Here's my take on our defense. We've struggled for a decade to build any kind of depth, and to go along with that, we're regularly playing guys before they're physically ready to play a full season at P5 level. AG is an example. I'd say Gilbert, McCartney, Olugbode, Falo, and Franke are other examples, although I think most of those guys made it through without major injuries. I think we're 1-2 years away from having quality depth on defense, assuming we build on recent recruiting momentum. So I'd say our starting 11 will be competitive, but we're still undersized, and I worry about injuries and continuing the cycle of playing guys who aren't ready.
That being said, IMO McCartney, Awuzie, Olugbode, and TT could be a lot of fun to watch this year. I also like the way Laguda plays, and the recent Buffzone article seems to indicate that he'll play more this year as a 5th DB. Gamboa is probably big enough to play early, so I'm also looking forward to seeing how he does as a SO.
Here's a pretty forthright quote from Leavitt in that recent article - "We're not good enough yet, but my expectations of where I want to be today were met," Leavitt said. "This is going to be a very big summer. If these guys this summer kill it, we have a shot. If they plateau, we probably won't win."