Remember when Kirk Herbstreit used the now famous descriptor “An embarrassment of riches”? He was talking about the running backs at that time back in 2017, but over the past few seasons, it's been a fair phrase to describe the defensive tackle room.
The other side of the blessing of having so many talented tackles is that sometimes playing time is scarce for those down the depth chart, especially if they have missed time because of injuries. That’s what has happened to Demonte Capehart.
With so many names at tackle, a lot of attention was paid to Tre Williams and Payton Page coming into 2023, as well as freshmen like Peter Woods and Vic Burley. Capehart had been slowed by injuries in 2022 so he was perceived to be deeper on the depth chart.
Well, Williams and Burley missed most of the 2023 season with injuries and Woods was slowed a little bit too (not much though). With these players missing time, Capehart got his opportunity and outplayed Page to become the next man off the bench behind Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro.
With both 2023 starters going pro, it looks like Capehart and Woods are the heir apparent starters.
We must acknowledge that injuries could turn the tackle depth chart on its ear again. Williams is a good player and if he can make a comeback he will compete for time. The coaches are high on Burley, and Page is still a beast.
Next: Jay Haynes