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Texas Longhorns 2024 Depth Chart Based on the Adjusted Ratings - Pre-Spring Camp

Executive Summary

Discover the Texas Longhorns Depth Chart for Spring 2024, analyzed based on the LarryTheGM Adjusted Ratings. Explore the impact of player development and experience. Hook 'Em!


Adj Rate

In January, we introduced you to the Adjusted Rating System (LINK) as a tool to track how both genetics (as reflected in a prospect's talent in their initial recruiting rating) and environment (the ability of a program to help a player develop) work together to define a college football player's performance on the field. It would help you to understand the rest of this by reading this introduction first.


We then applied the Adjusted Rating system to analyze the Texas roster and general NCAA on several fronts.


The Adjusted Rating simple method is focused on addressing what is the CURRENT talent level of players as compared to each other who are at different points of their development and experience.


Now we will apply the Adjusting Rating to build a Texas Longhorns depth chart before the Longhorns go into Spring Practice. This will likely change but serve as a reference. It will be "wrong" because no one knows EVERYTHING about how the players have developed physically in the offseason.


I want to be very clear. I have considered what others have written about what THEY think the Texas Longhorns depth chart will be including:

Please consider subscribing to both of these folks if you have not already done so.


My depth chart is not exactly the same as the others. Most of the other writers in this space have contacts and rely on tape and reports. I am bringing you DATA that you can compare- class designation, snaps, and the Adjusted Rating.


Classes

I think the Adjusting Rating highlights some topics to discuss. In the charts below I have formatted each player based on their class or seniority. This makes it easier to understand the impact of each recruiting class and who is more likely to leave for the NFL.


I should explain the class nomenclature that I am using with Jake Majors as the example.


Majors- 53RS Sr means

  • he is playing in his 5th year (2020-2024)

  • he has 3 previous years of non-redshirted experience (2021-2023)

  • he has had a red shirt season (2020)

  • he will be classified as a senior this year.


Let me know if I got any of these wrong. The COVID years make this exercise more of a challenge than you might expect.


Notice for each player the career snaps and that player's Adjusted Rating. Players with more snaps SHOULD have increased their Adjusted Rating due to the nature of the calculation.


Here are the first three strings:

Texas Depth Chart- top players

Here where the remaining players slot in.

Texas Depth Chart- extra players

Here is what it looks like all on one chart.

Texas Longhorns Football Full Depth Chart

Before I highlight some notes related to this depth chart, please allow me to encourage you to support this site. We try to bring a unique data-based approach to issues in sports.


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Now let's continue.


To compare to the 2023 roster, here is the depth chart before last season:

2023 Texas Football Depth Chart

2023 Depth Chart Legend

You will notice the formatting for each player.


Again, you can see the PRE-2023 snaps, the 2023 season snaps and those players pre-2023 Adjusted Index. You can use this table to compare how many snaps you think players will get in 2024 to how many snaps they got in 2023.


Here are some of the depth chart highlight points that I see when I consider the Adjusted Ratings in this depth chart.


I will also include some of these notes (in an updated form) in an article about how the Longhorns have actually improved for 2024 AFTER Spring Practice and maybe after the May Portal Window.


Offense

Wide Receivers- this was probably a crisis before the transfer portal.

  • Let's start with a discussion of 2023

    • The combined three starters in 2023 (Worthy, Mitchell, Whittington) had 3312 snaps and an Adjusted Rating of 1.2164 BEFORE the 2023 season.

    • It's AWESOME to have that kind of experience.

    • The three played 2278 out of the 2530 snaps at WR (90%)

    • The fourth WR should have been Neyor (with 915 snaps experience), but he only played 8 snaps in 2023.

    • The fourth WR ended up being Cook who was a 5-star true Freshman and played 125 snaps (5%).

  • Look ahead to 2024

    • Texas went and got extremely experienced transfers for 2024

      • Bond is likely to be in the slot receiver role most of the time. He too may flex to an outside role or be in motion and switch with Bolden/ Golden to confuse the defense.

      • I expect Bolden and Golden will flex to all of the receiver roles and also compete to be one of the starting outside receivers.

    • Cook steps into a starting role at the other outside role.

    • I suspect the FOUR receivers will split the roughly 2200 snaps between them (roughly 600/600/600/400- who gets what TBD)

    • I suspect Wingo will backup Cook and get more snaps than Cook got in 2023. Maybe more like 200ish for Wingo in 2024.

Offensive Line- This is probably the strength of the team.

  • Notice how much experience the OLine has now. The projected starters now have a combined 7638 snaps! That does not even include Cole Hudson's 925 snaps. In 2023, the OL had 6058 snaps.

  • How does a group lose a player who had 3219 career snaps (Jones) and enter the season with MORE experience than the entered last season? Texas is doing THAT.

