Starting this week we'll be examining the strongest and weakest positions on each Big 12 team heading into summer workouts and preseason camp.
We continue the series with Kansas Jayhawks:
Strongest position: Linebacker
It was strange to see a Kansas defense that didn't feature former All-Big 12 linebacker Ben Heeney making plays from sideline-to-sideline a year ago. Yet the linebacker position did not become a weakness after Heeney's departure following the 2014 season.
South Carolina transfer Marcquis Roberts and Joe Dineen Jr. stepped in to finish in the top three in tackles on the Jayhawks with Roberts recording 71 stops and Dineen making 86 tackles. A former running back, Dineen had double-digit tackles in four games as a sophomore including a 16-tackle performance against West Virginia. Roberts stepped right into the lineup to record at least five tackles in his first seven games at Kansas.
Behind the starting duo, Courtney Arnick provides experience and versatility as a senior who has started games during every season he's spent in a Jayhawks uniform. He started three games and recorded 29 tackles as a junior. Sophomore Osage Ogbebor played in all 12 games as a true freshman special teamer and could see his role on defense increase during his second year.
Two productive returning starters along with a backup with starting experience provide a terrific foundation to build the defense around in David Beaty's second season in charge.
Weakest position: Offensive line
Inexperience and shuffling resulted in a poor season for the Jayhawks' offensive line in 2015.
Kansas' 3.04 yards per carry was the lowest in the Big 12 and No. 126 among FBS teams while its 40 sacks allowed was eighth in the conference and tied for No. 117 nationally.
Jacob Bragg, Larry Hughes and Clyde McCauley III each started games as freshmen so there's hope they'll improve with that experience and lock down spots in the lineup as sophomores. D'Andre Banks, Will Smith and Jordan Shelley-Smith bring veteran experience as the three senior offensive linemen on the roster, with Banks and Shelley-Smith combining to start 16 games in 2015.
Overall, it's a young group that is likely to count on several underclassmen on its two-deep for the second straight season. Beaty will have to hope this group grows up quickly.