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Texas defensive tackle room a unit to watch in the spring

Defensive tackle is the biggest question mark for the Texas football team in 2024. It’s a question because of what it lost at the position.

The Longhorns are sending two of the top defensive tackles in college football to the NFL draft in Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat. Murphy is viewed as a potential mid-first round pick while Sweat could be drafted in the first three rounds.

Some view the defensive tackle position as of lesser value although many view it as a pivotal position for Texas after last season. Murphy and Sweat wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines in their final year in Austin. It is doubtful that there are two replacements that can do the same damage.

Veteran defensive lineman Alfred Collins returns for another season after making big plays sporadically throughout his college career. Injuries and weight requirements have perhaps slowed his development in defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski’s scheme. That said, he should be the focal point of the defensive tackle room next season.

Tiaoalii Savea transfers in from Arizona after making his presence known for the Wildcats at defensive tackle. Savea made plenty of noise in his last outing against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl and could have the inside track to start opposite Collins.

Elsewhere along the defensive interior are a few high potential players in Vernon Broughton, Sydir Mitchell and Aaron Bryant among others. Broughton has strong pass rushing ability, but his struggles in run defense could keep him from starting. Mitchell’s 370-plus pound presence could provide opportunity to play in his second season.

Texas has built a stellar pass rush for the 2024 season through the transfer portal, recruiting and development at the edge position to take pressure off the defensive interior. The Longhorns don’t need to be as dominant at defensive tackle as they were with Sweat and Murphy. Even so, they will need to be strong at the position to handle the rigors of an SEC schedule.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire