Alabama’s defensive line has been filled with talent and been the team’s main strength over the last decade. So it is no surprise that our 2015 NFL Preview schedule has nine former Crimson Tide defensive linemen. Today, we put a focus on two of the newest starters at their clubs and another player who has made strides to get more playing time.
Josh Chapman, Indianapolis Colts, Nose Tackle
6’0″, 335 pounds
1 year, $713K
Josh Chapman enters his fourth year in Indianapolis. He spent 2012 on the injured reserve after being drafted by the Colts in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played in 13 games in his second season, recording 15 total tackles but it wasn’t until 2014 that he became an impact player for division champions. Chapman started 15 games last season and had 21 tackles plus a forced fumble.
The Hoover, Alabama native will be one of the leaders of the Colts’ defense in the upcoming season. After finishing 18th in rush defense, Chapman knows that he will have to help improve the middle to help Indianapolis reach their goal of winning the Super Bowl. Chapman’s stats may not speak for his impact but in the Colts’ 3-4 base defense, if Chapman can draw double teams, the linebackers can be the playmakers. The Colts open their preseason against the Eagles on Sunday at noon. The game can be seen on NFL Network.
Brandon Deaderick, Houston Texans, Defensive End
6’4″, 305 pounds
1 years, $745K
Brandon Deaderick is entering his sixth NFL season for his fourth different club. After spending last season in New Orleans, the former Crimson Tide defensive end signed a one-year contract with Houston. Deaderick has 62 total tackles in his career with 5.5 sacks. Deaderick’s career has seemed to be in decline after making an impact in New England, starting 14 games in his three seasons with the Patriots. He joins Houston’s defensive line that is already stacked with familiar talent. Deaderick currently sits as the third-string left defensive end. He is behind former Alabama player Jeoffrey Pagan and former Nebraska star Jared Crick. J.J. Watt and Vince Wilfork make up the rest of the starters for the defensive line. The Texans use a lot of depth during their games so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Deaderick still get plenty of playing time in 2015. Houston opens up their preseason at home on Saturday night against Quinton Dial’s 49ers.
Quinton Dial, San Francisco 49ers, Defensive Tackle
6’5″, 318 pounds
2 years, $1.35 million
Quinton Dial spent just two seasons in Tuscaloosa but won two national championships. He was drafted by the Super Bowl runner-ups and is now in his third season with San Francisco. Dial played in 14 games last year, recording 30 tackles, 2 sacks and even adding a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage. The 49ers are facing a lot of questions entering 2015, most of them being on defense. Dial is listed as the starting right defensive tackle and will need to be a force to help the 49ers succeed this season. Bleacher Report called Dial the 49ers’ most underrated x-factor in 2015 after the loss of long time defensive end Justin Smith. As Alabama fans, Dial will always give us one of the best .gif’s we have ever seen.
Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter,@CalebTurrentine.