When the 2019 NFL Draft starts later this month, Mississippi State defenders Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons are potential first-round picks (even after Simmons tore his ACL).

That means the Bulldog defense has some big holes to fill, and we’ll get our first look at the unit — led by DC Bob Shoop — on Saturday during the spring game.

On Tuesday, Shoop said he thinks the strength of this year’s defense will be the linebackers and secondary, but added that the defensive end spot is still pretty deep (via 247Sports):

“Well, definitely this team will be different,” he said. “The identity will be different. I think the experience lends itself to the fact that the back seven is pretty legit.

“And D-end. D-end is still as deep a group as there is in the SEC or college football. But obviously when you lose potentially three of the top 40 players taken in the draft, it is what it is. But as we talked about before, that’s just the business that we’re in. Fortunately those guys did a great job ‘paying it forward.’ They taught these guys how we do things and these guys have done a great job taking that teaching and putting it into application this spring.”

The Mississippi State Maroon & White game kicks off at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday and can be seen on ESPNU.