Are Texas’ position groups overrated or underrated?

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Texas is in the process of preparing to bounce back from a horrible season in 2021.

The roster that Steve Sarkisian inherited from Tom Herman did him little to no favors, but the second-year head coach has cleaned house and brought in a slew of new talent to bolster the roster.

Sarkisian was able to bring in a potential generational talent at quarterback in Quinn Ewers from Ohio State, a handful of solidified receivers from the transfer portal, and of course the best offensive line recruiting class the program has ever seen.

All of this will likely pay dividends if the staff can develop and properly use the new pieces, which is something that the last regime struggled with.

Whether or not each position group will be able to improve their performance compared to last season is yet to be seen. However, I’m going to take a look at each position group and declare if that group is overrated and poised for disappointment, underrated meaning they have a chance to surprise everyone, or if they are properly rated based on how fans and insiders are talking about them.

Safety: Underrated

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With Kitan Crawford making the switch from cornerback to safety and Anthony Cook also getting a try at safety, this position group will likely be a major upgrade over B.J. Foster (Sam Houston) and Brenden Schooler (NFL) who both struggled mightily last season. Cook was quite frankly one of, if not the best player on defense last season, and Crawford has elite speed and an immense amount of potential that made it hard for the coaches to keep him off the field. I expect this group to be much better than last season.

Cornerback: Overrated

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The two corner spots are a major area of concern, as Ohio State transfer Ryan Watts and D’Shawn Jamison both are experienced but have their flaws. Jahdae Barron at the nickel is the only one of the three that I would put any faith in, as Jamison and Watts both had their fair share of struggles in 2021 as Watts fell out of his starting role at Ohio State and Jamison struggled all year in coverage.

Linebacker: Properly Rated

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This group is viewed as concerning by most, and I feel as if that is a fair assessment. Even with the addition of James Madison transfer Diamonte Tucker-Dorsey, it is too early to determine if this group will actually be improved in 2022. DeMarvion Overshown along with the other backers struggled with missed tackles, which helped contribute to teams being able to run for over 200 yards per game against Texas. This unit along with a couple others can only go up from their 2021 performance.

Defensive Line: Properly Rated

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There is as much doubt in this group as in any else on the team due to the fact that they struggled with practically everything in 2021. They couldn’t get to the quarterback, and were seemingly outmuscled in the run game. With all the misses in the transfer portal for improvement here, there will be a reliance on returners and possibly some freshmen to come in and produce. It is hard to say this group is overrated, because it doesn’t seem like many are expecting much from them. They are almost so scrutinized they could be viewed as underrated, but until there is more proven production I will stick with properly rated for them.

Offensive line: Properly Rated

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Another position group that struggled mightily and was arguably the worst on the team in 2021. This group continued to struggle during the offseason, and as of right now are still viewed as a group that the Longhorns will struggle with. Christian Jones has moved to right tackle in what is likely his last chance to start, and there might be an injection of freshman offensive linemen to bolster the unit. This group has a ton of room for improvement, but the concerns voiced by insiders and fans is warranted.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: Underrated

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

While the hype for these position groups has been continuing to grow throughout the offseason, new transfers such as Isaiah Neyor and Tarique Milton, along with emerging stars in Ja’Tavion Sanders may equate to these groups being one of the best arsenal of weapons in the country. Led by Xavier Worthy, whoever is at quarterback will have endless weapons to throw to and it doesn’t seem like Texas’ pass catchers are being talked about enough. It might be fair to say that Texas hasn’t had this many weapons since 2009.

Running Backs: Properly Rated

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Even with the new additions at receiver, this group is still widely considered the best unit on the team and one of the best in the country. I expect the running backs to dismantle defenses, especially if Sarkisian can emphasize utilizing Roschon Johnson and Keilan Robinson more.

Quarterbacks: Properly Rated

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

This group is borderline overrated due to the fact they have accomplished so little at this level, but outside of the expected excitement for the signing of Ewers, fans and insiders alike seem to be on the same page that both Ewers and Hudson Card have more room for improvement. Regardless of who starts, they will have a plethora of great weapons at their disposal and will likely be able to emerge as a star by the end of the season.

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