Depth Chart prediction: Defense

We're 98 days away from the kickoff of Texas' 2014 football season against North Texas.

While that might be a bit too early to start setting up shop outside DKR (Ah, hell, who are we kidding? It's never too early to tailgate), it's certainly not too early to ponder about the Longhorns depth chart and what it will look like come Aug. 30.

Here are Chip Brown and William Wilkerson's best guesses as to what Texas' two-deep depth chart will look like on defense:


DE – Caleb Bluiett, Shiro Davis

One of the best position battles on the defense. Both flashed in spring, but Bluiett may have flashed a little more.

DT – Desmond Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway

Coaches feel Jackson and Ridgeway can be more disruptive than they've been. Ridgeway played through most of the spring with an injured foot and was still productive.

DT – Malcom Brown, Poona Ford

Brown has thrived under the hard coaching of Charlie Strong and Chris Rumph. Ford is a star-in-the-making and could see a lot of action as a freshman.

DE – Cedric Reed, Bryce Cottrell

Coaches are telling Reed he can put up big numbers this year if he'll put in the work.

WLB –Jordan Hicks, Demarco Cobbs

Texas needs a healthy, inspired Hicks to lead the defense in every way - tackles, calming influence, you name it.

MLB – Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos, Tim Cole

The success of the defense, in many ways, will be determined by the improvement at this position.

SLB – Peter Jinkens, Tevin Jackson

Coaches hope better film study will help channel Jinkens' energy and passion by eliminating false steps that have taken him out of some plays.

CB – Duke Thomas, Bryson Echols

If Thomas can eliminate mental mistakes, he could be a breakout player. If not, Echols, a feisty, physical, undersized corner, could take his job.

S – Mykkele Thompson, Adrian Colbert

Coaches love Thompson's athleticism, just want him to be more physical.

S – Josh Turner, Dylan Haines

Turner is one of the best effort guys on the defense and needs to convert that into plays made this season. Haines could work his way into the rotation as a walk-on.

CB – Quandre Diggs, Sheroid Evans

Vance Bedford said he needs a lot more players on defense to carry themselves with the swagger of Diggs. Evans is one of the best press coverage guys on the team and should be on the field, when Diggs moves to nickel.



DE – Shiro Davis, Caleb Bluiett

I was on the verge of listing Bluiett as the starter here just like Chip, but I think the coaches will give Davis the start just as they did in the spring game. Bluiett will test Davis all season and, if anything, make him a better player for it.

DT – Desmond Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway

Jackson really started to emerge last season when Chris Whaley went down with an injury. Can the strongest player on the roster build off that? Ridgeway is on the verge of breaking out and becoming a wrecking ball.

DT – Malcom Brown, Alex Norman, Poona Ford

This could be Brown's last season in Austin if he continues to play like he did last season. He could be the top DT in the Big 12. I'm not ready to give up on Norman just yet. He's worked too hard on getting his weight down to not warrant a few snaps here or there. Ford will factor into rotation this season despite depth at position.

DE – Cedric Reed, Bryce Cottrell, Derick Roberson

If Reed plays like he did last season he could see his name called in the first or second round of the NFL Draft in 2015.

WLB –Jordan Hicks, Demarco Cobbs

Cobbs looked incredible during the Orange-White Scrimmage, but Hicks will be the man here if he returns fully healthy.

MLB – Steve Edmond, Dalton Santos, Tim Cole

There is plenty of depth here and plenty to play for. Edmond needs to improve his draft stock while Santos will play every snap with his mother weighing heavily on his mind.

SLB – Peter Jinkens, Naashon Hughes, Tevin Jackson

Jinkens and Hughes could be interchangeable by the time the season is over. That's how good Hughes could be. Anything Jackson gives this group is icing on the cake.

CB – Duke Thomas, Bryson Echols

Echols had a great spring and surprised many with his ability to keep Antwuan Davis at arms length for that third CB spot.

S – Mykkele Thompson, Adrian Colbert

Thompson had a solid spring too, but he's been inconsistent in the backend for UT. No more excuses for this former high school QB. He's been a safety long enough now. It's time for him to produce more consistently.

S – Josh Turner, Dylan Haines

If Haines gets the opportunity and plays like he did in the spring game, he'll quickly become a crowd favorite.

CB – Quandre Diggs, Sheroid Evans

This is a contract year for Diggs, who should be one of the top handful of CBs in the draft next season. UT needs Evans healthy and back to being one of the fastest players on the roster. There's not much proven CB depth behind him.

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