Preseason position reviews: Defensive end

Just like this isn't a banner year for defensive tackles in the Pac-12, it's also not much of a year for defensive ends.

No first- or second-team All-Pac-10 players is back. The leading sack man in this group, Arizona State sophomore Junior Onyeali, only got the opposing quarterback 6.5 times.

There are some good players -- NFL talents, in fact -- but guys such as USC's Nick Perry and UCLA's Datone Jones have been riddled with injuries.

So how do teams stack up at this questionable position? Read on.

Great shape

Arizona State: Junior Onyeali, the conference Defensive Freshman of the Year, Jamaar Jarrett and James Brooks combined for 15 sacks and 29.5 tackles for a loss in 2010. That's a pretty good start, and there's even some solid depth behind that troika.

USC: Nick Perry and Wes Horton -- if healthy -- along with the move of Devon Kennard from linebacker to end gives the Trojans a potentially potent threesome, and Kevin Greene looked good this spring.

Good shape

California: Sure, the Bears lost Cameron Jordan to the first round of the NFL draft, but Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu both have starting experience, while Gabe King and Deandre Coleman are talented backups. Further, though these rankings resist the urge to include freshmen, the Bears incoming class boasts some guys who probably will help immediately.

Washington: Hau'oli Jamora, Everette Thompson -- back playing his natural end position instead of tackle -- and Talia Crichton give the Huskies a strong, experienced foundation. And you have to include redshirt freshman Josh Shirley, who was so explosive this spring, they created a "rush" position for him that functions as a rush end/linebacker on passing downs.

UCLA: Damien Holmes, Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Keenan Graham all are experienced, but the return of Jones -- an All-Conference talent -- from a foot injury could advance the Bruins from good shape to great shape. Jones had 11 tackles for a loss in 2009.

Oregon: The Ducks lost their lead player -- Kenny Rowe -- but Terrell Turner is back, and Dion Jordan looks poised for a breakout season after a strong spring. There's capable depth, topped by Brandon Hanna and Tony Washington.

Utah: The Utes lost Christian Cox, but Derrick Shelby is back, and the Kruger brothers -- Dave and Joe -- were both impressive this spring. Tevita Finau also is in the mix.

Washington State: Travis Long, honorable mention All-Pac-10, is back and Ian Knight is an intriguing, athletic junior college transfer. Jordan Pu'u Robinson and converted tight end Skylar Stormo provide depth.

Colorado: The Buffaloes are difficult to rate here because they are moving from a 3-3-5 to a 4-3, which uses ends differently (the Buffs 2010 depth chart only listed Josh Hartigan as an "end"). Hartigan is back, and he led Colorado with seven sacks. Sophomore Chidera Uzo-Diribe is penciled in at the other end. He had 3.5 sacks last season. Depth is a little tricky.

We'll see

Stanford: Matt Masifilo, a lunch pail guy, is back, and Ben Gardner takes over for the departed Brian Bulcke (another lunch pail guy). There is not a lot of experience beyond Masifilo, and the coaches even talked this spring of mixing things up schematically, considering the depth at linebacker and the thinness of the D-line.

Oregon State: Gabe Miller is off to the NFL, and Dominic Glover has moved inside to tackle. Taylor Henry as well as junior college transfers Rusty Fernando and Blake Harrah and redshirt freshman Scott Crichton flashed some potential as quick, undersized guys, but only Henry has experience and he had just one sack last fall.

Arizona: Gone are Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore, who were an often dominant tandem, and third end D'Aundre Reed was good enough to get drafted. That's a lot to replace. There was some nice buzz this spring about C.J. Parrish and Mohammed Usman, but neither has any notable experience, much less a sack.