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Projecting LSU’s 2019 Depth Chart

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Thinking forward now that the freshmen have reported.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Louisiana State vs Central Florida Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that nearly all of LSU’s freshmen have reported, and the first major question mark — defensive back Maurice Hampton and the MLB Draft — has been answered. So for discussion’s sake, here’s a first look at what LSU’s depth chart projects to before the height of Summer workouts and training camp begins.

Offense

Position First Team Second Team
Position First Team Second Team
QB Joe Burrow (Sr.) Myles Brennan (So.)
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Jr.) John Emery Jr. (Fr.)/Tyrion Davis-Price (Fr.)
FB/HB Tory Carter (Jr.)
WR (X) Ja'Marr Chase (So.) Dee Anderson (Sr.)
WR (Z) Terrace Marshall Jr. (So.) Racey McMath (Jr.)
WR (Slot) Justin Jefferson (Jr.) Derrick Dillon (Sr.)
TE (Y) Stephen Sullivan (Sr.) Jamal Pettigrew (Sr.)
LT Saahdiq Charles (Jr.) Dare Rosenthal (Fr.-RS)
LG Chasen Hines (So.)/Ed Ingram (So.) Kardell Thomas (Fr.)
C Lloyd Cushenberry (Jr.) Cole Smith (Fr.-RS)
RG Damien Lewis (Sr.) Donovaughn Campbell (Jr.)
RT Austin Deculus (Jr.) Badara Traore (Sr.)/Adrian Magee (Sr.)
P Josh Growden (Sr.)/Zach von Rosenberg (Jr.) Avery Atkins (So.)
K Cade York (Fr.) Connor Culp (Jr.)
KOR Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Jr.)
PR Derek Stingley (Fr.)
Returning starters in bold.
  • Seven returning starters, and that number could easily be considered higher — Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ja’Marr Chase both saw enough snaps to be considered starters last year. And players like Adrian Magee, Chasen Hines and Badara Traore all, technically, started games last season.
  • Speaking of which, reports do indicate that Ed Ingram will be back with the team this season although nothing is confirmed as of press time. One would think he would certainly be the odds-on-favorite for the open starting left guard spot, but he’ll likely have to knock some rust off first, so I would not assume anything.
  • I would expect Edwards-Helaire to take the lead at running back early, but John Emery Jr. and Tyrion Davis-Price will get touches early and often. “Starter” is a pretty nebulous term in this case.
  • Color me intrigued by the Stephen Sullivan tight end experiment. He certainly has the frame and skill-set you’d like to see, but we’ve yet to see him play with any kind of consistency in his last two seasons. Nor has using his height been a strong suit. But he was lining up in the Y spot early and often in the spring, albeit mostly in flexed positions as opposed to the traditional in-line tight end. Jamal Pettigrew and JUCO recruit T.K. McClendon seem like the odds on favorites to play that role, with Tory Carter working in as the H-back tight end spot like he did last year.
  • Look for a youth movement at receiver. Yes, there are some veterans that have shown flashes at times, but I think LSU’s coaches want to invest in players that will be around beyond 2019.
  • Scuttlebutt from the various Tiger Tour stops has been that freshman kicker Cade York will be thrown right into the fire.

Defense

Position First Team Second Team
Position First Team Second Team
NT Tyler Shelvin (So.) Siaki Ika (Fr.)
DL Rashard Lawrence (Sr.) Neil Farrell (Jr.)/Justin Thomas (So.)/Nelson Jenkins (Fr.-RS)
DL Breiden Fehoko (Sr.)/Glen Logan (Jr.) Jarell Cherry (Fr.-RS)/ Sione Fonnua (Jr.)
OLB (Bench) K'Lavon Chaisson (So.) Andre Anthony (Jr.)
ILB Michael Divinity (Sr.) Patrick Queen (Jr.)/Micah Baskerville (So.)/Damone Clark (So.)
ILB Jacob Phillips (Jr.) Micah Baskerville (So.)/Damone Clark (So.)
OLB (Field) Ray Thornton (Jr.) Patrick Queen (Jr.)
CB Kristian Fulton (Jr.) Mannie Netherly (Jr.)/Kelvin Joseph (So.)
CB Derek Stingley Jr. (Fr.) Kary Vincent Jr. (Jr.)
Nickel Kary Vincent Jr. (Jr.) Jacoby Stevens (Jr.)
Quarter Jacoby Stevens (Jr.) Marcel Brooks (Fr.)
S Grant Delpit (Jr.) Jacoby Stevens (Jr.)
S Todd Harris (Jr.)/Eric Monroe (Jr.)/Jacoby Stevens (Jr.) Marcel Brooks (Fr.)/Kenan Lewis (So.)/Cameron Lewis (Jr.)
Returning starters in bold.
  • First thing to remember here is that LSU will very rarely line up in its base front anymore, given how many teams on the schedule like to spread the field. Hence, Michael Divinity’s move to one of the inside linebacker spots is more about keeping him on the field, as the F-linebacker tends to come out more often.
  • That said, it will be interesting to see how the other linebackers rotate in. Patrick Queen in particular has definitely shown the ability to play on this defense.
  • Derek Stingley Jr. is a mortal lock to start opposite Kristian Fulton, barring injury.
  • But look for the base secondary alignment to see Grant Delpit playing up near the line, with Kary Vincent Jr. playing off in more of a safety role.
  • The competition for the other safety spot should be an interesting one, but even if Todd Harris or Eric Monroe are the lead dog over Jacoby Stevens, he’ll get ample snaps in the “quarter” linebacker/DB role in LSU’s dime look. That role will also be Marcel Brooks’ likely path to the field.
  • The defensive line positions will be relatively fluid, but when the nose tackle comes off the field, look for Rashard Lawrence, Breiden Fehoko and Glen Logan to be the lead dogs. Although it would not surprise me if Siaki Ika gets some snaps in pass-rush sets as well.
  • Watch for redshirt freshman Jarell Cherry. He got some low-key pub this spring for really competing, and rumor has it he’s really added some bulk to his frame. Most saw him as an outside linebacker/rush end, but talk is he’s bulked up into more of a true defensive end.