Every conference lost some of its best defensive players from last season, but every conference returned some as well. Such is the natural ebb and flow of college football.
No league has been completely depleted at any layer of the defense, even if it lost every member of the first-team defensive line, linebacking corps or secondary. There will always be a group of players waiting to take those first-teamers' place the following season.
Here is a look at the projected top defensive players in each conference—one guy for each level of the defense.
Based on how they performed last season (or the last time they were healthy), how they have allegedly improved this spring and the players who were lost around them, they are good bets to be the top linemen, linebackers and backs in their respective leagues.
Sound off below and tell me whom I missed.