I'm definitely not an expert on LSU's depth chart, so I figured I'd do some research and learn a little. After a bunch of effort, I decided to not be a perfectionist and just leave it as is. It's up to you guys to point out who I left off or if I listed at the wrong position, etc. Anyway, there's a tl;dr at the end for those who wish.
LET'S ALL FREAK OUT ABOUT EARLY DEPARTURES!
So, it's actually a somewhat normal year for early departures. It's always this many it seems like. The guys below have or will likely declare for the draft.
Grant Delpit - S
Patrick Queen - MLB
Jacob Phillips - MLB
Clyde Edwards-Helaire - RB
Justin Jefferson - WR
Saahdiq Charles - LT
Lloyd Cushenberry - C
Not official yet...
K’Lavon Chaisson - OLB
Thaddeus Moss - TE
So where does that leave us?
QB: Myles Brennan, who saw some playing time this year and has been coached up by the same guys that developed Burrow, is ready to go. It's his job to lose.
We do have two QB signees for 2020 and both, I believe, are already on campus. Four star Pro style QB Max Johnson out of GA (ATVS Write-up, Commitment write-up) is one... He's 6'4.5, 216 lbs, the #251 overall prospect and the #10 Pro Style QB. And 3 star TJ Finley (ATVS Write-up, Commitment write-up), the #19 player out of Louisiana in 2020. He's 6'6, 250lb, the #493 overall and the #20 PRO style.
WR: With Ja'Maar Chase and Terrace Marshall, Jr at WR. Someone will have to step up to be our 3rd WO. Racy McMath saw some action last year and could come into that role. There's a couple of new guys to look out for as well,
In the 2020 class we have the top prospect from Louisiana, Kayshon Boutte (ATVS Write-up, 6'0, 180, 247 4 star, #40 overall, #6WR). Paul speculated he could possibly see action on the defensive side of the ball as well
From the '19 class we have the 6th best prospect in the state, Trey Palmer (ATVS Write-up, 6'0, 179, 247 4 star, #112 nationally, #18WR)
Oh, and just gonna throw this out there. Derek Stingley playing on the offensive side of the ball
RB: I think we're loaded here with Curry, TDP, and John Emery (who could make a huge jump as explosive as he is).
TE: Thaddeus Moss is likely gone. How do you replace the most productive season by a TE in LSU history?
Our top 2020 recruit is a tight end, Arik Gilbert. The Film and Commitment write-up. He's a 5 star and the #2 prospect in Georgia, where we had some recent success. How often do you see a Tight End ranked in the top 10 nationally? Pic from this ATVS post
OL: We lose 4 of 5. Only one coming back is Deculus. And I don't know much about what's behind them, but a quick glance shows that we have a handful of backups ready to step up and then a bunch of unproven players that need to play major roles. At first glance, this could be a good spot for the transfer portal.
Ed Ingram started at times this year and will be back. LSU Sports
Tremendous talent at left guard that re-joined the team on Sept. 20 … Inserted into lineup at left guard just seven plays into the Oklahoma contest when Damien Lewis went down with an injury … Played 68 snaps in win over Sooners … Started 12 games as a true freshman in 2017 … Sat out all of last season … Saw first action in over a year against Utah State … Played in 10 games this year, starting at left guard in wins over Ole Miss and Arkansas … Serves as the day-to-day backup to Adrian Magee at left guard … Rotates in for at least two or three series each game …
Dare Rosenthall (LT, 6'7, 314lbs) was the top rated DT prospect in Louisiana in 2018 but has since switched to LT, where he played 229 snaps this season as Saahdiq Charles' backup. LSU Sports
Chasen Hines was Cushenberry's backup at Center. LSU Sports
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2019)
Versatile lineman that can play either center or guard … Backup to Lloyd Cushenberry at center … Played in 10 games with no starts … Also sees action on special teams … Saw most action of season against Vanderbilt (36 snaps at left guard).
FRESHMAN SEASON (2018)
Played in eight games with one start in 2018 … Started at left guard against Mississippi State as he helped the Tigers to a 19-3 win over the Bulldogs … Came off the bench for an injured Garrett Brumfield against Auburn and helped LSU to a 22-21 win … Played 26 snaps against Auburn … Inserted into the lineup after just one series against No. 2 ranked Georgia, filling in for an injured Adrian Magee … Played 75 snaps in LSU’s 36-16 win over Georgia as the Tigers racked up 475 total yards against a Bulldog defense that went into the game leading the SEC in total yards allowed … Saw action in six of LSU’s eight SEC games with other action coming against Ole Miss (16 plays), Alabama (20 plays) and Arkansas (21 plays) … Played a total of 286 offensive snaps.
Other's to look out for include...
Kardell Thomas. 2019 Prospect. 97th overall, 4th ranked OG, 4th in Louisiana. 6'2.5, 356. He gained some weight and dropped in the rankings. He injured an ankle as well and will hopefully be in good shape and ready to go this year.
High End: After a medical redshirt year, Thomas continues his resurgence, staking his claim to a starting spot on the line and becoming a force that finds his way to a high NFL Draft pick.
Low End: The injury brings back the weight issues and he struggles to regain that momentum he had pre-injury.
Realistic: You can’t help but be optimistic at what Thomas can bring. He had dropped nearly 30 pounds and seemed to have his mind set on becoming a household name. I’ll bet that he stays motivated even after the injury and earns that starting spot next spring.
Anthony Bradford is a 4 star prospect from the 2019 class that could play RT or guard, depending on how is weight and what kind of shape he's in.
2020 OT Marcus Dumervill (247 scouting report) is the 10th ranked OT and #97 overall player. He's a four star out of Florida.
