Training Camp 2018 XIII - Updated Three-Deep

Aug 12, 2018

A week ago I posted my guess as to the starting 22 for the Kent State game. Then on Wednesday I expanded that to a two-deep. Now that I've watched five practices, I'm ready to expand that to a three-deep. But this isn't final. I'll go to the scrimmage next Saturday and then post a final final depth chart. Because it matters.

The three-deep, and then some thoughts. Walkons in italics.

QB | Bush (SR) | Thomas (SO) | Robinson (FR)
RB | Epstein (SO) | Corbin (JR) | Brown (JR) -OR- Bonner (SO)
TE | Dorsey (SO) | Walker (JR) | Palmer (SO)
LT | Lowe (SO) | Cerny (rs-SO) | Unije (FR)
LG | Green (rs-FR) | Solomon (JR) | Myers (FR)
C | Kramer (rs-SO) | Gavin (rs-SO) | Stover (rs-FR)
RG | Allegretti (SR) | Boyd (SO) | Martin (JR)
RT | Palczewski (SO) | Trainer (rs-SO) | Slaughter (FR)
WR-X | J. Williams (JR) | Reams (JR) | Mays (SR)
WR-Z | Smalling (SO) | Davis (JR) | C. Green (SO)
WR-W | Dudek (SR) | Stampley (SO) | Sandy (FR)
WDE | Carney (SO) | Gay (SO) | Shogbonyo (rs-SO)
NT | Milan (JR) | Oladipo (SO) | Avery (FR)
3DT | Oliver (JR) | Jackson (JR) | Pate (rs-FR)
SDE | Roundtree (SO) | Woods (SO) | Pearl (FR)
WLB | Hansen (rs-SO) | Tolson (FR) | J. Marchese (JR)
MLB | Phillips (SR) | Harding (JR) | Hollins (FR)
Nickel | Brown (FR) | Bobak (SO) | Joseph (FR) -OR- Knight (SO)
CB | Hobbs (SO) | J. Martin (FR) | Hardge (FR)
SS | B. Williams (SO) | Ware (FR) | DeGroot (SO)
FS | S. Green (JR) | Smith (SO) | M. Marchese (SO)
CB | Watkins (JR) | Adams (SO) | Bernat (JR)
Kicker | McLaughin (SR) | McCourt (rs-SO) | Griffin (FR)
Punter | Hayes (SO) | McCourt (rs-SO)
Long-snapper | Tabel (SO) | Gaines (FR)
Holder | Hayes (SO) | C. Miller (SO)
Punt Return | Dudek (SR) | Adams (SO)
KO Return | D. Brown/Hobbs | Norwood/Sandy

Some thoughts:

+ Defensive End is the hardest to predict. Well, not "predict", but hardest to chart.

Is Julian Pearl really the third string SDE? No. If they needed to expand the depth chart to use three SDE's in a game, they'd move Owen Carney over there to join Woods and Roundtree with Marc Mondesir joining the rotation of weakside DE's.

And the same goes for defensive tackles. If Jamal Milan's injury is significant, Jamal Woods likely moves in to help the defensive tackles. Which means Carney swings over to the strongside. Which means Shogbonyo and Mondesir are more involved.

Basically, right now, the eight main guys are Roundtree and Woods, Carney and Gay, Milan and Oliver, Jackson and Oladipo. As players deal with injuries and whatnot, slide Shogbonyo and Mondesir in and everyone slides down a chair or two towards the big boy positions.

+ I can't really name a sixth offensive lineman right now. There's the first starters listed above, and then 6-15 is really anyone's guess. Boyd? Cerny? Solomon? Every offensive line needs a clear #6, #7, and #8 lineman. I just don't see that right now.

+ Two spots - nickel and tailback - are really hard to predict. I'm pretty sure Epstein is the number 1 tailback and Corbin is number 2, but really, any of the four (six, really, with Jakari Norwood and Kenyon Sims) could be anywhere in the rotation. Tailback is really hard to predict in camp because they're not tackling, and breaking/avoiding tackles is 74% of who gets to start.

Nickel - you'll see a lot more five defensive backs than three linebackers against the offenses we face - is a wide open battle. I'm still not sure if they'll use a linebacker-y guy (like James Knight) or a defensive back-y guy (Kerby Joseph) at that spot.

And we won't really even know after the first game. We'll know about the defensive starters some time around the Penn State game. There are seven new defensive backs, and I'm guessing three or four of them will be in the rotation, and as of right now, it's still wide open.

+ Still sticking with Bush, then Thomas, then Robinson. Bush seems to clearly be the guy, Thomas is the best at running the running stuff, and Robinson is really surprising (but not ready, in my opinion).

+ Lots to learn next Saturday at the open scrimmage. That will tell us so much. So much that this is really a useless post.

But that never stops me from depth charting.


DB50 on August 13 @ 01:10 PM CDT

I think your dead wrong on Robinson because he is clearly the most accurate passer of the three, rarely makes "freshman mistakes" & the offense functions better under him. Also, he is elusive enough to keep a play alive while looking downfield. Thomas is a faster runner but his accuracy is inconsistent. Just my humble opinion Robert.

HiggsBoson on August 13 @ 03:24 PM CDT

Unless he has improved a lot as a passer, I don't think Cam Thomas is a viable option at quarterback on a team that expects to win more than 2-3 games a season. I haven't seen any of the others, but both Bush and Robinson sound like better options.

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