Sunday, December 14, 2014

2015 Projected Depth Chart

Jake Butt might be the face of Michigan's offense heading into 2015
Yes, I know it's really early in the off-season. We don't have a bowl game this year. We also don't have a coach. But it's never too early to start prognosticating about the 2015 season. So here's my stab at a 2015 depth chart that will surely change between now and the spring, let alone next year's season opener.

Some notes before jumping into it:
  • I expect Devin Funchess to declare for the NFL Draft, even though I think he would be better off returning for his senior year (EDIT: I originally posted this last week before Funchess did, indeed, declare for the draft. I bumped it to Sunday because I had a busy weekend and couldn't post something new this morning.).
  • I expect Russell Bellomy to graduate and/or transfer.
  • I have heard of some other players leaning toward transferring, but I am keeping them on the chart for now. I think most players are in a holding pattern pending the coaching hire, anyway.
QB: Shane Morris (Jr.), Wilton Speight (RS Fr.), Russell Bellomy (5th), Alex Malzone (Fr.)
RB: Ty Isaac (RS So.), Derrick Green (Jr.), Drake Johnson (RS Jr.), De'Veon Smith (Jr.), Justice Hayes (5th)
FB: Joe Kerridge (5th), Sione Houma (Sr.), Wyatt Shallman (RS So.)
WR: Amara Darboh (RS Jr.), Maurice Ways (RS Fr.), Bo Dever (RS So.), Jaron Dukes (RS So.)
WR: Freddy Canteen (So.), Jehu Chesson (RS Jr.), Drake Harris (RS Fr.), Brian Cole (Fr.)
SR: Dennis Norfleet (Sr.), Da'Mario Jones (RS So.), Ross Douglas (RS So.)
TE: Jake Butt (Jr.), A.J. Williams (Sr.), Khalid Hill (RS So.), Keith Heitzman (5th), Ian Bunting (RS Fr.)
LT: Mason Cole (So.), Erik Magnuson (RS Jr.), Logan Tuley-Tillman (RS So.), Grant Newsome (Fr.)
LG: Graham Glasgow (5th), Kyle Bosch (RS So.), Dan Samuelson (RS So.)
C: Jack Miller (5th), Patrick Kugler (RS So.)
RG: Kyle Kalis (RS Jr.), David Dawson (RS So.), Blake Bars (RS Jr.), Jon Runyan Jr. (Fr.)
RT: Ben Braden (RS Jr.), Chris Fox (RS So.), Juwann Bushell-Beatty (RS Fr.)

SDE: Taco Charlton (Jr.), Henry Poggi (RS So.), Tom Strobel (RS Jr.)
DT: Willie Henry (RS Jr.), Chris Wormley (RS So.), Maurice Hurst Jr. (RS So.), Matthew Godin (RS Jr.)
DT: Ryan Glasgow (RS Jr.), Bryan Mone (So.), Ondre Pipkins (Sr.), Brady Pallante (RS Fr.)
WDE: Mario Ojemudia (Sr.), Lawrence Marshall (RS Fr.)
SLB: James Ross (Sr.), Royce Jenkins-Stone (Sr.), Allen Gant (RS Jr.)
MLB: Joe Bolden (Sr.), Mike McCray II (RS So.), Chase Winovich (RS Fr.), Michael Ferns (RS Fr.)
WLB: Desmond Morgan (5th), Ben Gedeon (Jr.), Noah Furbush (RS Fr.), Jared Wangler (RS Fr.)
CB: Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.), Channing Stribling (Jr.), Reon Dawson (RS So.)
CB: Jourdan Lewis (Jr.), Terry Richardson (RS Jr.)
NB: Blake Countess (5th)
S: Jarrod Wilson (Sr.), Dymonte Thomas (Jr.), Brandon Watson (RS Fr.)
S: Delano Hill (Jr.), Jeremy Clark (RS So.), Tyree Kinnel (Fr.)

K: Andrew David (Fr.)
P: Kenny Allen (RS So.)
LS: Scott Sypniewski (RS So.)


  1. And from the pulling stuff from your ars category.... Furbush - still in a sling for shoulder surgery is #2 versus let's see, how about BEN GEDEON? ! Just make crap up man.

    1. It's not making stuff up. I somehow forgot to include Ben Gedeon anywhere. When putting together a list of 75-80 names (or however many are here), it is possible to miss one or two.

