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Midweek Musings - Can Penn State Address Defensive End Internally?

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Or is the portal the only way to go

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Penn State is set to lose a ton of experience at defensive end following the 2020 season. Starters Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney are both off to the Draft, and Shane Simmons has headed out as well. Adisa Isaac remains from the two-deep, and is supremely talented, but will need some help around him.

Other DEs on the roster include Nick Tarburton, Smith Vilbert, and Bryce Mostella, as well as incoming freshman Rodney McGraw. There are some solid players there, but there just aren’t very many of them.

Compare that with DT where there are approximately 10 players for just two positions. With that in mind, could Penn State address the DL with some position shuffling, and perhaps some creative defensive front alignments.

The player that, to me, most likely makes sense to bump permanently from DT to DE is Amin Vanover. A bit of a tweener size-wise, he’d be an excellent run stopper/edge setter for the defense, and let Isaac on the other side be a pure pass rusher. As it is, Vanover appears on the PSU roster as a DE, so I’d wager on that being the setup going forward.

Beyond that, are there any creative fronts the defense could use to address the lack of bodies at DE? Let’s assume that Isaac and Mustipher are on the field as starters. Would a DL package including converted DT Vanover at DE and Hakeem Beamon inside be decent against speedy teams? Maybe go jumbo against power rushing teams and line up Isaac-Mustipher-Derrick Tangelo-Beamon?

Most likely PSU will look to add some bodies at DE from the transfer portal. They’ll probably pick up one or two, but it would most likely also behoove the staff to look at their current roster and get creative. Maybe not 3-4 creative, but creative nonetheless.

What do you say?