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The Big Board

The Longhorn coaching staff borrowed a concept from the NFL before this year's training camp. The Big Board. It's simply a ranking of our players in order of value and impact. Offense and defense. Essentially, you're drafting a team for one year. You do this to clarify your thinking about the disposition of your talent. In corporate America, we call it a forced ranking and it can allow you to see the nose at the end of your face. In football, it will keep you from getting caught up in the mire of strict depth charts and seniority. This squad - as much as any Texas squad I've seen - has some special guys with very specific skill sets that the coaches can harness to win games. In fact, we have some guys who are second teamers who, within the right context, can win a game for us singlehandedly. There aren't (m)any teams in the league who can say that.

My first round pick

I'm curious what that Big Board looked like. And I'm curious about yours. I know ours will change in some places between now and the end of August.

I'm also curious what OU, Texas Tech, A&M, Mizzou, KU etc looks like.

Here's mine:

Defense (20)

Brian Orakpo
Roy Miller
Lamarr Houston
Deon Beasley
Eddie Jones
Earl Thomas
Sergio Kindle
Rashad Bobino
Sam Acho
Rod Muckelroy
Keenan Robinson
Henry Melton
Ryan Palmer
Chykie Brown
Jared Norton
Ben Wells
Christian Scott
Aaron Williams
Aaron Lewis
Curtis Brown

Comments: If anyone believes our DL is going to be a problem this year, they need to take a hard look at the Big Board. I contend that we're three deep with Big 12 starters at DE. Save your hand wringing about a 275 pound DT - we won't see much Veer. Rashad will draw some flack. Don't care. Obviously, Muschamp sees something he likes and he wants someone running the show in there. If he disappoints in game action, Jared Norton will get the call. No, Deon Beasley is not too high. Trust me. Yeah, Sergio Kindle could be slotted anywhere from 3 to 20. He's an enigma. But play him 35 snaps per game at LB and in a pass rushing role in our nickel and you're going to see a lot of disruption. And some injured RBs and QBs.

Offense (20)

Colt McCoy
Cedric Dockery
Kyle Hix
John Chiles
Fozzy Whitaker
Vondrell McGee
Quan Cosby
Jordan Shipley
Malcolm Williams
Chris Hall
Adam Ulatoski
Michael Huey
Charlie Tanner
Brandon Collins
Blaine Irby
Chris Ogbonnaya
Tray Allen
James Kirkendoll
Montre Webber
DJ Monroe

Comments: I think very highly of Hix. Dockery will be quality. Chiles is the X Factor of all X Factors. There's no reason (Greg Davis) we couldn't make him into a 400 yard rusher/passer/receiver across the board with 12 all purpose TDs. Rating the WRs was tough. Cosby is the least talented but most reliable. Shipley is underrated in pure talent and a human infirmary. Malcolm Williams could be the best player on our team by mid-season or drop two balls a game. After those three, it's anyone's guess on our WR talent. I emphasized reliability over potential. Our OL will be quite solid, IMO.

Overall, I am pleased the coaches did this. It allows someone like Earl Thomas a starting gig right off of the bat at safety and it forces the coaches to confront how to best utilize Kindle, Robinson, Acho, Melton - major league athletes who can't just ride the pine. As well as a whole slew of talented but inexperienced DBs.

Offensively, it forces us to confront the need to get Chiles out there, Williams on fast track development, and the elevation of Fozzy Whitaker as a co-starter.

Your thoughts?