Perhaps the thinnest position on the 2019 Clemson football team is defensive tackle. The Tigers will be tested as they look to replace historical greats.
There will most likely never be another duo of defensive tackles as talented and elite as Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence in the history of College Football.
Clemson football landed both of the talented 5-star commits and had the opportunity to see them play together for three years. This past year, Wilkins chose to return to school despite the fact that he had already graduated and most likely would’ve been a first-round pick in last year’s NFL Draft so that he could play with Lawrence and his other fellow Power Rangers one last time.
Then, behind those two guys, Clemson football had Albert Huggins- a 4-star- who was invited to the NFL Combine and very well may be taken in the mid-rounds, perhaps earlier, of this coming NFL Draft.
There are NFL teams that didn’t have the talent that Clemson did at defensive tackle in 2018.
With those guys gone in 2019, though, the position is going to be tested. Here’s what to watch for in the spring at the defensive tackle position.
What to watch for:
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the two projected starters at defensive tackle- Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams- are out with injuries for the entirety of spring practice.
That leaves just Xavier Kelly, Darnell Jefferies and freshmen to play the position during the spring. Both Pinckney and Williams are expected to return later this summer, but their absence may open up the door for more competition come fall camp.
I’m interested to see how Jefferies performs coming off a redshirt season and I’m looking forward to watching 4-star DT Tyler Davis compete, as well.
This position will, without a doubt, be tested in 2019. It’s going to take some of those young guys stepping up and creating quality depth. That all starts with spring ball.