9.02.2009

AU Depth Chart Released

http://blog.al.com/goldmine/2009/09/auburn_depth_chart_true_freshm.html

Auburn released their depth chart and here's WRAS preseason grades for each position...

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Chris Todd
Neil Caudle
Tyrik Rollison

Grade (C) - The most discussed about position on the team during fall practice (for the 2nd year in a row) ends with Chris Todd being named the opening game starter again. WRAS thinks this is the right move right now for the team. If he can stay healthy, Todd is likely to make the least mistakes on the team and is probably the most resilient QB on the roster (and that's saying something since Caudle and Kodi Burns are on this team too). Todd just has to drive the car and not go careening off a cliff (and thus injuring his shoulder) for this team to contend for a decent bowl game. Caudle is #2 right now but WRAS is convinced that Rollison will get as much playing time and would be the starter in the 2nd half of the season should something happen to Todd.

Running back
Ben Tate
Onterio McCalebb

Grade (B) - A top heavy group on the AU team since their isn't much depth, especially with the ongoing Eric Smith saga. Catchy nicknames for RB duos are all the rage...Smash & Dash, Thunder & Lightning, etc. so WRAS figures these two need one. How about McMoney, Tate money? http://wireroadandshug.blogspot.com/2009/08/straight-cash-homey.html

H-Back
Mario Fannin
John Douglas
Gabe McKenzie

Grade (B-) - Another offseason of talk that Fannin is going to be the focal point of the office and all over the field. We'll believe it when we see it, hopefully this is the year. And another year, another position change for Gabe. WRAS thought if they would do that, he'd go back to the DL but it wasn't to be.

Tight end
Tommy Trott
Philip Lutzenkirchen
Jay Wisner

Grade (B-) - Trott is a solid player but hasn't been able to put it all together for a single season. He seemed to take to last year's spread offense but then the season started. Lutz is another true freshman to crack the 2-deep and everyone is raving about him. Surprising to see Wisner here, not that he made the depth chart but that it was at tight end. This is likely due to the fact that TE in this offense is more like a 3/4 receiver and Trooper Taylor loves this kid.

Offensive Line
Left tackle
Lee Ziemba
Jared Cooper

Left guard
Byron Isom
Jorell Bostrom

Center
Ryan Pugh
Bart Eddins

Right guard
Mike Berry
John Sullen

Right tackle
Andrew McCain
Vance Smith

Grade (B-) - This is the most experienced unit on the offensive side of the ball and also the one with the most to prove. It was evident that they did not like having to lose weight before last season and it showed on the field. Not only was the physical running game gone but the focus seemed to lack as well. Depth is an issue so this unit needs to stay healthy or it could all fall apart again.

Wide Receiver
Wide receiver
Terrell Zachery
Kodi Burns

Wide receiver
Darvin Adams
DeAngelo Benton OR Emory Blake

Grade (C+) - Seemingly a lot of talent in the whole unit though most has been unfulfilled (e.g. Tim Hawthorne). If WRAS had told you last year that the above would be our 2-deep at WR, you would have thrown us in Bryce and thrown away the key. This group is completely unknown and is epitomized by Kodi. We'll take the wait and see approach before saying anything further.

Place-kicker
Wes Byrum
Morgan Hull

Grade (B) - If Byrum can regain his 2007 form then this position should be a strong one. Field position will be key so let's hope Hull's leg stays strong.

DEFENSE

Defensive Line
Defensive end
Michael Goggans
Dee Ford

Defensive tackle
Jake Ricks
Zach Clayton
Derrick Lykes

Defensive tackle
Mike Blanc
Nick Fairley

Defensive end
Antonio Coleman
Nosa Eguae

Grade (B+) - Lots of young guys will be needed to contribute this year. Not the biggest of DLs but they will be one of the fastest so they need to stay healthy as to not get run down by some of the more physical OLs in the SEC. Notable absence of Antoine "Hot" Carter due to injury or some other mysterious reason.

Linebackers

Outside linebacker
Eltoro Freeman
Adam Herring
Wade Christopher

Middle linebacker
Josh Bynes
Harris Gaston

Outside linebacker
Craig Stevens
Jonathan Evans

Grade (C) - The unit on the team with the least depth. Lots of underclassmen expected to contribute immediately and one injury or two could force Auburn to emply the never before seen 4-0-7 defense which would not be good. Bynes is as good as they come and Eltoro "The Bull" Freeman has all the talent of Tray Blackmon (hopefully he doesn't have his head though). Spencer Pybus should contribute but isn't listed on the depth chart due to post-concussion symptoms.

Defensive Backs

Cornerback
Neiko Thorpe
Demond Washington

Safety
Zac Etheridge
Mike Slade
D'Antoine Hood

Safety
Daren Bates
Drew Cole
T'Sharvan Bell

Cornerback
Walter McFadden
Harry Adams

Grade (C+) - A very talented bunch but less talented than they should be due to injuries to Aairon Savage and Mike McNeil. Neiko Thorpe is looking more and more like an All-SEC performer so let's hope he lives up to the hype Auburn coaches have given him this offseason. McFadden should be solid at the other corner spot and the shock of the fall has been Darren Bates rapid ascension to the top of the safety depth chart (akin to the human missile he is purported to be).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter
Clinton Durst
Ryan Shoemaker

Punt return
Mario Fannin
Anthony Gulley

Kickoff return
Terrell Zachery or Onterio McCalebb

Grade (B+) - Probably the strongest group on the team. Durst evokes memories of helium-using punters of the past and while Shoemaker has struggled to regain his early form, he's a competent backup. WRAS agrees with anything that gets the ball in Mario Fannin's hands more. He was criminally underutilized last year and that needs to change. Zachery and McMoney are a couple of speedsters and should consistently get Auburn in good field position.

1 comment:

JunkerJorge said...

Outstanding. We are very thin, but if we stay healthy we should win 8 or 9 games. heck, if our offense can do what they did at Tulsa we could win 10.