Baylor football: Way-too-early offensive depth chart for 2018

Baylor football’s 2018 roster is close to finalized, so the focus shifts to projecting where each player will play next season.

The Bears rank No. 4 nationally in returning production, so plenty of familiar faces remain on the roster. Only two skill position starters are gone, and both lost jobs by the end of the year. The group coming back boasts plenty of snaps.

Baylor’s depth chart has a few question marks. It’s unclear how certain receivers will be used with a fully healthy roster. There’s plenty of shuffling left to do on the offensive line. The intrigue should only make the offseason more interesting.

Every 2018 recruit is taken into account, but only early-enrollees ended up making the depth chart. A few will have a chance, but it’s hard to see many breaking in without much time.

Here’s our way-too-early guess at how the 2018 Baylor offensive depth chart will look:

Quarterback

  1. Charlie Brewer, So.
  2. Gerry Bohanon, Fr.
  3. Preston Heard, So.

Notes: Baylor has an advantage over most 1-win teams: The quarterback position is locked up. Brewer completely nearly 70 percent of his passes as a starting quarterback, and threw for 300 yards three times in five starts. After Brewer, the position is in trouble. Gerry Bohanon will have to play right away as a freshman, and walk-on Preston Heard might have to be the third option. Don’t be surprised to see Baylor add a graduate transfer quarterback.

Running back

  1. JaMycal Hasty, Jr.
  2. John Lovett, So.
  3. Trestan Ebner, So.
  4. Abram Smith, Fr.

Notes: Star running back Terence Williams is gone, but the Bears have plenty of talent waiting in the wings. Lovett led the team in rushing last season, and showed major breakaway ability. Hasty is the best all-around player. Ebner proved he can pose a threat both as a runner and as a receiver. All three running backs will play major snaps. Smith is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered during the 2017 offseason.

Left Tackle

  1. Jake Fruhmorgen, Jr.
  2. Josh Malin, Sr.

Notes: Fruhmorgen transferred from Clemson and sat out the 2017 season. Considering he started for the national championship team before suffering an injury, he should step in and be Baylor’s best offensive tackle right away.

Left Guard

  1. Johncarlo Valentin, Jr.
  2. Xavier Newman, So.

Notes: Newman played well by the end of his freshman season, but junior college transfer Valentin is built to fortify the interior line right away. The Bears need a little more bulk inside, and Valentin’s rumored 345-pound frame fits.

Center

  1. Sam Tecklenburg, Jr.
  2. Ryan Miller, So.

Notes: Valentin could also compete for a job at center, where his talents would be perhaps most useful since Baylor has more depth at guard. Miller showed flashes last season, but struggled to contend with better defensive linemen.

Right Guard

  1. Blake Blackmar, Sr.
  2. Christian Beard, Jr.

Notes: Blackmar was arguably Baylor’s best offensive linemen last season, and should hold onto his starting job. However, UCF transfer Beard is ready if needed, along with a long list of 2017 recruits.

Right Tackle

  1. Patrick Lawrence, Sr.
  2. Josh Malin, Sr.

Notes: Lawrence is a multiple-year starter, but struggled in 2017. The Bears have several different players who could compete for the spot, but none stands out heading into camp. Until we hear otherwise, Lawrence is the presumptive starter.

Tight End

  1. Christophe Henle, Fr.
  2. Rob Saulin, So.

Note: Consider this calling our shot. Saulin is the only tight end on the roster with any game experience, but Henle has prototypical size and frame for the position if he can learn the offense this spring. The Bears also have tight ends Bralen Taylor and Ben Sims joining the team in the spring. Redshirt freshman Tyler Henderson is also waiting in the wings.

Wide Receiver

  1. Denzel Mims, Jr.
  2. Tyquan Thornton, Fr.

Notes: Mims is one of the best receivers in the Big 12. He’s one of just three returning 1,000-yard receivers in conference. He’s the only one to reach the mark without playing in postseason games. His talent will allow blue-chip receiver Tyquan Thornton to develop.

Inside Receiver

  1. Chris Platt, Sr.
  2. Tony Nicholson, Jr.
  3. Gavin Holmes, So.

Notes: Assuming that he recovers nicely after ACL surgery, Platt should be a perfect speed complement to Mims. Nicholson also showed promise as a possession receiver last season.

Wide Receiver

  1. Jalen Hurd, Sr.
  2. Pooh Stricklin, Jr.
  3. R.J. Sneed, So.

Notes: Head coach Matt Rhule noted that Hurd was oftentimes the best player on the roster while participating in practice squad last season. The senior has experience dicing up defenses in the Big 12. Now, Hurd will be a safety blanket for Brewer. Stricklin showed he could be a consistent option last season.

The post Baylor football: Way-too-early offensive depth chart for 2018 appeared first on Diehards.

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