Back in February, I took an early stab at projecting the offensive and defensive depth charts for the fall. Now that spring practice is underway and the new roster has been released, there’s a lot more information available about how Michigan will line up and who will be lining up where. So, I’ve taken another opportunity to make myself look really foolish in the fall, and updated my projected depth chart to reflect these changes. Here are a few notes on the changes:
One player who has a lot of buzz surrounding him so far in spring is running back Mike Cox, whose running skills seem to be catching up to his outstanding athleticism and frame. For now, I’ve moved Cox up to second on the depth chart with Michael Shaw, behind the injured Vincent Smith. With all the talented players the Wolverines have at running back, I expect to see a fair amount of running back by committee come fall, and Cox should be one of the backs in the mix for carries.
At receiver, Roy Roundtree has been practicing at outside receiver, but I expect him to move back into the slot when Junior Hemingway returns healthy in the fall. Word from practice is that Roundtree and Martavious Odoms have become a dangerous combination when both see the field at the same time, so it would not be a surprise to see Michigan start two slot receivers next season. We’ll have to wait and see if that has any effect on the tight end position, but for now I’m keeping Roundtree as the top slot in my depth chart along with Odoms — down the road, I may split the slots into two positions.
On the line, it sounds like Mark Huyge, Perry Dorrestein, Taylor Lewan, and Michael Schofield are the players battling for the two tackle positions, so I’ve changed the depth chart to reflect that competition. Patrick Omameh, who some (including myself) originally thought would move out to tackle this season, has been playing (and impressing) at guard. I have him projected as the starter at right guard, with the experienced Huyge and Dorrestein at tackle — I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewan grabs one of the tackle spots, but he’s a redshirt freshman who is still filling out his massive frame, so for now I have him backing up Huyge.
The big change here is the alignment — I recommend checking out this helpful post from Touch the Banner to get more familiar with the slight move to more of a 4-2-5 look:
From left to right along the line should be Ryan Van Bergen, Will Campbell, Mike Martin (injured for spring practice, so Greg Banks is playing there right now), and Craig Roh. The two interior linebackers are Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton, if they hold on to their positions. The weak side safety in the above graph is what Michigan is calling the “spur” position — right now, Mike Williams and Brandin Hawthorne appear to be the most likely players to start there, with Mike Jones, Thomas Gordon and probably Josh Furman (when he arrives in the fall) also competing at the position. The strong safety — Touch the Banner calls it the “boundary” safety, but I’ll use the more common term to save confusion — appears to be Jordan Kovacs’ position to lose, although Marvin Robinson could compete for time there when he enrolls in the fall. Vlad Emilien has received the first-team reps so far at free — deep — safety, although Cameron Gordon impressed when Emilien sat out with a minor injury this week. If Troy Woolfolk were to move back to safety, this would likely be his spot.
At cornerback, Woolfolk is obviously holding down one spot, and I’ll place him there in the depth chart until he moves (if he moves) to safety. J.T. Floyd has been getting the first-team reps at the other corner spot, and has impressed so far, although J.T. Turner will make a strong push for that starting role. Of course, the competition at corner will not be fully settled until the fall, when Demar Dorsey, Cullen Christian, Terrence Talbott, and Courtney Avery arrive on campus.
For the full, updated depth chart, hit the “Football Depth Chart” tab at the top of the screen, or simply click here.