Proving it in Piscataway (No. 20 — Djwany Mera)
Less than a month remains until the start of Rutgers training camp. This top-25 countdown will run infrequently, documenting who's got the most to prove in 2014.
No. 20 — DE Djwany Mera (6-foot-4, 260 pounds)
Why Mera's on the list: Mera was a surprising model of consistency in 2013, starting all 13 games and notching 34 tackles, 5.5 for a loss.
He didn't show much explosion, finishing with 2.5 sacks, but can he sustain the stability he showed a year ago? Rutgers could little afford to go with its handful of young ends against big Ten fronts.
For the reason above, plus his size, Mera is an atypical Rutgers end, which may help out against run-first schemes in a new league. If anything, he must be available.
During training camp, keep an eye on: where/if Mera lines up on passing downs.
Under former defensive coordinator Dave Cohen, Rutgers often opted for a three-man front in obvious passing situations. Mera might be best suited for a three-down front, but can he play three downs?
2014 outlook: With a bevy of ends and a defense designed for big plays from its linebackers, don't expect a surge in Mera's numbers.
But his presence as a run-stuffer could be his best attribute, even if stats don't show it.
More from the countdown: No. 19 — Desmon Peoples
No. 21 — Chris Muller