Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Projected Depth Chart, Part Deux

Jabrill Peppers (image via
NOTE: I'm bumping this from a couple days ago since it was posted late in the day.

I originally posted a projected depth chart back in December of 2014 (LINK), but obviously, things have changed since then. Things will continue to change over the summer, as players transfer in, transfer out, quit, play their way up the list, or get injured. There are a couple projected transfers I'll include on the list for the time being. I am not including Ondre Pipkins, who will likely go on medical scholarship. Keep in mind that some positions might fluctuate depending on what defensive package is in the game, the other team's strengths, game situation, etc.

QB: Jake Rudock (5th), Shane Morris (Jr.), Alex Malzone (Fr.), Wilton Speight (RS Fr.), Zach Gentry (Fr.), John O'Korn (RS So.)*
FB: Joe Kerridge (5th), Sione Houma (Sr.), Brady Pallante (RS Fr.), Wyatt Shallman (RS So.)
RB: De'Veon Smith (Jr.), Ty Isaac (RS So.), Derrick Green (Jr.), Drake Johnson (RS Jr.), Karan Higdon (Fr.)
WR: Amara Darboh (RS Jr.), Jaron Dukes (RS So.), Drake Harris (RS Fr.)
WR: Jehu Chesson (RS Jr.), Maurice Ways (RS Fr.), Freddy Canteen (So.)
SR: Brian Cole (Fr.), Da'Mario Jones (RS So.), Grant Perry (Fr.)
TE: Jake Butt (Jr.), A.J. Williams (Sr.), Khalid Hill (RS So.), Ian Bunting (RS Fr.), Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (Fr.), Chase Winovich (RS Fr.)
LT: Mason Cole (So.), Logan Tuley-Tillman (RS So.), Grant Newsome (Fr.)
LG: Ben Braden (RS Jr.), David Dawson (RS So.), Dan Samuelson (RS So.)
C: Graham Glasgow (5th), Patrick Kugler (RS So.)
RG: Kyle Kalis (RS Jr.), Blake Bars (RS Jr.), Jon Runyan Jr. (Fr.)
RT: Erik Magnuson (RS Jr.), Juwann Bushell-Beatty (RS Fr.), Nolan Ulizio (Fr.), Chris Fox (RS So.)

DE: Taco Charlton (Jr.), Henry Poggi (RS So.), Shelton Johnson (Fr.), Tom Strobel (RS Jr.)
DT: Willie Henry (RS Jr.), Ryan Glasgow (RS Jr.), Bryan Mone (So.), Maurice Hurst (RS So.)
DT: Chris Wormley (RS Jr.), Matt Godin (RS Jr.)
BUCK: Mario Ojemudia (Sr.), Lawrence Marshall (RS Fr.), Reuben Jones (Fr.)
ILB: Desmond Morgan (5th), Ben Gedeon (Jr.), Noah Furbush (RS Fr.)
ILB: Joe Bolden (Sr.), Mike McCray (RS So.), Jared Wangler (RS Fr.)
OLB: James Ross III (Sr.), Royce Jenkins-Stone (Sr.), Allen Gant (RS Jr.)
CB: Jourdan Lewis (Jr.), Ross Douglas (RS So.), Terry Richardson (RS Jr.), Reon Dawson (RS So.)
CB: Wayne Lyons (5th), Brandon Watson (RS Fr.), Channing Stribling (Jr.), Keith Washington (Fr.)
FS: Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.), Delano Hill (Jr.), Dymonte Thomas (Jr.)
SS: Jarrod Wilson (Sr.), Jeremy Clark (RS So.), Tyree Kinnel (Fr.)

P: Blake O'Neill (5th), Kenny Allen (RS So.)
K: Andrew David (Fr.)
LS: Scott Sypniewski (RS So.)
PR: Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.), Jourdan Lewis (Jr.)
KR: Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.), Jehu Chesson (RS Jr.), Brian Cole (Fr.)

*Must sit out 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules


  1. I'm still motivated and excited. Lots of experience/depth at most positions. Now just gotta maximize the value of all that talent...

  2. What is this about Pipkins? Is this common knowledge?

    1. It hasn't been officially announced, but it sounds like it's basically a done deal. I've known about it for two or three weeks. I didn't really figure this would be new information, although several people seem surprised by it. He never really recovered from his ACL tear, which is especially tough on big guys.

  3. Can you give some of your insight as to why you have Smith above Isaac at this point? Is it experience in the system? Isaac seems to have more upside, and we know what Smith brings to the table at this point.

    1. Personally, I like Isaac (and Green) more than De'Veon Smith. However, based on what I have seen and heard, it looks like Smith might be the front-runner for the job.

