Hello fine people of the internet. A holiday break gives me plenty of time to think about things and one of those things is how the depth charts might play out in 2020. I should clarify from the get-go that I don’t have any inside information. This is purely a guess. The paid sites will probably have a much better idea than me because they probably are talking to coaches or players and most likely have a better idea than me.
This is my first guess based on where players started the last few games and the depth chart that was published. We’ll do the offense first and then the defense in a second post. I’ll also run down my thoughts below.
|Position||1st Team||2nd Team||Others|
|Z Receiver||T.J. Vasher (6-6/210)
Seth Collins (6-3/195)
|Myller Royals (6-5/180)||Loic Fouonji (6-4/180)|
|X Receiver||Erik Ezukanma (6-3/210)||Cameron Cantrell (6-1/195)||Trey Cleveland (6-4/190)|
|H Receiver||McLane Mannix (5-10/180)
KeSean Carter (5-11/175)
Dalton Rigdon (5-11/170)
|Xavier White (5-11/185)||Serling Galban (5-11/175)|
|Tight End||Travis Koontz (6-5/245)||Simon Gonzalez (6-4/235)||John Holcomb (6-5/215)|
|Right Tackle||Casey Verhulst (6-6/290)||Troy Bradshaw (6-6/280)||Landon Peterson (6-6/285)|
|Right Guard||Weston Wright (6-6/310)||Clayton Franks (6-4/295)|
|Center||Dawson Deaton (6-6/305)||Hakeem White (6-3/285)|
|Left Guard||Jack Anderson (6-5/320)||Demarcus Marshall (6-3/320)|
|Left Tackle||Zach Adams (6-6/320)||Will Farrar (6-5/310)|
|Running Back||SaRodorick Thompson (6-0/210)||Ta’Zhawn Henry (5-7/185)||Tahj Brooks (5-11/215)|
|Quarterback||Alan Bowman (6-3/210)||Maverick McIvor (6-3/195)||Donovan Smith (6-3/185)|
Here are some of my thoughts:
- I’ve only gone 3 deep and should/could probably go deeper, but I found myself just guessing without much reason when I did try to guess. I’m not a huge fan of just guessing and even so, I took some liberty, for example, I have no idea if Cameron Cantrell is really the 2nd team X-receiver over Trey Cleveland. Absolutely no idea and Cleveland could be ahead of him. So I think with the skill guys, you could essentially just put an “or” between all of them except for Vasher and Ezukanma. I think that Ezukanma is absolute, Vasher should be an absolute, but isn’t.
- When you put the depth chart together, you definitely get the idea that you need to have some more true wide receivers. I’ve put Loic Fouonji as “other” but all of those freshmen receivers are going to get a shot there, receivers like Ja’Lynn Polk (6-2/175) and JJ Sparkman (6-4/200) are guys that will get their shots over Fouonji so consider Fouonji a placeholder for a freshman receiver. I also don’t know what to do with Seth Collins and his return. Does he got inside, outside, etc.? My guess is outside, but is he going to essentially be a third receiver?
- The H-Receiver spot may be the most competitive on the team other than running back? That’s actually not a bad debate, but you could put an “or” with all of those guys. Mannix started the last couple of games because Rigdon was out, and then Carter busted out with a terrific performance in the last game. If Carter sticks at inside receiver, that’s just a ridiculous amount of talent at that position. And you all probably forgot about Xavier White, who was receiving a decent amount of playing time at the start of the year only to suffer a season-ending injury.
- Ezukanma is the guy that I think has cemented himself as a starter and absolutely love what he did the last four games. I think he made a statement and he’s ready. As an aside, Ezukanma led the team with 664 receiving yards this year.
- It will be interesting to see how the tight end position plays out. Holcomb is a pretty interesting prospect, but with Gonzalez arriving early and being able to participate in spring ball last year plus going through a full year of strength and weight training. I’m interested to see how he’s matured physically. As a receiver, he was talented, so if Wells is truly developing then Gonzalez should be splitting time with Koontz next year with Holcomb redshirting.
- The offensive line is largely a guess, but there are some things that I think we do know. I think the starting five is pretty well set except for left tackle. I don’t have a real clear recollection of Zach Adams and how athletic he is to play left tackle. I’ve always liked Farrar and he was a highly rated prospect, he’s just had Steele or Bruffy in front of him for the past two years. As an aside, I remember watching the film for White and Marshall and remember loving them as inside prospects. At the time, they stood out to me as being really athletic and as inside players, could see an offensive line coach absolutely utilizing that athleticism pulling and and moving down the line of scrimmage.
- I think all of the other starting spots are pretty much how they ended the year, except for Anderson, who was injured for most of 2019.
- The running backs are all an “or” for me, including the freshman Brooks. If he learns the offense and can pick up a block, he’s going to play. No question for me about that. I’d love to see another smaller back similar to Henry in the group, but maybe that’s a pick-up for the February National Signing Day.
- More than anything, I want these guys to all be healthy. I’m presuming that Jett Duffey does go through with his transfer, but that’s a big presumption right now. I’d like to see each of these quarterbacks add about 10 to 15 pounds before the season starts, that includes Bowman and all the way through Smith. I’d also add that maybe McIvor isn’t as far behind Bowman as one might be inclined to think.
Do you have have any thoughts on the depth chart? I hope you do. I hope you do very much. And if so, then please leave them in the comments.