But what if we look at the players that could make some significant improvement and in turn improve the entire team.
I think what I’ve decided is that if Texas Tech can have more players that are in the C range (and maybe even B range — dare to dream), this will actually be a pretty decent team and could make significant improvement.
Dawson Deaton was the second best offensive lineman in terms of grades last year, right behind Jack Anderson. He was a solid C and if he even improves slightly, he could be a B at maybe the most important position.
Help on the way? Probably not necessary, but not sure who would be the back-up if something happened to Deaton.
This is a tough one. Jack Anderson is off to the NFL and he was a C+ in terms of a grade and the other guard who received the most snaps, basically all of the snaps at right guard, was Weston Wright was not good. My guess here is that any player is going to be an upgrade over Wright and I suppose there is the thought that Wright will improve, but in order to just get to a C, he’d have to improve by 20+ points. I don’t know if this is one of those situations where an absolute re-do for both guard positions would be in order, but
With Will Farrar transferring, that doesn’t give you a ton of options. I should add that Farrar transferring may be a problem, but sample-size is probably important. Farrar had a 10 point advantage over Wright, who was an F and Farrar was a D+, but the discrepancy between the two was Wright getting nearly all of the snaps at right guard. I don’t really know when Farrar got a bunch of his snaps, maybe they were early in the year and that was the reason for the higher grad. It seems as if Farrar and Landon Peterson were set to get more snaps, but it must be frustrating to play better, but not get more snaps. I don’t think that Farrar would have played better than Anderson. That means that it is either going to be Peterson or someone else to snaps, which means that most likely, the guard position won’t improve significantly, or at least to a passing grade. Texas Tech needs road-graders up front and they don’t really have them.
Help on the way? It would probably need to be either a transfer or someone internally needs to decide they want to play, like DeMarcus Marshall, Clayton Franks, or Troy Bradshaw. Again, lots of snaps and significant playing time that needs a serious upgrade is at stake here.
This is another position where Texas Tech is going to have to improve dramatically to just get to a D in terms of production. Right now, none of the players that gobbled up all of the snaps for Texas Tech were remotely close. I don’t know if this is a situation where Texas Tech just isn’t playing the right people, but maybe this is a spot where Cumbie gets more hands-on?
Josh Burger is supposed to return, but I don’t know what that does when he’s graded out as an F, while Caleb Rogers and Ethan Carde also return, but are also F’s.
I suppose that there’s a real possibility that Rogers and Carde could improve with a real offseason to improve strength, quickness, punch, etc., but it’s going to take a lot of improvement. A lot.
Help on the way? Yes! T.J. Storment from TCU transferred to Texas Tech and that’s significant. Texas Tech needed some significant help along the offensive line and Storment automatically comes in and is likely a starter at left tackle. Let Carde, Rogers, and Burger battle it out for right tackle. I think that Rogers has the most potential, but may the best man win.
From a talent and depth standpoint, this position is fine. Ahmad Brooks graded terrifically, SaRodorick Thompson was right there, Chaddarius Townsend and Xavier White all graded quite well. This is a position where I have very little concern. Yes, injuries happen, but this is a pretty loaded position that played very well.
Help on the way? Cam’Ron Valdez is on the way and he is talented and I would tell players not to sleep because he’s a 4-star that’s incredibly good. But this is a talented room that doesn’t need a ton of help.
Erik Ezukanma was terrific and Loic Founji was pretty good in very limited snaps with Miles Price being very good for a freshman, Dalton Rigdon being fine and needing improvement from Trey Cleveland and McLane Mannix.
Help on the way? We still haven’t seen a ton from Sterling Galban, who I liked coming out of high school, Cameron Cantrell, and incoming freshman Jerand Bradley. So not a ton of options and with Ja’Lynn Polk deciding to transfer, that’s one less option. I’d also add that KeSean Carter was the best receiver last year and don’t discount how well he played. I loved how tough he was. His transfer will be significant. This room has gotten thinner with Polk and Cater transferring, but at least there is Ezukanma and Founji with Cleveland and now Bradley incoming.
This position is similar to the offensive line in that it was terrible. Koontz was a disaster and John Holcomb should not have played as a true freshman, just asking too much from a 220-pound freshman.
Help on the way? Well, there are two talented freshmen on the way, but they’re both in that 230 range and very tall, both 6’7″ or taller. Again, I’d go after any and all tight end that can block and catch in the transfer market and I think this position could be one where Holcomb, Mason Tharp, and Jed Castles could all use a year in the weight room and get in that 245 range. I am hoping that Holcomb is a bit further along and getting close to that size.
With the transfer of Alan Bowman, I think it’s an open competition in the spring. It should be an open competition because there needs to be significant improvement. Henry Colombi is the only quarterback that received any snaps other than Bowman and I am not sold at all on Colombi. I saw his warts and his lack of arm strength is significant and I’d think this would severely limit what Cumbie wants to do offensively.
Help on the way? I know that Behren Morton is highly regarded and I think he’s going to be great, but he’s 185 and skinny as a rail. Maverick McIvor was supposed to be the guy that could do a bit of everything, but the fact that he never got a shot last year is telling. Maybe it shouldn’t be? This is one of those things where last year was unique and no player last a year of eligibility, so there’s no downside if he’s better. With Donovan Smith injured last year, he’s my wildcard. Big arm, incredibly mobile, just doesn’t have a ton of snaps at quarterback. Sounds like someone else that I know whose name rhymes with Satrick Brahomes. Would I be surprised if there is a quarterback transfer? No, I would not, because this staff is in win-now mode and can’t afford to develop a freshman signal-caller that might not be ready.