Post-Spring Football then and now: Defensive Line

Malcolm Roach (Will Gallagher/IT)

Malcolm Roach (Eric Nahlin/IT*)

Post-Spring – Quarterbacks
Post-Spring – Defensive Backs
Post-Spring – Linebackers
Post-Spring – Running Backs

A lot of names, but only one likely headliner, the Texas defensive line has a nice mix of complementary parts, veterans, and talented youth.

Fit to scheme is one of the most important aspects of evaluating, and because Charlie Strong recruited well with the design of fitting pieces to a multiple front, Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando should have the necessary pieces to field a plus unit. That was at least the buzz coming out of spring ball.

If the staff is lacking anything, it’s a true 4i, and as often discussed on Inside Texas, that’s a typically tough fit to find. A couple could grow into that role, but for now it will likely be manned by veterans capable of playing through savvy and strength, rather than ideal size, length, and versatility.

The 4i is difficult because you’re asking a player to be both an interior defensive lineman as well as a defensive end. JJ Watt can accomplish this because he’s too powerful for guards and too quick for tackles. That’s an unheard of combination, normally it’s the other way around. The Watt’s and Bosa’s of the world do not grow on trees.

Though the ideal 4i is lacking, at least for now, Texas should field a somewhat deep and talented unit with enough positional overlap to fill the void.

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