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Texas Tech Mock Defensive Depth Chart

A way too early prediction of Texas Tech's 2016 defensive depth chart.

DL Returners:

  • DT Breiden Fehoko
  • DT Broderick Washington
  • DE Talor Nunez
  • DE Zach Barnes
  • DE Kris Williams
  • DE Lonzell Gilmore
  • DE Christ Tompkins

DL Losses:

  • Demetrius Alston
  • Pete Robertson
  • Armani Brumfield
  • Branden Jackson
  • Rika Levi
  • Keland McElrath
  • Marcus Smith

DL Additions:

  • DE Kolin Hill
  • DT Ondre Pipkins

2016 DL Commits:

LB Returners:

  • Dakota Allen
  • D'Vonta Hinton
  • Malik Jenkins
  • Jacarthy Mack
  • Mason Reed
  • Kahlee Woods
  • Jamile Johnson

LB Losses:

  • Sam Atoe
  • Michael Awe
  • Bobby Esiaba

LB Commits:

 

DB Returners:

  • S Kisean Allen
  • CB Paul Banks
  • CB Nigel Bethel
  • S Payton Hendrix
  • S Jah'Shawn Johnson
  • CB Adaryan Jones
  • CB Tevin Madison
  • CB Justis Nelson
  • CB D.J. Polite-Bray
  • S Christian Taylor
  • S Keenon Ward
  • CB Thierry Nguema

DB Losses:

  • S/CB J.J. Gaines
  • DB Avery Gilliam
  • S John White

DB Commits:

 

Extra Notes:

  • Many are understandably worried about the defensive line given all the departures from last season, including longtime starters Pete Robertson and Branden Jackson. Numbers-wise it's a big hit, but as I have hinted at for months now, I think Tech's defensive front could actually be much improved next season. Athletically, a defensive front with Moore, Fehoko, Hill and Washington is a HUGE step up. Besides, let's face it the DL struggled mightily so anything different should be looked at with optimism. I also love the incoming talent, especially Miller, Wallace and McCann.
  • Watch out for Talor Nunez. He was actually making a lot of plays at strongside DE before going down with a knee injury. If he's healthy, I believe he will make some noise this season.
  • Two position change notes; 1, Jamile Johnson is going to get a look at LB. 2. Commit Kevin Moore told RP he will start off at Tech as a safety (assuming he signs). 
  • I listed linebacker as the deepest position group because not only does Tech return three starters in Hinton, Allen and Jenkins, but Johnson will add depth, plus three incoming freshmen Picone, Stringer and Brooks are all impressive recruits. Plus, realistically Tech will only have two LBs on the field at a time. 
  • Jamile Johnson could be a Terrance Bullitt-type hybrid backer for Tech as a guy who can cover the slot, and the hope is not be a liability in run support.
  • I feel confident Hill will be a big time player for Tech. I'm worried if Pipkins will ever see the field given his injury history. 
  • Most outside the Tech program and fan base would scoff at this, but the nucleus of Fehoko, Hinton, Allen, Johnson, Bethel could accomplish some things, perhaps finally turn the corner for what has been a horrible defense, over the next couple years if they remain healthy. 
  • CB could be a position of strength next season with the return of a healthy Polite-Bray and Banks to go along with Bethel, Madison, Nguema. Nelson will be a senior next season, and by all-accounts is a good guy and excellent student. The fact is he struggles both in coverage and tackling. In fact, he is an atrocious tackler. 
  • In my opinion Scout has both Des Smith and Damarcus Fields underrated. Both are three-star prospects in my opinion. Fields could be a star the next level, actually. 

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