  • Where does Baker slot in for 2024? By the time the season starts, I think Baker will be a second-string tackle- probably at RT.

Tight End

  • When your 2023 TE (Sanders) leaves for the draft as probably the second-best TE in the NCAA, it is probable your TEs take a step back.

  • The Longhorns mitigate that loss by getting Niblack with his 403 career snaps and 0.9872 Adjusted Rating.

Quarterback

  • Most Longhorns fans seem oblivious to Ewers actual development at QB. Let me say this.

  • Ewers had the second highest PFF grade among all 2024 Longhorns in the 2023 season.

    • Only Blackshire (in only 102 snaps) was higher.

    • Among the players going to the NFL draft only Jonathon Brooks was higher

    • Yes, Ewers PFF grade in 2023 was higher than Murphy, Sweat, Worthy, Sanders, Mitchell, Banks, Moore, Blue, Bond, etc.

    • Ewers is the highest Adjusted Rating player on the 2024 Longhorns. His rating is better than any player that entered 2023 as well.

    • I predicted Ewers would win the Heisman in January. I am not backing off on that idea now.

  • The QB group has the greatest 2024 percentage Adj Rating increase vs. 2023 of any position group

Running Backs

  • It may be hard to remember how green the 2023 Longhorns were at RB and how concerned many were:

    • Bijan Robinson and Roshon Johnson who had 82% of the run play snaps in 2022 were gone to the 2023 NFL draft. Some assumed this meant Texas would struggle in the run game.

    • Baxter (a true freshman- 0 snaps) was given the starter role

    • Brooks (a whopping 98 pre-2023 snaps) was the primary backup

    • Keilan Robinson was the only RB with 100 plus snaps (303) and he was viewed as a change-of-pace back and third string.

    • Blue (16 pre-2023 snaps) was not on the three deep even

  • What a difference a year makes. Now we wonder if Sark can keep all of his talented RBs happy with playing time (he can't)

  • The RB room enters the 2024 season with a credible 558 snaps on the two deep with players likely buried on the RB depth chart like Red having more snaps that the two deep did last year.

  • The major question for the RBs in 2024 is does Baxter or Blue start. Either way there are more talented freshman (RS Fr Wisner, Fr-HS Gibson, Fr-HS Clark) ready to prove they were worthy of their lofty recruiting rankings.


Here are summary tables to show the offense by position group.

2024

2024 Offense Adj Rate and Snaps by Positions

2023

2023 Offense Adj Rate and Snaps by Positions

Overall, the Longhorns have a 3% increase in offensive Adjusted Rating in 2024. This is significant considering the 2023 Longhorns were top 5 team.


Even with all of the great players to leave in 2023, the 2024 Texas offensive team has a 17% of snap experience increase. Only the WRs have a combined loss of snap experience. Given that Neyor was the vast majority of this gap, the experience gap at WR is not nearly what it appears.


The cells highlighted in red show which position groups would have been considered the weakest link by the Adjusted Ratings method.


Defense

The turnover on defense is more widespread and interesting. Note- the defense table lists 13 roles. Obviously. only 11 will play at any time, but this depth chart shows how some will slot in depending on the down and distance and defensive alignment deployed.


Defensive Line- This is the one big worry area the Longhorns fans have in 2024

  • Notice that the 2023 DTs- Sweat (1355 snaps- 1.2232) and Murphy (690 snaps- 1.0880) both entered that season with excellent Adjusted ratings and great experience.

  • How one allocates the interior defensive line positional assignments is very fluid. I have made my best projection knowing that two of the three slots I list may actually be filled at any time.

  • The 2024 Horns with the addition of Savea are significantly less experienced at an Adjusted Rating score of 94% of the 2023 DT rating. Given that the 2023 team had two VERY highly regarded players that is not a surprise.

  • In his 2023 season Collins had a PFF quality score that was slightly BETTER than Sweat's 2022 season. Collins PFF score is ONLY behind Blackshire's limited snaps score at Alabama among all of the 2024 Texas defensive players. Given this, there is almost as much reason to believe Collins COULD break out in 2024 as one might have expected Sweat to do in 2023. There are reasons to have doubts too. This may be the most important defensive data point in the spring practice sessions.

  • Savea and Broughton are not as likely to transform into the front line stars the Longhorns had at these positions in 2023 but could be very solid.

  • Collins, Savea, and Broughton do provide 2690 snaps of experience. Their overall average Adjusted Rating is better than the 2023 defensive unit starters overall last year.

  • A very real issue for the interior defensive line is the lack of experience behind the three first line guys. Bledsoe (98), Bryant (73), Swanson (18), and Mitchell (17) all have little to no experience. Who steps up and how much?