      But hey, you might as well jump to the conclusion that I'm making stuff up rather than looking for the missing guy and realizing, "Oh, hey, on this list of every scholarship player, he didn't include a key backup from this year. I bet that was an honest mistake."

    2. What's wrong with making stuff up anyway.

  2. I like Canteen in the slot and Chesson to start on the outside, but I like that the team is starting to really show some depth. Too bad this year's class might set up back a bit...

  3. Holy crap, we get everybody important back except for DG, Funchess, Beyer, Hagerup.... and that's it? We might actually win 8 games next year.

    1. Don't count your chickens....

      Plus the schedule is much more difficult than it has been the last few years. We'll get OSU and MSU at home but those are still games we'll be underdogs in.

  4. Devin Funchess going to the league would be a dumb move, but he doesn't look very bright anyway. If he was smarter he would work harder and take one more year of training for a higher draft pick.

    I hope Bellomy just graduates and go away. Michigan gave you more than a quarter million dollar worth of scholarship, room, and board. Be grateful and go.

    1. That's pretty harsh. You know, it is possible to say things in a kind (or at least not-so-harsh) manner. Saying "go away" is pretty rude. It's not as if these guys aren't doing their best. I can understand telling someone like Frank Clark - who has been in repeated legal trouble - to go away, but it's over the top for someone like Bellomy, who just doesn't throw the ball as hard or as accurately as you would prefer.

      I also think it's harsh to insult Funchess like that. I don't think you have any reason to say that except for the fact that he looked lackadaisical quite a bit, which is different than being "dumb" or "not very bright."

      I've been pretty tolerant of some of your inflammatory posts, but if you want them to be published, it would be swell if you could tone down some of the rhetoric.

    2. OK. I may have went over the top on this one. The bowl season has taken a toll on me this year. I will try to tone it down.

    3. Thank you. I would appreciate it!

  5. Shit, new coach, please recruit WRs who are fast the second that you get the job.

    1. Canteen and Harris are fast reportedly and Chesson has straightline speed....but yeah, as a group, the WRs are slow. That has to change.

      It's probably not the biggest need on the team, if they stick to prostyle but it's significant.

    2. My one concern is when exactly is the last time Harris has played football?

    3. totally agree. overall team speed really suffered under hokes stubborn mindset, they really need athletes to rush the passer and to attack defenses. hoke seemed to prioritize size over speed / agility / quickness on recruiting trail when the opposite should be true 95%.

      those first 2 classes of WRs and pass rushers under hoke really limited this roster. big bodies at WR are great but only if those bodies can run effective routes, block on outside and create separation from DBs - some are ok but overall teams feel very comfortable matching up 1v1 across the board with um. same issues at DE in first few classes - no legit pass rushing threats.

      and the speed / agility vs hokes desired size argument could be presented at many other positions as well. not many RBs are capable of hitting HRs, safeties and LBs possess below average speed across the board, etc. even as recently as guys like furbush and wangler, they couldve opted for 215 lb elite athletes with pass rushing potential down the road instead of just adding more plugging LBs.

      cant coach or really teach speed. so i really hope the new staff prioritizes speed / quickness over size on recruiting trail - guys can be coached up on technique or S&C can work wonders with 18 yr olds body mass but its very very rare to significantly increase a players speed / quickness / agility

  6. I like this list. The new coach could have success right away and hopefully make the year two jump we see so often these days.

  7. Fun post.

    With our QB situation so wide open (putting it kindly), I'm surprised you think Bellomy will go elsewhere. I would imagine he would at least see who the next coach is going to be first.

    I was a bit worried about WR, but I actually think it'll be better than 2014 even without Funchess. No stars, but Chesson and Darboh and Canteen should all be better and are quality college players. Harris and maybe Cole offer some potential danger to opponents. We'll be OK.

    If Harbaugh comes, I would expect good things from the H-back types (Kerridge, Houma, Hill, Shallman) and Butt/Bunting.

    I don't know that Peppers will displace Countess at CB -- probably depends on what kind of D we run. (Press/man vs zone). I could easily see Peppers athleticism and size being a major asset from the nickel spot.

    OL should be solid, and potentially even the strength of the offense. (Though that isn't saying much.)

    I expect at least one of the RBs to transfer.

    Defensively, the WDE spot is screaming need for recruiting. This is a position where Michigan should take a couple gambles on in the recruiting class and then probably slide a LB there as well.

