There aren't a whole lot of surprises on the depth chart that was released yesterday afternoon. The biggest surprise comes at the Safety position, where the two backups weren't really on anybody's radar for the position just a week ago. The names are Rijo Walker and Anthony Harris. Both are a big surprise, but for vastly different reasons.
Rijo Walker came out of spring as the projected starting CB opposite Chase Minnifield. Throughout camp, we never heard anything about a possible to move to S. What we did hear, however, was that true freshman CB Demetrious Nicholson had supplanted him at CB. We can only guess that Rijo was just too talented to keep off the 2-deep, so he was moved to S. I suspect that we'll see Rijo play both positions, probably in nickel and dime packages.
Even more surprising is Anthony Harris. Harris, like Nicholson, is a true freshman. Now, we knew we had depth problems at S. It was suggested that Harris (or another S, maybe Kameron Mack) would end up playing. But I don't think anybody really thought they would be on the 2-deep. Not with veteran Dom Joseph in the mix. Not with Pablo Alvarez, who has prototypical S size and speed.
Check back after the jump for some more depth chart analysis.
The big question during the offseason was QB. Who is going to be the starting QB? Is freshman David Watford ready to take the reigns? Well, those questions have been answered. Michael Rocco will start. That much is clear. The second question, well that isn't quite as clear. All signs point to Watford getting some snaps. Does that mean he is the backup? Who knows. Ross Metheny is listed 2nd, but Watford is listed right behind him, with an OR. I suspect that Watford will get into the game to get some snaps, but if we need a QB to come in and play long-term, that will be Metheny. But, I could be wrong.
A few other notable things from the depth chart, in no particular order:
- There are 4 TEs listed on the 2-deep. There are no ORs, just 4 guys listed. We already knew we had 3 TEs likely to get playing time. Maybe this means Jake McGee is so good, he has to get in the game. Could we have another Heath on our hands? (For those who don't know, McGee was recruited as a QB, much like Heath was.)
- There are also 4 RBs listed. This isn't surprising, because we already knew there were 4 guys likely to get playing time. It will be interesting to see how the carries are given out. Jones has earned the majority of the carries, but Kevin Parks has a lot of potential. Shepherd, I imagine will end up being used mostly as a 3rd down back. Richardson is the wild card here, because he provides a different look with his size and downfield ability. I wouldn't be surprised to see Richardson getting some short yardage carries.
Dominique Terrell is listed as the primary punt returner. This is great news for anybody who is tired of seeing fair catch after fair catch. Darius Jennings is the 2nd punt returner listed. Just as good. I suspect we'll still see some other guys in here, such as Chase Minnifield, Tim Smith, and Trey Nicholson.
- At KR, it is Jennings and Kevin Parks. I wonder who I would kick to. Jennings is faster, unquestionably. But Parks is tougher to tackle. I could see either of them being very good KRs. Again, I suspect we'll see some other guys get looks here, possibly Perry Jones, Dominique Terrell and Khalek Shepherd.
- Tim Smith is listed as an OR with Matt Snyder at the WR position. Probably, both will get reps, depending on game situation. They could also both be on the field at the same time, in 3 WR sets. Then again, with the two freshmen WRs, maybe neither of them are on the field as much as we think. (It wouldn't surprise me if Snyder is on the two-deep at this point in this season just because he's a senior captain.)
- Maybe the single most interesting thing on this depth chart is that there are 12 seniors listed as the starter (or Co-starter) at their position. I'm not sure what this means. With that much veteran talent, we should be pretty good. But, then, why are we so excited about all the youngsters?