3 Virginia Tech football players who should be replaced on the depth chart for 2024

FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish has identified three key positions that Virginia Tech needs to upgrade on its roster for the 2024 season.

Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Stephen Gosnell
Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Stephen Gosnell / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Stephen Gosnell. . Senior. player. . Stephen Gosnell. Stephen Gosnell. 447. 12. WR

It is always a good thing when a coach can bring an entire unit back for an additional season, instead of watching them leave through the portal in search of greener pastures. That’s what Pry did with his wide receiver room and the fact that Drones is set as the Day 1 starter certainly helped him plead his case to Da’Quan Felton, Jaylin Lane, Ali Jennings, and Stephen Gosnell, who are all returning. 

Though, just because he’s back, doesn’t mean Gosnell should get back on the field. Last season, Gosnell caught 22 of his 34 targets for 348 yards, 15.8 yards per reception. He finished the year with three touchdowns and only one drop, but he’s not the dynamic playmaker that Tyler Bowen needs to pair with his elite-level run game. 

Gosnell’s average depth of target was only 9.8, eight yards lower than Felton, the team’s deep threat, and two yards higher than Lane, the Hokies primary slot receiver. Gosnell averaged just 5.6 yards after the catch compared to Lane’s 9.9 and only caught one pass over 20 yards downfield compared to Felton’s six. 

Yet, Gosnell played just 22 fewer snaps than Felton and nearly 100 more snaps than Lane, both of whom have proven to be much more dynamic in their respective roles. Acting as a security blanket for Drones is helpful, but Gosnell only caught four of eight contested catch targets last season and averaged just 1.06 yards per route run. That was the lowest among primary pass catchers for the Hokies and ranked 482nd among wide receivers who saw at least 20 targets last season.