    2. Why does Isaac have more upside - Because he hasn't played?

      Green was higher rated out of high school.
      Shallman is being projected to FB and is almost the exact same size.
      He was 5th string on USC, behind other (lower-rated) freshman.
      The stats he put up at USC came mostly in garbage time and were matched by FBs.
      The practice buzz since his arrival at Michigan is minimal to non-existent.
      He has continually been banged up (possible due to being overweight.)

      If we're going to project a guy's upside based on not having done anything, shouldn't it be the incoming freshman?

      I continue to be baffled by the Ty Isaac hype. Yes, he's a local kid that Brady Hoke wanted very badly and got a bunch of recruiting hype, but we've seen that Hoke isn't a great judge of offensive talent and high school ball was 2 and a half years ago for him. We have new information and none of it is encouraging.

  4. I guess Pipkins is one of the medicals you were alluding to earlier then.

  5. Are you sure, that Braden and Dawson are red shirt sophomores, somehow Ben Braden feels to me like he's been here forever.

    Anyway, on paper, the offensive line looks like it could begin as serviceable and end up being a very solid group. That's a lot of size up the middle with Braden, Glasgow and Kaltz to go along with two pretty nimble guys outside. 70 ish starts for this group suggests that the time has come for these guys to step up and be somebody. Running Backs should have holes to hit, it's time for those guys to demonstrate that they can indeed find and then run through a hole at this level with some intent.

    With a proven game manager that allegedly "values the football" our offense should do a significantly better job of keeping our defense fresh for the fourth quarter.

    As for the defense, I'd really like to see Charlton, Henry, Hurst and Wormley line up in that order, 8-12 times a game. Just saying'

    No Pipkins.

    1. Braden is a redshirt junior. I'll fix that in a moment.

  6. A pretty solid team indeed. Though I think Green and Issac might be a better starter than De'Veon Smith.

  7. I see an offense without any big playmakers.

    1. That's why we'll have to cross our fingers that the O line can push some people around.

  8. What happened to Ondre Pipkins????? I don't see him on the depth chart.

  9. While I think Gedeon is going to be a good LB this year and very good next year as starter, wow does the LB position get thin in 2016 unless McCray really comes on. CB also if Lewis has the year people are predicting and decides to leave for NFL

  10. would like to see a bowl game of UofM vs AZ...

  11. Not a real explosive looking offense but a very solid defense. I think we are going to see a lot 17-10 games.

  12. It's so sad to hear pipkins is done. I was so excited for him. It's unfortunate to see a big recruit like him not work out. We as fans put so much hope in them but they're just another player on the team. We passed up a few other guys and only took him that year.

  13. Where's Pee-Wee Pipkins??

    1. I mentioned it in the opening paragraph, but he is likely to take a medical scholarship.

  14. Starting to see Kalis's name pop-up as a transfer possibility. I'm taking it with a huge grain of salt at the moment but Kalis would be a sure starter. Why would he bail when it seems he is starting to come into his own and Drevno is the new OL coach?

    1. Probably know-nothings blowing smoke. Kalis has two years of eligibility left at Michigan. If he transfers to another 1A school, he's down to one year. Doesn't seem likely.

  15. Questions:

    Why Canteen behind Ways, Cole (and Dukes?)? He seemed to play his way into the top 3-4 WRs by the end of last year and came with tons of hype/ talent, etc.

    Why Mone 3rd string? Mone played a significant role last year behind Glasgow and you'd imagine he'd make a nice leap to his sophomore year. I don't think Henry is going to the bench but it seems those 3 can form the core of a DT rotation, playing beside each other, across the two interior positions. A few good backup options in Hurst and Godin to fill out the rotation. Which leads to the next question:

    Why Charlton as starter? Hasn't played well yet and I haven't heard a peep of buzz lately. Meanwhile Wormley is getting praise and a rumored move to SDE looks not only possible, but probable.

    Why RJS at OLB? I thought I read he was moved to RLB/WDE/Buck(?)

    Why Stribling behind Watson (and Douglass?)? He seemed like the top returning back this year. Perhaps this is a scheme thing (press coverage) but that wouldn't explain Douglass making a leap over Stribling.

    No Norfleet? Is he officially gone or are you assuming it's inevitable?

    And...saving the best for last... why Shallman at FB instead of fellow jumbo-back 5th stringer Isaac?

    1. I don't know that Harbaugh has the same opinion of Canteen that Hoke did.

      The defensive tackles are kind of a crap shoot. We have several who can play, and they will probably rotate frequently.

      I heard good things about Charlton in the spring before he got hurt.

      My impression with RJS is that he was playing there out of necessity in the spring, but that he will move back. Either way, I don't think he's a major factor.

