I've been meaning for a couple weeks to take a stab at a new depth chart for the Sooners following the close of spring football. Frankly, not much has changed since my last effort prior to the start of spring practice. However, after reviewing the spring game, I feel as though I have a little better handle on how OU will deploy its personnel on both sides of the ball.
Here's the latest iteration, with some analysis to follow. As always, I'm trying to project how Bob Stoops would roll his team out for a game tomorrow. Hit me up in the comments with thoughts.
*The obvious headline on the offensive side of the ball: Baker Mayfield as QB1. At this point, I just can't ignore all the talk in the media that the Texas Tech transfer has a clear lead in the competition with Trevor Knight, Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen.
(Here's my obligatory note not to discount Thomas.)
*All things being equal, I have no doubt that Joe Mixon will wind up with more carries than Alex Ross this season. As of now, though, I expect Ross would be second in line after Samaje Perine at running back.
*Given that the coaching staff is talking about rotating as many as eight receivers, I imagine they will experiment with all different kinds of personnel groupings out wide.
Based on the spring game, it looks as though Dede Westbrook will play the X and Z positions, rather than in the slot as the H. Michiah Quick and Sterling Shepard will probably hold down the slot.
*Kenyon Frison or Orlando Brown will eventually pass Derek Farniok at right tackle. For now, however, I anticipate that OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh would defer to Farniok's experience.
*In the spring game, the D was shifting between 3-4 and 4-2-5 looks. I've listed Charles Walker's spot as defensive end, although he will flex inside to at 3-technique defensive tackle in the four-man front.
*Even though Frank Shannon is expected back with the team, I don't have him on the depth chart yet. His re-entry into the program constitutes one of the key stories of fall camp. I can't see OU taking Jordan Evans off the field, so I expect Shannon will compete with Dom Alexander for one of the inside linebacker spots.
Based on how Tay Evans is progressing, the Sooners actually seem to have a little depth at ILB.
*After Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas, I expect CB will stay in flux. I liked what little I saw of Will Johnson in the Red-White Game, so I see him contributing in the fall in some way – maybe as a dime corner.
*Yes, safety is that thin. I could throw a bunch of walk-ons in the mix, but why? Kerry Cooks will need to earn his paycheck with a talented crop of freshman DBs hitting Norman.