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Auburn Football 2015 Position Previews: Offensive Line

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Continuing the examination of Auburn's position groups for the 2015 football season.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Key Losses:

Reese Dismukes, Chad Slade, Pat Miller

Key Returnees:

Shon Coleman, Davonte Danzey, Alex Kozan, Xavier Dampeer, Avery Young, Braden Smith, Robert Leff

Newcomers:

Austin Golson, Mike Horton, a bunch of other freshman likely to redshirt.

Causes for Optimism

We have depth. Not just depth, but quality depth. If there's an injury to any single position on the line during the 2015 season, I don't know that Auburn will miss a beat. Left tackle is the only position I'm not 100% sure of what would happen if someone gets hurt. Left Guard? Two players are fighting for the job (Kozan and Danzey). Same at the Center (Dampeer and Golson). Right Guard? Braden Smith has that locked down. Something happens to him? Avery Young moves back inside and Mike Horton goes to right tackle. Something happens to Young? Horton steps in. There are still others that can move around, as well. Golson has experience at positions other than Center if needed.

Auburn has one of the best and toughest OL coaches in the country in J.B. Grimes, and the Tigers' offensive line has helped them run the ball very well for the past two seasons. I don't know if they'll be quite as dominant as the 2013 line was (Jay Prosch was a big part of that, too), but I think they'll be even better with the run game than the 2014 line was.

Causes for Concern

The biggest concern? Maybe the Center battle hasn't been won because neither is really that great. Maybe the Left Guard position is still up in the air because Kozan isn't fully healthy.

I don't believe, those, though. Danzey was just fine last season when he played, and I think he's a great lineman, too. As for the center position, I think that's really just that they're both good. Of course I wish there were separation by one of them, but I don't think Auburn needs to be concerned that a starter hasn't been named just yet.

I honestly can't think of any others except for what I mentioned with not being 100% certain of who would take left tackle if something happens to Shon Coleman. This is about as happy as I've been with an offensive line in a long time.

Predictions

Auburn runs the ball hard just like they've done the last two seasons. The line is - as mentioned a bit earlier - somewhere between 2013 and 2014 level of dominance early on, but gets to 2013 level by the end of the season. Shon Coleman improves as a pass blocker in his second season. Auburn's offense clicks along and does everything we hope they will.

Previous Articles:

Special Teams

Defensive Tackles

Defensive Ends

Linebackers

Defensive Backs