past?

2021: Amare Barno and TyJuan Garbutt with 3.5
2020: Amare Barno and Justus Reed with 6.5
2019: Emmanuel Belmar with 4
2018: Houshun Gaines with 4.5
2017: Trevon Hill with 5.5
2016: Ken Ekanem with 7.5
2015: Ken Ekanem with 4.5
2014: Ken Ekanem with 9.5
2013: James Gayle with 6

You get the point.

First off, it’s not quite as easy for defensive ends to get to the quarterback these days. Gone are the days of seven-step drops out of an I-formation. Protections schemes have gotten more advanced, quarterbacks are more athletic and more capable of escaping pressure, and they are also more inclined to get rid of the ball to short-range options in space when pressured. All of that means there aren’t quite as many sacks to be had for defensive ends these days, though a completely dominant one can still get double digits. Ken Ekanem was the closest to double digits back in 2014, but nobody else has really come close.