I'm sure there are others, but I really don't know much about what's waiting for us on the line and this is as deep as I can discuss this position.]
Secondary. We lose Delpit, but here at DBU, there's never cause for concern.
Vincent and Stevens are back. I've heard talk on sports radio today about Stevens getting a look at linebacker at times so that's something to look out for.
Derek Stingley is getting ready to win back to back thorpe awards. Book it.
Maurice Hampton (ATVS write-up) reportedly looked really impressive late in the year at the safety position. Expect him to pick up right where Delpit left off.
Marcel Brooks has tons of upside. ATVS Better Know a Freshman analysis
High End: His athletic ability and skillset help turn Brooks into one of the next great safeties at LSU.
Low End: The transition to a full-time safety doesn’t go as well as expected, and he slides down to more of a linebacker.
Realistic: While I love the guy, it remains to be seen what he can do at safety. Scrimmage reports have given him a lot of praise, so I think it would be safe to say he will be a name you hear announced often on Saturdays for years to come.
Cordale Flott (ATVS write-up) was also on the list of young players that were making the jump late in the season, from what I understand. I've seen some pretty high praise for his potential. He could compete for the corner spot opposite Stingley, but watch out for an incoming freshman.
Jordan Toles (ATVS Write-up) is another incoming freshman listed as the #6 safety in the country. He's a four star and the 91st overall prospect.
Linebacker. We lost Queen, Phillips, and probably Chaisson. Brutal. But plenty of fresh faces await.
Damone Clark returns at OLB. He looked good at times, registering 50 tackles in 14 games with 3 starts early in the year.
High End: Starks uses his tackling ability and impressive strength to anchor the linebacker corps, and becomes the next in line of NFLers at the position.
Low End: His slow start this year causes him to fall too far down the depth charts, but becomes a solid backup at the position.
Realistic: Starks has the ability to be a force in the middle, but will need to play that catch-up. I see him becoming a valuable starter that finds an NFL future.
Philip Webb (ATVS Write-up) is a 4 star OLB from Georgia (6'3.5, 224lb, composite .9794, #42 overall, #4OLB) in the 2020 class.
Antoine Sampah (ATVS Write-up) four star ILB from VA (6'2.5, 220lbs, #4 ILB, 64 overall on 247) could see time in the middle.
I'm sure I'm missing some, but there are 4 and 5 stars waiting for their turn. And it appears we are loaded at safety and have a player or two that could switch to linebacker so keep an eye out for a versatile guy lining up at multiple positions. There are also guys recruited at DE that have switched to OLB that I don't know much about like Desmond Little. So who knows what guys will make the jump and be an impact player but I have a good feeling someone will burst onto the scene and linebackers will be solid
Defensive End: Rashard Lawrence and Breiden Fohoko are both leaving.
Travez Moore, a 6'4, 240 pound junior. Honestly, I have no idea what happened to this guy in 2019. He came in for the 2018 class and redshirted. He's only logged 4 tackles in two seasons. Anyone know how he's coming along? Has he just been buried in the depth chart? Can he be counted on?
Jarel Cherry, another DE from the 2018 recruiting class that hasn't gotten through the depth chart. He is a 6'3, 264 pound sophmore to be with rare athleticism that needed time to adjust. He was a 4 star prospect in the 2018 class. LSU Sports
Gifted athlete that continues to develop as a defensive end for the Tigers … Has rare speed for a player his size … Excelled as a sprinter on his high school track team … Redshirted as a true freshman in 2018.
The #7 WDE in the country, BJ Ojulari (ATVS Write-up, 6'3, 224) is part of the 2020 recruiting class. He's a four star prospect from Georgia and the #130 player overall on 247. Just by looking at his size, it seems he needs to spend a year bulking up before he makes an impact on the field, or more likely, we're looking at him as an OLB
And also looking at Jacqueline Roy (ATVS Write-up) as a DE instead of Nose Tackle. He is 6'3.5, 289 lbs, the #49 overall prospect in 2020 and the #5 DT prospect. He's the #2 prospect in Louisiana. I don't even know if we'll still be in a 3-4 so it's all up in the air, but he could definitely see the field in his first year.
Joseph Evans. ATVS Write-up
Realistic: I think the talent and strength is there to at least be a part of the defensive line rotation. It stands to reason that Neil Farrell Jr. and Glen Logan would be the favorites to start at the ends for 2020, but things are always fluid. Evans will have the opportunity to get quickly by year two, if he can get things done.
Other options include Ali Gaye, a raw SDE JUCO transfer in the 2020 class with plenty of upside.
DT: Tyler Shelvin is going to be dominant.
Jacobian Guillory (ATVS Write-up) is an incoming NT type in the 2020 recruiting class. He i s 6'2, 331 lbs. He's listed as the #14 DT prospect in the country and #147 overall.
- Arik Gilbert will make an impact and receive significant playing time at TE.
- John Emery will slide into the primary RB role and take it over by the end of the year.
- Maurice Hampton will pick up right where Delpit left off
- Flott and Ricks will battle it out at corner and we end up feeling comfortable with either one. Marcel Brooks begins to feel comfortable at the Safety position and makes an impact.
- Unproven players will have to step up at linebacker.
- Logan and Ferrell start at DE, but Jacqueline Roy makes the rotation.
- Tyler Shelvin dominates.
- The offense will depend on how the line comes along. The defense will be solid. Hopefully the pass rush is good enough.
- All this is conjecture since nobody knows what kind of defense we'll be playing next year.
- Strengths: WR and RB. Weakness: OL
- Strength: Secondary. Front 7 is an unknown.