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Thread: Initial 2017 Football Depth Chart Analysis

  1. #1

    Initial 2017 Football Depth Chart Analysis

    I will have a more detailed personnel overview after catching some practices this week.

    For now:

    QB: Bowers and Forest are competing for the starting position with Ross the more likely starter for several reasons. Bowers has the stronger arm and can throw the deeper outs and seams. Bowers is more mobile and a bit more comfortable throwing on the run. Ross has a personality that lends itself to leadership. Forest is for now more consistent and may be absorbing the playbook faster yet he has a lower ceiling and that's likely what leads the staff to name Bowers the starter.

    RB: Watson is going to be our lead dog at RB. Versatile, tough and productive. He's not going to wow you yet he's solid in every facet of the game and exceptional as a pass catcher. Enwere will continue to be his primary back up and get more of the short yardage carries (though don't sleep on Watson with his vision also getting in some totes in goal line and 4th down situations. There's going to be a lot of competition behind them for that 3rd spot. Echols has elite first step quickness and shiftiness and Laird is versatile (good pass protection and receiving skills) and a strong STs contributor. My money is one of those two earning that spot. McCrary, Ali-Walsh and Clark will also get a shot at cracking the rotation though all three are more likely IMO to contribute on STs than from the LOS.

    TE: Hudson's a lock to start and play a lot of snaps. Laris based on his pass receiving chops will almost certainly get significant snaps. Blocking wise, we're going to want at least two more contributors and it's an open competition with Norbeck, Ashton and Wells competing with the incoming frosh.

    WR: We're loaded here with a lot of potentially big time playmakers. Demetris Robertson is coming off a frosh All American season and will likely be the centerpiece of this offense with fly sweeps, reverses and screens adding to his WR route tree. Stovall in the slot will have a breakout year IMO and his versatility in the run game will also be a factor. Duncan and Veasy are our bigger bodies, 3rd down and red zone targets. Singleton presents another shifty burner on the outside and Noa has great feet, hands and precise route running skills. Wharton is coming off a productive season and don't sleep on Gamble and Kobayashi. We're deep and versatile here.

    OL: Biggest position of concern on offense. Wallace has not had a great Spring and is in and out of the coaches dog house (needs to get his weight under control and pick up the new Greatwood technique a bit faster). That said, I expect him to figure it out and start alongside Ooms, Uluave, Mekari and Curhan with Hinnant and Bennett as primary back ups. Depth is a major concern here and keeping our top 7 healthy an overriding priority. The two incoming true frosh as well as Gentle Williams could all factor in the two deeps.

    DT/NT: We might be in better shape here than I realized. While we don't have a natural NT in terms of someone who is a space eater and OL occupier, we do have some versatile athletes that can play inside. Mekari has decent 1st step and lateral quickness and plays with the bend and mentality you want at NT. His experience is huge as well. He'll start. Bequette is ready to break out with his combination of size and athleticism. Palmer will be IMO a solid backup as he's our biggest DT and someone who plays with a high motor and solid technique. Becker will get a look inside at times as a back up as well. Looney's going to get a lot of snaps at NT IMO. He's the star of our front 7 whether he's playing SDE or NT. Net net we have five bodies here, three of whom I believe can be strong contributors

    DE: Will this be the year that Zendae Johnson fully embraces his immense potential. Coaches like what they're seeing thus far and he's got an NFL future if he works at it. When Looney's not playing inside, he'll be a starter at DE. Westerfield brings experience at WDE and thus at least early will get a lot of snaps. Depth here is a big issue and we'll need one of the youngsters: Paul, Cherry and Udeogu to step up and provide meaningful snaps. You'd really like to have 5 players you like at this position and right now we have two or maybe three if you're optimistic about Westerfield's contributions.

