Starting end: Kayvon Thibodeaux
Backup: Bradyn Swinson
There’s been talk about Kayvon Thibodeaux lining up at linebacker for the Ducks, but I just don’t see that happening nearly as much as people were led to believe. The former No. 1 recruit had a great sophomore season with 42 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks in just seven games. He’ll be a top draft prospect and potentially a Heisman Trophy contender.
Behind Thibodeaux at the defensive end spot will be former three-star 2020 end Bradyn Swinson who redshirted last season.
Starting tackle: Brandon Dorlus
Backup: Keyon Ware-Hudson
Austin Faoliu is gone so that means it’s time for sophomore Brandon Dorlus to step up. He backed up Faoliu last season and had 14 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. He will have a much larger role this season and he could be a surprise star up front.
Keyon Ware-Hudson has 11 career tackles and a sack in four career games with Oregon and he might just be an incredibly productive backup.
Starting nose tackle: Popo Aumavae
Backup: Kristian Williams
Replacing Jordon Scott at nose tackle will be Popo Aumavae and with 17 career games under his belt, he should do just fine here. He has 32 career tackles, six tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. The redshirt junior has plenty of experience here.
Freshmen Kristian Williams and Jayson Jones will be fighting for that backup spot.