The Farrell Files are back looking at the top five defenders who could push for the Heisman next season.
1. Will Anderson, Alabama
It was a crime that Anderson didn’t even make the final ceremony last season after leading the country in sacks and tackles for loss. He’s an absolutely electric player off the edge and has as good a shot as any defender has had in the last 20 years to win the trophy from the defensive side of the ball.
2. Nolan Smith, Georgia
With the departures of so many guys off of the Bulldogs’ national championship-winning defense, Smith is now the unquestioned leader along with Jalen Carter. He’s got exceptional quickness as an edge rusher and should pile up big numbers in 2022.
3. Myles Murphy, Clemson
Murphy has been simply phenomenal in his first two seasons for the Tigers, as he’s garnered some of the highest PFF grades in the country at defensive end. He’s got a chance to put up double-digit sacks, especially as teams focus on double-teaming Bryan Bresee on the inside.
4. Noah Sewell, Oregon
We all saw what new coach Dan Lanning can do with a super-athletic middle linebacker last season, where Nakobe Dean had one of the best seasons we’ve seen at that position. Sewell has a lot of the same qualities that Dean did but is an even better pass rusher.
5. Denzel Burke, Ohio State
As a true freshman in 2021, Burke assumed the CB1 spot for the Buckeyes early in the season and never let it out of his grasp. One of the best cover corners in the country, he can run with anyone yet still has the frame and strength to press at the line of scrimmage.