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2016 Michigan Football Position Preview: Defensive End

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Already an obnoxious amount of talent, the addition of #1 recruit Rashan Gary makes this unit even scarier.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan's front four is one of the top groups in the country, and that is because of the depth that they have at all four defensive line positions. It is not just the depth, either. The Wolverines have multiple players that are versatile and can line up at all four positions up front.

Let's take a look at how things stack up:

Chris Wormley

#43 | Senior | 6-6, 302 pounds | Toledo, Ohio

2015 statistics: 13 games | 43 total tackles (14.5 for loss) | 6.5 sacks | 1 forced fumble

Wormley enters this season as an All-American candidate and one of the best defensive linemen in all of college football. He had shown flashes of what he could be prior to 2015, but he came into his own as a third-year player and has a breakout season.

He is one of the players that will move around up front and play both tackle and end and is a candidate to be one of the first defensive linemen off the board in the 2017 NFL Draft with a big senior season leading the charge up front for the Wolverines.

Rashan Gary

#3 | Freshman | 6-5, 287 pounds | Plainfield, New Jersey

2015 statistics (high school): 55 tackles | 13.5 sacks | 4 forced fumbles

The #1 player on every recruiting site, Gary enters his true freshman season with an insane amount of hype -- and for good reason. He dominated a nationally loaded schedule as Paramus Catholic played teams like IMG Academy (FL) and Gilman (MD). He was arguably the best player at Nike's The Opening, a camp with 150 of the best football players in the country, two months after his sophomore year of high school ended. His 4.74 forty yard dash would rival some of the quickest defensive linemen at the 2016 NFL Combine, and that's at age 18.

He has been running with the first group and word on the street is he will be the starting strong side defensive end. He looks NFL ready after only being on campus for two months, and hasn't even had a full off-season to work with Michigan's strength staff. Gary has lived up to the hype so far, and it would be hard to say he won't continue to. His speed and size off the edge is something Michigan hasn't had in a while. Pairing him with Taco Charlton could be a deadly combo.

Taco Charlton

#33 | Senior | 6-6, 272 pounds | Pickerington, Ohio

2015 statistics: 11 games | 30 tackles | 8.5 TFL | 5.5 sacks| 1 forced fumble

Taco Charlton always seemed like the one player who had all of the physical tools, but was unable to figure it out as quick as some other guys from the 2013 class like Jourdan Lewis and Jake Butt. But in 2015, that all changed. Charlton started living up to his potential and became a very good pass-rusher for the Wolverines this past season. He was an absolute terror against Penn State, racking up 3 TFL and 2 sacks, while generating a ton of pressure.

Charlton is a guy that could see his draft stock rise exponentially with a big season, and he seems bound for one. With the addition of Don Brown as defensive coordinator, Charlton should have more opportunities to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback. Couple that in with the sheer amount of talent all over this defensive line, he should be able to get free and be in one-on-one situations and put up huge TFL and sack numbers.

Chase Winovich

#15 | Junior | 6-3, 245 pounds | Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania

2015 statistics: 2 games | 2 tackles

Chase Winovich came to Michigan as a linebacker and redshirted in 2014, but ended up changing positions to tight end in 2015 and not seeing the field much. With 2016 comes another position change, this time back to the defensive side of the ball. However, Winovich might stick at defensive end. He is undersized, but could be a versatile player in Don Brown's defense.

Lawrence Marshall

#93 | Junior | 6-4, 268 pounds | Southfield, Michigan

2015 statistics: 1 game | 1 tackle | 0.5 TFL

Lawrence Marshall had picked up a lot of hype after spring practice last season, but did not see the field much in 2015. He has bulked up to 268 pounds, and that could be a good playing weight for him. It looks like he will back up Taco Charlton at SDE, and should see the field way more than he did in 2015.

True freshman Ron Johnson will take a redshirt year in 2016 and look to play in 2017 and beyond, while sophomore Shelton Johnson is in trouble and suspended from the team for now.