2020 Depth Chart Speculation

I'm jones-ing for some football so I was passing time looking at the roster earlier to think about what the 2020 depth chart would look like (especially without spring ball to hold me over). Here's my first pass without overthinking it.

I'm having a hard time reconciling who started/rotated at the Guard spots as well as the DT spots at the end of last season. I blame brown liquor.

What do yall think?

QB: Hooker, Patterson/Burmeister
RB: Herbert, Blackshear, Holston/Lee (I think KK redshirts)
WR: Turner, Bowick/Simmons
WR: Robinson, Payoute
WR: Bowick/Payoute/Simmons
TE: Mitchell, Gallo
RT: Dzansi, Tenuta
RG: Nester, Cannon(?)
C: Hoffman, Hudson
LG: L Smith, T Smith
LT: Darrisaw, Culver

DE: Reed, Bailey(?)
DT: Hewitt, Pollard/Kendricks
DT: Cunningham, Crawford/Kendricks
DE: Garbutt, Belmar
LB: Hollifield, Tisdale
LB: Ashby, Artis
WHIP/Nickel: Connor, Thompson/Peoples (?)
CB: Waller, Murray
DB: Hunter, Walker
DB: Deablo, Rodgers
CB: Farley, Webb (do we finally get to see him play?)

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I agree that we will likely have a depth chart this season, whether or not it will be anyone we think who knows. Roster has been throwing us curveballs the last few years and I am sure it will this year as well...

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Remember when wide receiver was our deepest position? Yeah, that was chill.

I would add Kaleb Smith & the transfer from Kansas to the WR rotation.

Remember when wide receiver was our deepest position? Yeah, that was chill.

It is still in pretty good shape in my opinion. I loved Hazelton when he was on the field and healthy, but that was more rare than it should have been. Grimsley is more sad because of the personal circumstances than the production (not all too dissimilar from Sean Savoy when he left), though I would have loved if he could stay. Phil Patterson had years to become the guy and still only managed 27 catches for 269 yards over three years (even if some were outstanding grabs).

I still believe that Keane is the biggest loss for the offense this upcoming season as a great blocker, and a guy who could always move with the ball in space. On the other hand, I think Turner, Robinson, King, and Mitchell are all poised to improve over last year. Lee and Herbert will add new dimensional to the offense, the line has another year to play together. If Blackshear is eligible, that's just an added bonus.

In my opinion, this offense has the potential to be the most balanced Fuente offense yet, which I think could ultimately be the most productive offense he's ever had.

Is the Kansas WR transfer not a walk on? I thought I had read that. Smith saw decent playing time last year so he could factor in for sure.

It's Time to go to Work

I'm stuck on who is going to start at CB in 2021, when both Farley and Waller leave early.

Doubt Waller leaves early. Doesn't have the measurables

At DT, I think Crawford is a clear starter next to Hewitt. I'd guess the three deep looks like: Crawford + Hewitt/ Pollard + Kendricks/ Cunningham + Fuga

Wouldn't be surprised to see Bryant play his way into DE snaps.

I lowkey think that Burmeister will be "QB2" on the depth chart but they'll have a significant QP-centric package that gets used for a couple drives per game.

edit: jaylen griffin could be in the mix at DE as well

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Burmeister will be "QB2" on the depth chart but they'll have a significant QP-centric package that gets used for a couple drives per game.

I was thinking about this as well. Maybe it shakes out similarly to how I assume the Saints approach it with Jameis and Taysom Hill

it's basically the same as how we saw things listed with Willis/Hooker/QP at the start of last season, except now QP has starts under his belt and it's more difficult to justify calling him the third string QB and it's "bad optics". But i think he sees the field quite a bit

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I know QP is our prized QB recruit and runs through arm tackles like its nothing but 15/42 career passing and 4.5 YPC for his career isn't exactly inspiring me as someone who "needs" to see the field quite a bit. If BB and HH can play they should take pretty much every snap that matters imo.

