Arkansas Defensive Line

Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes gave Hawgs Illustrated his assessment of the defensive line following spring drills. This is part of a series to run over the next week at HI.com.

COACH'S ASSESSENT
Paul Haynes on Defensive Line:

Overview:You look at the ends and they're big and strong, and they can rush the passer. Those are the things you look for in that defensive end spot. We need to understand we'll get our sacks in situations. We're not going to be sack masters all the time or we're not going to stop the run. Those guys need to understand they need to get their hands on guys and do a good job on that and be strong at the point of attack. As for the tackles, we have a lot of guys who can play for us. We're not going to ask those guys to do a whole lot. We're going to ask them to do a couple of things which is definitely hold the point of attack, demand double teams and also on passing downs, they need to do a good job of rushing the passer. The more we can do with that front four and the less we're going to do with bringing other guys, the better off we'll be.

Ends

Chris Smith
6-3, 251, JR
He had a real good spring. He's a very strong kid, very powerful, so he can do a good job of holding the edge for us and a good job of pass rushing. Those are the things I think he got better at was at the point of attack. I think he improved his quickness, his football knowledge of playing that position and exactly what we want him to do. He's a fast, quick-twitch guy who can cause havoc for some of those tackles who have to get back and block him.

Austin Flynn
6-5, 260, JR
Austin had a little bit of a learning curve because he was new, but he's kind of the same type player as Chris. He's big, he's strong, he can run and he can do a good job at the point of attack. Those ends are going to have to do a good job at the point of attack. When they put a tight end over there they're going to have to do a good job on the tight end, plus do a good job of rushing the passer, which he can do.

Trey Flowers
6-4, 243 SO
Trey right now is a starter on that side. The great thing about Trey is his length. He has long arms and a long wingspan, so he does a good job when he uses his hands. When you look at him, he did a great job in the offseason of getting stronger. He can do the things we talk about that we need those ends to do — being strong at the point of attack and doing a good job of putting pressure on the edge of the defense for us. I think when you talk about improvement with him is rushing the passer. He did a great job in the spring for us of rushing the passer.

Colton Miles-Nash
6-6, 261, SR
He is a big guy. The thing he has to improve is his strength. All these ends have to understand they'll get their sacks once we get in situations, but their number one job is to stop the run. He has to do a better job of making sure he understands that, has to hold the point of attack. He is a big, long and rangy kid who can do the same things as Trey; I kind of see those two a little bit the same because they are so long. He has to do a better job of playing with his hands.

Tackles

Byran Jones
6-2, 312, JR
Byran had a good spring for us. You look at him and he's very strong. He's a kid who demands a double team and is very, very powerful. Coach Peoples did a good job with all of these guys of working on their pass rush. I think Byran got a lot better rushing the passer for us from the inside position. He did a good job holding the point of attack and playing with his hands, and he's a big, strong, physical kid.

Robert Thomas
6-3, 308, JR Robert would be our other starter. I think he had a very productive spring. He helped himself in the weight room by getting a lot stronger and attacking the weight room. You kind of saw it go over to the field. He's another big, strong, physical kid. He plays with a lot of energy, which is awesome. Fundamentals and technique are some things he needs to make sure he continues to work on and be really consistent.

DeQuinta Jones
6-5, 299, SR
D.D. is a big kid with a lot of talent. He's very athletic. When he wants to go, he can go, and he creates havoc and does a good job. He's just got to make sure he's very consistent. We call it the discipline of football; can I do it snap after snap? He's a good pass rusher and does a good job at the point of attack, but he's got to be more consistent.

Alfred Davis
6-1, 318, SR
He's a physical kid. I think the 318 might be a stretch; that might have been in the eighth grade because he's a little bit bigger than that. He is a true inside guy that does a good job of demanding a double team, which is key. We tell those guys they have to make sure they keep their guys off the linebackers, and that's what he really does. The thing he improved the most was his pass rushing this spring.

DeMarcus Hodge
6-1, 301, FR
He did a real nice job for us this spring. He's super strong and probably had one our best bench presses. He has to work on his conditioning. I think if you asked our offensive line the one guy they did not like going against, it would be him just because he has the leverage. He's 6-1 and can play with great leverage. He's a guy that you'll see on the field at some point this year.

Jared Green
6-0, 315, SR
He's another guy that had a great spring for us. When you stand him and Hodge side-by-side, they look just alike. He's another kid that causes havoc just because of his leverage; he's only 6-foot. I think both of those guys, you're going to see on the field for us. He's a smart kid and a technician. He's probably our best inside pass rusher and that's why I think you'll see him on the field in certain situations.

Horace Arkadie
6-4, 270, FR
Horace is a young kid who is improving every day. If he keeps improving, he's got a bright future for us. He's got to get better in the weight room. Horace can really almost plan an end spot for us, too. He can play inside or outside for us and we haven't really determined where we're going to put him. He's kind of that five-technique end for us; we'll never try to put him inside.

Lavunce Askew
6-3, 290, SR
He had a good spring. With the talent of these other guys it's going to be tough for him, but he does have some skill. Some of his skill is in his pass rush, so if you see him in there it's probably going to be some situation deal for us.

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