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What to Expect from Football's Depth Chart Reveal (Along with Predictions)

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

So, other Big XII schools have begun to roll out their post-fall-camp depth charts, and Baylor will presumably be doing so soon. Schools put Depth Charts within their "Game Notes" which they give out to all media who attend games, and those are generally created early in the week, so expect Baylor to release something on Monday or Tuesday.

*As a side note, Baylor often doesn't update their link to the "Depth Chart" on the Baylorbears football page. To get the most up to date depth chart, always click on "Game Notes" and then find the Depth Chart for that particular week. There usually isn't a lot of variation between weeks, but it helps you know about injuries and other happenings.

For starters, here is the depth chart that Baylor released pre-fall camp: 

Baylor Preseason Depth Chart

Now I'm going to reveal my predictions and give explanations for each position (when an explanation is required -- if you want me to explain why Seth Russell or Kyle Fuller are starting then too bad).

QB: Seth Russell, SR.
Zach Smith, FR.

Thank God for Seth Russell.

RB: Shock Linwood, SR.
Johnny Jefferson, JR.
Terence Williams, So. *OR*
JaMycal Hasty

No real movement here. I think Jefferson loses the OR because he was injured for almost all of camp but who cares, it doesn't really matter -- he's going to play a ton when he comes back.

WR (X): Ishmael Zamora, So.

Pooh Stricklin, rFR.

Yeah, no real movement here. Zamora's upcoming punishment decision will throw a wrench in things so I'm not sure how they'll handle this. I imagine that this is the position that Jared Atkinson is playing so they might throw him a bone and put an OR in there. Note that this position is what I've labeled the "X" receiver, which traditionally means the WR that lines up on the side of the field with the "Y" receiver (i.e. the slot WR, which is Chris Platt this year, and has been most famously played by Tevin Reese in the past). The X receiver is the position that Jay Lee played last year.

IR (Y1): Chris Platt, So. 
Blake Lynch, rFR.

Platt seems to have gone out and won this position this Fall with a great camp, which is great news for Baylor. The offense really doesn't work without a WR who can go win against Big12 safeties. Baylor lists two IR's on its depth chart, but the base offense has really moved to only having one slot (Y) on the field at a time. Of course we will still run 4 and 5 wide, but the Y1 is the guy who is out there in 3 WR sets. This is the position that KD Cannon played last year, and despite Hawthorne also being listed as a starter at IR, there really wasn't a question as to which IR would be on the field in 3 WR sets. That's what I'm trying to denote with Platt as the Y1.

IR (Y2): Lynx Hawthorne, SR.
Blake Lynch, rFR.

With Baylor's inexperience at WR, Baylor will love the experience of Hawthorne. He's a pretty damned good player to boot. Hawthorne suffers from lacking an elite trait, but his overall quickness, speed, and YAC ability will give him the nod here. Lynch will get a lot of run with the 1s as the primary backup for both Platt and Hawthorne. I also suspect Lynch will be the primary option to get on the field in 5 wide sets.

WR (Z): KD Cannon, JR.
Quan Jones, JR.

The Z WR is the most important WR position in the Baylor offense. The famed Baylor receivers all played this position, usually all starting off somewhere else and moving to Z later in their careers (2011 Kendall Wright - 2012 Terrance Williams -- 2013/14 Antwan Goodley -- 2015 Corey Coleman). The Z WR is most important because they generally play to the boundary (the shorter side of the field) and don't have any other WRs on their side of the field; thus, they must be good enough to regularly attract the attention of the opposing boundary safety, and punish them when they play solo coverage. Cannon is a clear winner here. If Baylor has an explosive offense this year KD Cannon will have to play well.

OT: Dom Desouza, Mo Porter, Patrick Lawrence, and Ish Wilson.

What order will these guys be in? I don't know. And I don't really think it matters; the coaches have been adamant that there will be a lot of rotating on the OL. It looks like Wilson has been working at G, too.

LG: Blake Blackmar, So. 
Tyrae Simmons, JR.

Blackmar is set in stone. The backup is a crapshoot.

RG: Tanner Thrift, JR.
Tyrae Simmons, JR.

