Now that spring practice is done, we've been updating our Big 12 position rankings.
We continue this series with the defensive line:
1. Texas (previous ranking: 1): Though it struggled at times last season, this Texas defensive line is one of the most talented units in the league. Malcolm Roach is growing into a standout and Poona Ford is All-Big 12 caliber. As part of its three-man front, Texas has plenty of depth and versatility, too. This should be a dominant group.
2. Kansas State (2): Defensive tackle Will Geary was away from the team this spring dealing with a personal matter. The Wildcats desperately need the former All-Big 12 player to be ready and right come fall, especially given their lack of depth inside otherwise. The Wildcats are on sturdier ground off the edge. Reggie Walker is a rising star and Tanner Wood is a proven player.
3. Oklahoma State (3): The Cowboys boast one of the deepest units in the league, especially at end, where they have five reliable and experienced options in Cole Walterscheid, Jarrell Owens, Tralund Webber, Jordan Brailford and Vili Leveni. To replace Vincent Taylor inside, Oklahoma State is hoping Darrion Daniels can take a big step forward in his third season.
4. Oklahoma (4): Senior Matthew Romar has taken over as the unequivocal leader of the group, and sophomore Neville Gallimore has terrific upside alongside Romar as the Sooners move back to a 4-3 scheme. Marquise Overton and Du'Vonta Lampkin bolster the depth inside. Though he's technically a linebacker, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo will man the "Jack" role off the edge. He's about as good as it gets in the league in terms of getting to the passer.
5. Kansas (5): All-Big 12 end Dorance Armstrong Jr. will have a chance to become the first Jayhawks player since 2005 linebacker Nick Reid to earn Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Tackle Daniel Wise should also vie for All-Big 12 attention. For this group to become elite, though, the depth -- Isaiah Bean, Josh Ehambe, Isi Holani, J.J. Holmes -- will have to come through. Still, Armstrong and Wise form one of the top end/tackle duos in the conference.
6. Baylor (6): This quietly is one of Baylor's stronger units on paper going into the season. K.J. Smith is set to play exclusively at end, which should give him a chance to build on his sack total of seven from last season. End Brian Nance, who was ineligible last season, could the the X factor opposite or behind Smith.
7. TCU (7): Interestingly, L.J. Collier and Ross Blacklock beat out returning starter Joseph Broadnax for the starting spots inside coming out of spring ball. Along with Chris Bradley, the Horned Frogs have a nice four-man rotation there. Outside, TCU will hope that second-year players Isaiah Chambers and Brandon Bowen can break out.
8. West Virginia (8): Without any returning standouts, the Mountaineers have plans to make up for that with depth. After sticking mostly with the frontline guys last season, West Virginia exited the spring with plans to rotate several bodies along its line in 2017. Adam Shuler, Reese Donahue and Xavier Pegues are the favorites to open as the starters.
9. Iowa State (9): Juco transfer Ray Lima quickly won a starting job at nose guard during spring ball, and the Cyclones are hopeful that fellow juco tackle Kamilo Tongamoa can make a similar difference inside once he arrives on campus. After a breakout freshman season, JaQuan Bailey has a chance to become an impact end.
10. Texas Tech (10): Former ESPN 300 recruit Breiden Fehoko transferring to LSU this offseason was a blow. But the collective emergence of Joe Wallace, Broderick Washington, Lonzell Gilmore, Mych Thomas, Eli Howard, Kolin Hill and Nick McCann this spring was encouraging for a defensive line that's been in disarray for several years.