      The cornerback positions are listed as field and boundary corners. My impression is that Watson might surpass Stribling on the boundary side. However, I think if Lewis were to get hurt, there would be some reshuffling. I don't think Douglas is an ankle sprain away from starting.

      Norfleet is suspended and not expected to return.

      Isaac is not a fullback. Shallman has played both, though he could play tailback in some jumbo/short yardage packages.

    2. Thanks for the response.

      I know Harbaugh might not agree with Hoke, but is there any reason to think he doesn't when it comes to the WR depth? And why drop Canteen and not, say, Chesson? I can see a freshman he handpicked (Cole or even Perry) leapfrogging some Hoke guys ahead of them but I'd be a bit surprised if Hoke was so off on keeping Ways, Dukes, Jones strapped to the bench behind Darboh, Chesson, and Canteen.

      Given the dearth of playmakers, I'd expect Canteen to get more than a fair chance.

      The DL could go a lot of different ways. My assumption is that the guys who played well last year (Glasgow, Henry, Mone, Wormley) are still ahead of the guys who didn't get much run (Poggi, Charlton, Hurst, Godin) until we see otherwise.

      I think the edge DE and OLB is where the greatest uncertainty is with the new coaching staff. They seemed to recruit the position(s) hard, the returning players are unexceptional, and they're trying people like RJS there.

      Shallman was recruited to play RB and has spent the bulk of his practices there. I think you're reading too much into Shallman, Winovich and Pallante getting work at other positions. I expect to see more moonlight next year at FB after Houma and Kerridge depart and they search for a replacement.

      That makes sense about Stribling, but why not just list him where you think he'd be the top backup (instead of where he's 3rd string.)

      It seems like the field and boundary corner thing is a more significant difference than the slot vs outside receiver thing. This isn't just your blog, but all over the written media -- it seems like these differentiations are pretty arbitrary (e.g., slot vs regular receiver get listed, differences between TE and H-backs almost never do, Linebackers, FS/SS). My preference is to keep things high level, but what do I know...

  16. Wouldn't Braden be out at RT and Mag but inside at LG?

    1. My understanding is that Braden is being looked at to play guard, while Magnuson is bumping out to the outside. It has to do with pass protection, specifically Braden's shortcomings in that area.

    2. Does this say anything about the potential for more 2TE sets?

      If both your tackles are smaller (and presumably more mobile) and the guards are the big maulers -- might we expect to see the tackles pulling more often? Cole and Magnuson have both at various times been projected to guard. Harbaugh loves power football. Wiliams is a pure blocking TE. etc.

    3. I don't think it has much to do with multiple tight ends.

      Braden isn't just a mauler. He's the fastest offensive lineman on the team. I do think we'll see the tackles pulling because Harbaugh will do stuff like that, but all these guys will probably be pulling at different times.

    4. Braden is the fastest lineman on the team? I'm not disputing, I'm marveling. I would have immediately guessed Magnuson on the basis of all the tight end stuff here and in high school. Is there some info somewhere published on our guys times or did you get it from your guys?

    5. I have heard from a couple sources that he was obliterating the other linemen in sprints. No 40 times or anything, just conditioning/end-of-practice sprints.

    6. This just boggles me. 6'6" tall 330 lbs and blowing doors off in the sprints. How is it that this kid isn't a dominant offensive tackle? WT ..... chose your expletive. Here's your perfect opportunity to rant about just how much Funk sucks as a football coach.

      Ok,so here's my question, what is the criteria for deciding who plays left guard or right guard.

    7. LG vs. RG - Who has the better feet to pull?

    8. Roanman, even if he is the fastest straight line runner, it doesn't mean he would be a dominant tackle. He may lack the lateral speed and athleticism to stay in front of outside rushers. Could be a dominant pulling guard if he can get across the line fast though.

    9. There are different reasons for choosing right guards and left guards. I think one of the most important is figuring out what your offensive scheme is, which will be your dominant side, etc. For example, if you want to be able to pound the ball to your right, then you want your RG to be your best power blocker.

      You also have to consider pass protection (better pass protector at LG) and how often you're going to pull. For example, if you want to run power to your right, then your LG had better be able to move.

      As a high school coach, I want my best guard to be on the right if I have a right-handed quarterback so I can pound it down people's throats, as well as run play action rolling to the right.

  17. Bryan Mone will start at DT. Count on it.

  18. Thunder
    Did taco play buck in practice or was it primarily side?
    Also do you see any other cornerbacks leaving early like Richardson, Douglas, or Dawson?

    1. Nope, Ojemudia was playing Buck.

      I have heard pretty strong rumors about one of those cornerbacks, so yes.

  19. Thunder,

    How would you compare UM's OL and DL as compared to MSU's?