Again, Thrift seems to be set in stone, but the backup I don't know. We just don't have that many guys. My guess is the Depth Chart will list as many people as possible, but Baylor will have a "6th man" if you will that will come in basically no matter what position it is (my hunch is that's Ish Wilson since he has been working at both G and T).

C: Kyle Fuller, SR.

Thank God for Kyle Fuller.

TE: Jordan Feurbacher, JR. 
Sam Tecklenburg, rFR.

Please refer to Der Baylor Baer for all Feuerbacher pronunciation help.


DE (strongside): KJ Smith, JR.
Xavier Jones, So.

Thank God for KJ Smith.


NT: Ira Lewis, So.
Bravion Roy, FR *OR*

Andrew Morris, So.

Roy looks to be the clear backup at this point, but coaches don't like to give true freshman too much ego so expect the OR with Morris here.

DT: If Baylor puts this on their depth chart it will purely be to make some DT feel good. If Baylor is playing 2 DTs at a time frequently this season we are in trouble because it probably means that 5 LBs are hurt. The 3-4 will make or break this year's team. Baylor might use 2 DTs sometimes vs power run teams but we'll see. Either way the 3-4 is undoubtedly the true starting D this year.

DE (weakside): Greg Roberts, So. *OR*
Jamie Jacobs, So.

Grobe recently commented that there is good competition between Roberts and Jacobs.

OLB (Jack): Taylor Young, JR.
Thomas Cletcher, So. *OR*
Clay Johnston, rFR.

In a recent practice recap video they had what looked to be 1s and 2s in a line for footwork drills (I'm using this video for all of my predictions  at LB), and Cletcher was the backup to Young. It makes sense, because the Jack LB that Young plays this year will be relied on A LOT for pass rushing, and Cletcher showed ability to rush on his JUCO film. The Jack LB will play to the boundary.

ILB (boundary): Raaquan Davis, JR.
Lenoy Jones, Jr., rFR.

Playing Davis to the boundary makes sense because he seems to be a bit more of a straight-line athlete than Edwards. Same with Jones.


ILB (Field): Aaivion Edwards, SR.
Jordan Williams, rFR.

Not too much to say here. Baylor needs a big year from Edwards to make up for the DL.

NB: Travon Blanchard, JR.
Pat Levels, SR. *OR*
Eric Ogor, rFR.

I imagine they'll put the OR here because of Blanchard's injury and if Ogor comes it they'll want people to know who he is. Blanchard is the best player on this defense and needs to be a star for this defense to flourish.

CB (Boundary): Ryan Reid, SR.
Tion Wright, SR.

Reid stated in the Spring that he would be moving to the boundary (the position that Xavien Howard played last year) but I'm not sure if that remains true because I think I've seen him playing on both sides in practice footage. Anyway, we'll have to wait and see til the first game because the depth chart won't note boundary vs. field.

DS (boundary safety): Orion Stewart, SR.
Taion Sells, SR. *OR*
Henry Black, rFR.

Sells' health is a big question mark; he's played boundary safety every year up to now, but was actually listed as a co-started to the field with Chance Waz before camp. Because of the injury and (my predicted) move of Hall, I think Sells, when he comes back, will be on the boundary.

CS (field safety): Davion Hall, JR. *OR* 
Chance Waz, JR.
Jourdan Blake, So.

This is my prediction. Hall and Stewart are almost assuredly our best two safeties, so we need to get them both on the field. I actually think that the better combo would be Stewart to the field and Hall on the boundary, but Stewart having played the boundary for 4 years before this means he'll probably stay there. This is pretty much a total guess on my part, but I have seen a couple practice clips with Hall and Stewart on the field at the same time.

CB (field): Jameson Houston, rFR. *OR*
Verkedrick Vaughns, So.
Grayland Arnold, FR.

Houston looked to have grabbed this position after the Spring, but an ankle injury has limited him throughout fall camp opening the door for Vaughns. My guess is we'll see these guys rotate throughout the first couple weeks until someone wins the job.

There you have it, y'all. I'd love to hear your input, critique, etc. Since I now live out of the state all my predictions have less credence, but we'll see how I do.