Previously, we looked at who you thought is the best Golden Bear offensive player. Now it's time to check out the defense.
Brennan Scarlett: Figures to be the starting defensive end, so a lot of the weight of Cal's pass rush figures to fall on his shoulders. Scarlett was a constant disruptor at outside linebacker, but his health was a concern and continues to remain a concern. If he can stay healthy though, the Cal defensive line would have three bona fide talents that could make it very difficult for any opposing running attack to get going.
DeAndre Coleman: A physical behemoth, DeAndre is the only Cal player who has a likely spot in the 2014 NFL Draft. However, despite his ability to be an anchor. Perhaps Coleman will be more comfortable in the 4-3, where he'll be slated into a defensive tackle spot rather than at defensive end. That way, Coleman will hopefully be allowed more one-on-one matchups rather than having to absorb double teams.
Mustafa Jalil: Interestingly, Coleman might not even be the best defensive tackle, at least when it comes to producing results. Jalil was never at full strength last season, and the Bears never had anyone with his nasty edge to replace him. Jalil looked very solid in spring camp, and he and Coleman will do their best to anchor a defense that's unsettled in many positions.
Nick Forbes: Forbes stepped steadily into the Desmond Bishop/Worrell Williams role of steady tackler who will clean up the ball-carrier. Forbes was Cal's leading tackler in 2012 and just had a knack for bringing down talented Pac-12 offensive playmakers on a weekly basis. Also perhaps the most impressive student-athlete on the football team, Forbes should be Cal's starting middle linebacker for as long as he's healthy and eligible.
Stefan McClure: Arguably the most talented player on the Cal defense. McClure is perhaps the best pure cornerback to come out of Cal in the past decade, with great ball coverage and potential to guard a number one wide receiver on a roster. The question is his health, and how up-to-speed he'll be to handle a brutal schedule full of top wide receivers assignments.
Which one of these players do you think is the best Cal defender? Or do you have another nominee? Vote and sound off in the comments!