Missouri Tigers Football 2017 Season Preview

Missouri Tigers. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Missouri Tigers. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Missouri Tigers DE Nate Howard
Missouri Tigers DE Nate Howard. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Missouri Tigers 2017 Season Preview

Players To Watch: Defense

For much of the past decade, the Missouri Tigers defense has been the strength of the team. The Tigers have practically been a factory for NFL pass rushers. However, 2016 was not more of the same for the Mizzou defense. They finished the year ranked 116th after years of top 25 performances. That is where this team must improve if they want to move forward.

Macell Frazier (Sr) – DE

The strength of the Missouri Tigers defense in recent years has been its pass rush. Last year’s top sack man, Marcell Frazier, returns to the team this year. He will be expected to lead the way for the defense as they try to get back to respectability. Frazier should end up getting some draft hype by the end of the year.

Eric Beisel (Sr) – LB

A defense is usually captained at the linebacker position, and senior Eric Beisel figures to take on that role. He’s the most experienced linebacker on the roster, so the team really needs him to step up. This position group figures to be one of the biggest question marks for the Tigers, so the spotlight will be on Beisel.

Rashad Brandon (Jr) – DT

The Missouri Tigers scored a number of transfer players this offseason, but none has been more impressive so far than Rashad Brandon. The JUCO transfer has been practially unstoppable in practices this summer. If he comes in as advertised, he should be a major force against opposing rushing attacks.

Jordan Harold (Sr) – DE

For years now, Mizzou has been a school that just churned out NFL pass rushers. Aldon Smith, Kony Ealy, Shane Ray, and Charles Harris to name a few. There are many who thought that Nate Howard would be the next name in that list. However, the team will instead have to turn to former walk on Jordan Harold after Howard’s suspension. That’s a tall task for Harold.