    OLB: Another position that looks stronger now than it did a few weeks back. Saffle has taken to the OLB role like a duck to water and is poised to have a breakout season. Funches is almost certainly a day one starter given his ability to tackle in space and his long armed leverage. Behind them you have Goode whose been a star this Spring and who has the ideal lateral quickness and speed you want here and Weaver whose going through a tougher transition from having his hand in the ground yet has plus speed and power (look for him to get a lot of snaps as a pass rusher early while he learns the new position). Depth is not ideal beyond those four and health will be a concern at this position.

    ILB: We have experience and bodies here. Performance and production will need to take a big step up though Wilcox and the new staff and system are likely to positively impact these folks. Davison is a tweener OLB/ILB and depending on the health of the OLBs may end up seeing time outside. Downs could also play OLB with his speed though I think the upfield style of ILB play Wilcox wants will suit him inside. I thought Kunaszyk was our best LB last year and I expect the jump you often seen from JC kids in their 2nd year. Those three will be our ILB nucleus. Anoi and Tongilava will provide experience depth. Five experienced upperclassmen here.

    DB: The necessity brought on by the types of offenses we face and the fact that we have more physical talent here means we're going to see 5 DBs on the field more often than not.

    CB: Allensworth and Franklin are your starters. Similar players in that neither runs that well but both are smart, physical and capable. Allensworth has play making ability on his side while Franklin is among the most improved players on defense this Spring. Plenty of depth behind them though it's unproven and young. Drayden had some tough moments last year playing a true frosh yet he showed he belongs. He can run and should make a big jump. Ashtyn Davis saw decent playing time last year and he can also run. Not sure about his hips or his technique just yet. In the slot, Beck is IMO going to be very good. Bynum has been a coaches favorite this Spring playing there as well. Turner and Edmonds are versatile slot CBs and safeties though if Albert comes back, I suspect they will get more of an opportunity at safety.

    Safety: Rambo when healthy is the starter at FS. Rangy, smart and a sure tackler. He's got star potential. Rubenzer has the most experience playing SS and he can tackle though he's limited in size and speed. Hawkins got some valuable experience last year and is likely our most physically gifted safety. Brown moves back to Safety and could flash as a blitzer. Psalms has yet to be a factor and needs to show he can play faster. Tartabull has apparently had a strong Spring and as mentioned before Turner and Edmonds will get a look here. Plenty of bodies here and some good experience though no proven studs beyond Rambo.
    Last edited by CalHoopFan; 04-18-2017 at 06:17 PM.

  2. #2
    True Blue Golden Bear KoreAmBear's Avatar
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    Nice rundown. Thanks. We have huge depth issues all-around except for at the WR and DB spots.

  3. #3
    OL- I would figure Kam Bennett starts season at RT, based on experience if not size.

  4. #4
    Our D was actually decent last year when Allensworth played. The difference between Allensworth and our 3rd corner was miles.

  5. #5
    Great summary.
    RB Vic Enwere not mentioned. I know he was injured last year - what is happening?

  6. #6
    Enwere's practicing and is in the mix with a lot of reps in practice.

  7. #7
    is stovall all recovered from his surgery?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Great summary.
    RB Vic Enwere not mentioned. I know he was injured last year - what is happening?
    I have him as Watson's primary backup. See OP

  9. #9
    Watson has deserved to start since at least last year, or at the very least should have had much more playing time.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BEAST2324MODE View Post
    is stovall all recovered from his surgery?
    No, he's out all spring but is supposed to be back for fall camp

  11. #11
    Great stuff thanks. Looking forward to the next overview.

  12. #12
    Thanks for the great write-up. Best part to me is hearing that Curhan looks like a starter for us.

    Would like to hear about safeties if you get a chance.

  13. #13
    Awesome post. I'd also like to know about the safeties. How are Hawkins, Rambo, Brown, and Tartabull progressing?Also will Juarez compete for a spot at OT? And how's Psalms doing?

  14. #14
    Fantastic info!!! I have been watching Z Johnson and hoping for a breakout! He has shown glimpses and looks the part.

  15. #15
    CalHoopFan - My mistake. Sorry.

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