  • If a DT enters the transfer portal in May, expect the Longhorns to strongly consider them.

Defensive Ends/ Edge- Among all position groups the defensive Ends / Edge group has gone from a major weakness to a strength. The Edges two-deep improve 14% on an Adjusted rating basis. The unit goes from 965 snaps of experience to 2978.

  • The Longhorns added Trey Moore and his Adjusted Rating is one of the hardest to determine since he has essentially come from nowhere as a prospect at UTSA. Moore's 2023 PFF rating would have been fifth among the Horns 2024 defensive players. Only Barron has developed more in his college career of the Texas 2024 defensive players.

  • Sorrell also developed quite a bit in 2023 in 587 snaps.

  • Burke has shown moments and probably slots in as the early season backup for both.

  • Simmons, the crown jewel of the 2024 recruiting class, will push all of these in his true freshman year.

  • Overall, the DEs are possibly THE BEST starting unit on the defense. They have gone from worst to first on the defense.

Linebackers- This unit had one very experienced and strong playmaker in Ford last year surrounded by inexperienced and developing players. It was one of the Horns weakest units overall and the youth and experience here are a challenge and an opportunity. Even without Ford, this unit appears to be better.

  • One of the weaknesses of the Texas linebackers last year was who was the third LB. Gbenda (0.9651 pre-2023 AR, 400 snaps in 2023), Bush (0.8278 pre-2023 AR, 275 snaps in 2023), or Blackwell (0.8972 pre-2023 AR, 187 snaps in 2023) all shared time behind Hill and Ford.

  • I believe and reports seem to confirm that Hill will move to MLB. Gbenda and Blackwell will be the starting OLBs.

  • I expect the actual rotation at LB will be more complicated than is what is shown. Here are the relative strengths of the Texas linebackers (per their PFF ratings)

Texas LB Strengths

I will monitor practice reports to see if this 2023 data is validated. If this is true, I could see this sort of rotation based on down and distance.

Texas LB Substitutions

Defensive Backs- While the DE starters are the best on the defense, the Adjusted Rating for the two deep cornerbacks is the best. The entire defensive back field is the strongest level of the 2024 defense.

  • After the 2023 season, Texas lost

    • Watts to the Draft

    • Thompson, Catalon, Crawford, Allen, Turner- Gooden, Brice to the Portal

  • Despite the losses the defensive backfield projects to be BETTER

  • The cornerbacks Brooks, Muhammed, Barron, and Holmes are all some of the best players on the Longhorns.

    • Barron is the highest rated Adjusted Rating defensive player on the 2024 Horns. He is likely to be the nickel but will also get some time at CB

    • Holmes had the highest PFF score in 2023 among the 2024 Horns defensive backs players. The corner playing time is such a battle that he MAY be second string.

    • Muhammed as a TRUE FRESHMAN had a great PFF score, and he is a lock to be a CB starter.

    • Brooks probably returns as a Junior starter as a CB.

    • With the 4704 snaps the CB are extremely experienced even with a true sophomore starter and a top recruit CB Black as a likely backup.

  • The Safeties received a makeover with the additions of Mukuba and top recruit Filsaime.

    • Mukuba steps in as a top 3 starter by Adjusted Rating on the 2024 defense.

    • Williams played a lot as a TRUE FRESHMAN and is a likely starter at the other safety spot.

    • Filsaime may be a second-string safety by mid-season.

    • Monitor the battle of Taafe and McDonald for the other backup safety spot.


Here are summary tables to show the defense by position group.

2024

2024 Defense Adj Rate and Snaps by Positions

2023

2023 Defense Adj Rate and Snaps by Positions

The 2024 defense is incredibly balanced, and the starters are good at every position group. As a complete unit the defense actually has more snaps (+5%) experience and a better Adjusted Rating (+2%) than the 2023 unit. The depth here might be more of a concern in some spots.


Again, the cells highlighted in red show which position groups would have been considered the weakest link by the Adjusted Ratings method. Notice that for the 2024 defense that the starters are all above 1.0. that is why I did not rate any group as a true weakness.


Overall, the DL will be better in 2024 than it was in 2023. That is remarkable.


Now, I invite you to spend some time with the Adjusted Ratings in the depth charts above. Let me know if you think of some other ways the team will lineup this fall.


I hope you enjoyed the Texas 2024 Depth Chart based on the Adjusted Ratings. This will be updated quarterly for the public

  • Now

  • After Spring Practice and Portal Moves

  • Before Week 1

There will be more frequent updates for the Premium members- When moves are made or news hits.


Next time we will discuss some of the players who need to step up in the spring practice and/ or those who are most at risk for the transfer portal.


As Always, Hook 'Em!

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