The first name that everyone thinks of with the BYU defensive line is Khyris Tonga. Although his stats didn’t jump off the page in 2020 (11 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, forced fumble), the attention he garnered is what will be missed. Tonga demanded a double team on every single snap which did two things; opened up tackling lanes for other defenders and clogged up any running lanes for the running back up the middle. His effect on the game was much stronger than his stats show and his production is not going to be replaced easily.
Also missing from the defensive line will be Zac Dawe and Bracken El-Bakri who combined 35 solo tackles and four sacks. Dawe was also a player who demanded double teaming at times. Whenever Dawe and Tonga broke the same direction on the line, there was almost no way for a running back to run between them.
The defensive line doesn’t lose any other major contributors, but they are also left without any household names. Lorenzo Fauatea, Tyler Batty and Gabe Summers may be enough to get some pressure, but ultimately, this group is lacking playmakers and will need the guys who have game experience to step it up. One or two injuries on the line could really derail this position group completely.