Yesterday, you got our offensive depth chart predictions. Fortunately, they really weren’t all that offensive to anyone except maybe a certain junior quarterback.
Today, I give you the RBR’s season-opening depth chart predictions for the Alabama Crimson Tide’s defense. As always, the ultimate decision comes down to the whim of the most powerful man in the state. And if I’m wrong, none of you get any refunds.
DE- Raekwon Davis, Johnny Dwight, Stephon Wynn
DE- Isaiah Buggs, LaBryan Ray, Christian Barmore
NT- Quinnen Williams, Phidarian Mathis, Vita Musika
In a base defense, we have Davis and Buggs at the ends and Williams at nose tackle. Those three are your main guys. LaBryan Ray is probably first off the bench.
Truthfully though, the positions along the line are rather amorphous and will change depending on formation, situation and play call. All 9 players will be trained to play all the spots
Sam- Christian Miller, Jamey Mosley, Cameron Latu, Ben Davis
Mike- Mack Wilson, Josh McMillon, Jaylen Moody
Will- Dylan Moses, Markail Benton, Ale Kaho
Jack- Anfernee Jennings, Eyabi Anoma, Jarez Parks
With both Terrell Lewis and Chris Allen going down with injury, likely for the season, the depth at Jack linebacker really took a hit. Fortunately, the 2018 recruiting class brought in an influx of freshman at outside linebacker in Anoma, Parks, and Latu.
Your starting 4 linebackers are all experienced and talented players with many starts already under their belts. Jamey Mosley and McMillon bring seniority to the depth, while the rest are young and talented, though inexperienced.
Oh, and Ben Davis is still in there somewhere.
Right Cornerback- Trevon Diggs, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Nigel Knott
Left Cornerback- Shyheim Carter/Saivion Smith, Pat Surtain Jr., Josh Jobe
STAR- Shyheim Carter, Jared Mayden/Pat Surtain Jr., Eddie Smith
Free Safety- Deionte Thompson, Jared Mayden/Kyriq McDonald,
Strong Safety- Xavier McKinney, Daniel Wright, Keaton Anderson
Like with the defensive line, there’s a little bit of versatility here, depending on formations. In a base defense, I expect Diggs and Carter to be the two starting cornerbacks. But in nickel, I expect Carter to move inside to STAR and Saivion Smith to take his place on the outside.
Barring injury or a fall camp breakdown, Thompson and McKinney seem to have risen up and fairly solidly entrenched themselves as the starters at safety.
Freshman Pat Surtain Jr., will be pushing all three different cornerback starters for playing time, and just may pass up one of them sooner rather than later. Guys like Kyriq McDonald and Jared Mayden will also rotate back and forth between corner and safety. I’d expect those three— Surtain, McDonald, and Mayden— to be in a behind-the-scenes competition for the 6th defensive back to be on the field in dime packages.
P- Skyler DeLong
Now we can reference back to our two depth chart predictions when Saban releases his official one and see just how close we got. I imagine he’ll use “or” more often in the official version, since it’s his cop-out way of not actually telling us who will be the starter.