    The DT spot is loaded. I'd like to see Godin or Wormley slide over to SDE if we end up being a 3-4 or 4-3 Under team.

    LB is loaded as well. Beyond the veteran starters you have Gedeon, RJS, Ferns with lots of promise.

    In the secondary, it'll be interesting to see. I wouldn't assume Peppers knocks off Countess until we know what system is favored (press/man vs zone). It also wouldn't shock me if one or both aren't playing somewhere else.

    Safety could be really interesting. Peppers, Clark, Hill, Thomas all have some potential beside Wilson.

    Transfers could alter this dramatically...or have minimal effect. We'll see.

    1. What exactly does "loaded" mean? Full of All-Conference or All-American, NFL-caliber talent? Or just a lot of guys who have all played because no one stands out or no one can stay healthy?

    2. To me it means having some very good combination of depth, talent, and experience where there are no worries that we will struggle at the position.

      In Michigan's case at DT and LB it's more about the depth than it is having a high-end all-american starter. We have multiple proven players who are average to above average big 10 starters with the potential to be all-conference players (or NFL prospects, if you prefer viewing it that way.)

      I dont see a lot of guys at LB or DT who have played out of need like say on the offense or at safety.

  8. That CB depth is scary... any injuries at the position next year could be catastrophic.

    1. I am very worried of the CB depth as well. And, you know, Manning was the only coach who wasn't at the bust. Maybe something happened?

    2. Really? You have a 5th year senior former all-conference player and returning starter who will be on most preseason all-conference teams I would guess. Behind them you have a 5-star RS Freshman (Peppers) and a proven contributer in Stribling (a guy with great potential still as well). That's 4 guys who start on most teams. Plus Richardson who should be an OK backup given his pedigree and then Watson or Kinnel if needed, who both got good reviews.

      I'd consider safety to be pretty loaded for 2015, though they do need to keep adding recruits there for the future.

    3. I've heard some rumors of Stribling thinking of potentially transferring. I work in Matthews, NC and have had some interactions with friends of his. They have told me that Nebraska has been "recruiting" him with the potential to play some both ways. No hard facts. Just a rumor I've heard.

    4. Again, what do you consider "loaded" at safety? We've got a bunch of guys all about the same level of mediocrity at that position. Nobody stands out and nobody is a star, or even close to it. Yeah, if somebody gets injured, we'll be able to stay mediocre, but that's about all our "depth" does for us.

    5. Stribling is terrible. A proven guy to get burned is what we have in him. He's shown nothing.

    6. Ugh. I'd hate to see Stribling go. I think he's going to be an all-conference player.

    7. I think our CB group will be a top 10 unit nationally.

      -Countess is a good player. He may not be a stud but I expect a repeat of his all-conference 2013 performance as a 5th year senior.

      -Lewis played like an all-conference player as a Soph. Expect him to build on that and actually get the honors this year, plus hawk a few more INTs.

      -Peppers, I don't have to tell you about the potential and athleticism.

      -Stribling, another big guy who was neck and neck with Lewis until his off-season leap. Just needs to add strength and experience. Still thought he was solid as a soph with significant upside based on physical ability. This is your 4th CB and he is far from a liability.

      -After that you have a bunch of 4-star types who should be adequate backups and/or safeties like Thomas that could slide into a nickel role.

      Outside of Alabama, Florida, LSU, I'm not sure I'd trade personnel with many teams across the country.

  9. CB depth all of a sudden looks empty. Losing the kid out of VA hurts.

  10. Is Ross Douglas still on the team?

  11. any chance magnuson slides to RT? it seemed like he was one of the more promising linemen before getting hurt, whereas braden struggled throughout the year

  12. Funchess is going, or so it was declared right here on this board last week. But quite frankly, this chart means nothing. The right coaching staff will be able to make something out of it, but another Brady Hoke will have the same players mired in mediocrity. We have all of the physical talent we need, far more talent on paper than many teams who did much better than us this year. What we lack is a coaching staff that can motivate the players and design effective offensive and defensive schemes.

    1. All depends on the next coach, of course, but the roster is in a good shape. A good coach who can fix the QB situation should guide this team to a ~10 win season in 2015 and haul in a massive class with full of 4/5 star kids for February 2016.

  13. Funchess waas absolutely terrible this year. He won't be missed at all next season, I think it's good he's leaving.