Like running back, the off-ball linebacker has become an undervalued position in football, but DeLoach provides a ton of it in the middle of the Florida State defense. He leads the team with 59 tackles and two forced fumbles, but he also has seven sacks. His ability as a pass-rusher takes him from a sure-tackling linebacker to an invaluable piece of the No. 24 defense in the country.
All the attention will be on Tate Rodemaker who is replacing Jordan Travis at quarterback, but if the offense takes a step back for Mike Norvell’s team, then his defense will need to step up. You could make an argument for Keon Coleman as the team’s most important player with his 45 catches for 615 yards and 11 touchdowns, but with Johnny Wilson, Jaheim Bell, and even Trey Benson on that side of the ball, the Noles would be able to replace his production.
Where DeLoach is weak is in coverage. He’s allowing 13.5 yards per reception, but he’s only been targeted 15 times and has a big enough impact as a pass-rusher to offset his coverage stats.