It’s been nearly a month since Virginia Tech wrapped up their spring practice schedule and since then, I’ve spent far too much time thinking about hypothetical depth charts and special packages that we might see in 2022.
I’ve also spent a fair amount of time coming to grips with a hard truth — this year’s roster has too many questions for my liking.
Surprisingly, my main concerns have nothing to do with quarterback. Grant Wells played rather well in Virginia Tech’s Spring Game and while Jason Brown wasn’t very productive, he spent much of his afternoon trying to escape Tech defenders.
And that’s a great place to start.
Virginia Tech’s offensive line has next to nothing for depth. The starting five should be serviceable at worst — Silas Dzansi and Johnny Jordan have enough game reps to be competent players, Kaden Moore impressed as a freshman last season and Jesse Hanson and Parker Clements should be ready for starting roles by this point in their careers.
But the guys behind them need a lot of coaching.
Virginia Tech’s current backup options include several first and second-year players, as well as the inexperienced transfer Bob Schick. The Hokies could certainly benefit from another addition or two from the transfer portal, unless Joe Rudolph is comfortable with walk-ons at his tackle spots.
I’m sure he isn’t comfortable with that arrangement at all.
The depth issues persist at wide receiver and tight end, as early defections have decimated the Hokies at both spots. Kaleb Smith showed out in Tech’s Spring Game, but we’ve seen enough of him at this point to know exactly what he is — a reliable blocker on the perimeter who has solid hands but struggles to separate from defensive backs.
Smith’s cohorts, Jadan Blue and Da’Wain Lofton, were quiet in the Spring Game, but Lofton was named the spring offensive MVP. Tech has some bodies there — Jaylen Jones and Dallan Wright come to mind first — but the Hokies don’t have any solidified depth right now.
Defensive depth might also be an issue, particularly along the defensive line. TyJuan Garbutt and Norell Pollard have earned starting roles after spring ball, but what about the other positions? Is this the year Mario Kendricks puts it together? Nebraska transfer Pheldarius Payne should play a role next season, but how large will that role be?
Tech’s roster is best at running back, linebacker and defensive back, but none of those position groups are coming off great performances last year. Still, these are the groups to be least worried about.
The free agent transfer portal is indeed open, and I would be floored if the Hokies don’t utilize it this summer. Hopefully, Brent Pry will have added some depth by August, as he heads into an important point of his tenure in Blacksburg.
While we wait for those transactions player movements, I’ll be off in the corner theorizing about offensive packages and concepts like a crazy person.
Real football can’t come back soon enough.