Auburn vs. Washington State: Projecting the Tigers' depth chart for the opener

Todd Van Emst/Auburn University photo

We already know a few players who have locked down starting spots. What might the entire two-deep look like?

On Tuesday, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is set to release his depth chart for the Tigers' Week 1 game against Washington State. There are some positions where we can go ahead and write in the two-deep with pen, but several spots are still up in the air. What will the first official depth chart of the year look like? Here's our best guess:

Projected offensive depth chart
Position First string Second string
Quarterback Nick Marshall Jonathan Wallace
Running back Tre Mason OR Cameron Artis-Payne Corey Grant
H-back Jay Prosch Brandon Fulse
Tight end C.J. Uzomah Brandon Fulse
X-receiver Jaylon Denson Sammie Coates
Slot receiver Quan Bray Marcus Davis
Flanker Ricardo Louis Trovon Reed
Left tackle Greg Robinson Shon Coleman
Left guard Avery Young Alex Kozan
Center Reese Dismukes Tunde Fariyike
Right guard Chad Slade Devonte Danzey
Right tackle Patrick Miller Avery Young
  • The offensive line was probably the toughest two-deep to predict. While Greg Robinson, Reese Dismukes and Chad Slade are almost guaranteed to be named starters, the left guard and right tackle spots are up for grabs. Patrick Miller seems to have played his way into a starting role at right tackle, maybe not beating out Avery Young, but forcing his way into the starting lineup. Because Young is so talented, he's been getting work at left guard, and even though Alex Kozan has been good this fall, Young could get the job based on his advantage in raw skill.
  • The coaching staff has mentioned Jaylon Denson and Quan Bray as Auburn's most consistent receivers during camp, and Ricardo Louis has apparently come up with some of the biggest plays. So, that trio should see the field first. But look for Sammie Coates and Marcus Davis to get plenty of snaps, too.
  • Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne really are 1 and 1A at running back. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said during his post practice presser Sunday that either could start depending on the opening package. They'll both get a ton of time on the field.
Projected defensive depth chart
Position First string Second string
Defensive end Craig Sanders LaDarius Owens
Defensive tackle Gabe Wright Ben Bradley
Defensive tackle Angelo Blackson Jeffrey Whitaker
Defensive end Kenneth Carter Nosa Eguae
Mike linebacker Jake Holland Kris Frost
Will linebacker Cassanova McKinzy Anthony Swain
Star Justin Garrett Robenson Therezie
Boundary corner Chris Davis Ryan White
Field corner Jonathon Mincy Kamryn Melton
Boundary safety Joshua Holsey Khari Harding
Field safety Jermaine Whitehead Ryan Smith
  • The defense is much more of a fluid situation, and there aren't many players who have a hold on their spots at their positions. The starting secondary, star and linebackers look like they're set, but everything else, including the D-line rotation and overall depth, is completely up in the air.
  • Yes, Jake Holland will once again be starting. Hopefully, it's because he really has shown great improvement, and not just because Kris Frost has regressed.
  • The defensive line: Who knows? Neither Carl Lawson nor Elijah Daniel will start -- Ellis Johnson has said he doesn't want true freshmen starting, and they'll be used in specific pass-rush situations; that's the only reason they aren't on our two-deep. Craig Sanders will get the start in place of Dee Ford, and Kenneth Carter should be the top regular-down options on the other side. But, Lawson and Daniel are going to get work, and if either gets hot, he could see some extended playing time.
  • Defensive tackle is a complete shot in the dark. When speaking to reporters Sunday, even Johnson sounded like he had no idea how the rotation will be set.
  • If you've been paying attention in the last week, you know the depth in the secondary is razor thin. It's really an all-hands-on-deck situation.

What do you think? Are we overlooking anyone?

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