Who are you quoting with "needs"?

He'll see the field because he's a nightmare to tackle. The snaps as a sub-package qb are deserved, and if they don't it wouldn't be a surprise to see him go into the portal which would be a total nightmare. Hopefully reps and practice and the accuracy goes up

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I have a really hard time seeing QP sticking around if he doesn't get some serious playing time or change positions. The guy is an incredible athlete, but Hooker has another two years, and from what we've been hearing Burmeister could have the potential to be really good.

Sorry didn't mean to imply that you had said it. Was supposed to be more general in that I have seen people saying that we absolutely need to get him on the field more and then just replied to y'all.

I think you play the best guys at all times though. If his accuracy and decision making improve, absolutely play him. But we can't send him out there just cause we're scared he is going to transfer, thats a way to poison culture.

I absolutely agree, thanks for clarifying. Even if his accuracy is still butts, he's valuable to have on the field as a package player -- he's definitely shown that much. If the accuracy and decision making is improved, we could see him be QB2 -- but in the past, QB2 has not been used for sub package.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

One would hope that after being in the system for 2 full years, going into his 3rd, accuracy would be improved.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

That, and the hope that the staff will actually trust him to throw the ball.

Defense is going to be tough to predict assuming there's a new scheme. But man, I really want to see Devon Hunter finally break through

Twitter me

We're still waiting to hear about Blackshear's waiver, right?

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

NCAA trying to perfect that WFH efficiency. I bet their Zooms are a hot mess.

NCAA strikes me as more of a Webex kind of organization

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller


I also think we see a heavy dose of Herbert and Blackshear this fall in the backfield. Two upperclassmen impact transfers who bring different skill sets. KK really needs some time in the weight room to get stronger.

I also think we will see Mitchell lined up opposite Tre at WR with Robinson and occasionally Blackshear in the slot. Probably will be two TEs on the field a lot of the time so Gallo will also play a lot from the H-Back spot.

Really hope Hunter finds a niche in the new defense. And I'm also curious how they will utilize the LBs. Maybe both Dax and Ashby as inside linebackers with Tisdale/Barno as outside linebackers if we don't really use the whip anymore. That would put Conner likely at Rover. Lots of interesting possibilities.

I don't think KK redshirts. He's got the most mileage in this offense. I know he's smaller but he's got the experience.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

He is smaller but he was picking up blitz's well at the end of the season for a true freshmen.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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maybe we see barno on the field a LB? we need some speed from side to side this year- coverage was weak at times.

Another projected offensive skill position depth chart:

QB: Covid
RB: Coronavirus
WR: Rona
WR: Sars
WR: Cov-2

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Where is Novel in this lineup?

We put the K in Kwality

Decommitted. Going to infect a big dawg.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

QB - Burm (I really think he is going to surprise people, pure speculation and we won't know until game time for Liberty)
RB - co starters - King/Herbert
WR - Turner
WR - Robinson
WR - Payoute/Blackshear (pending coin flip)/Mitchell
TE - Mitchell/Gallo (both will be on field a lot)
LT - Darrisaw
LG - Hudson
C - Hoffman
RG - Nester
RT - Dzansi

Agree with you on defense.

agree that Blackshear/Mitchell will see the third most "WR snaps." Not sure who of Payoute/Bowick/Simmons and the two Fr from last year break out, but at least one of them will be solid. Then we also have Fairs (who may or may not be something) and a pretty dependable Smith (who I expect will get plenty of snaps).

QB: Hooker, Burmeister, Patterson, Kadum
RB: Herbert, King, Lee, Holston
RB/Slot: Blackshear
WR: Turner, Fairs, Simmons
WR: Smith, Payoute, Wright
WR: Robinson, Bowick, Saunders
TE: Mitchell, Gallo
LT: Darrisaw, Jackson
LG: L. Smith, Cannon
C: Hoffman, Hoyt, Hudson
RG: Hudson, Nester, Hanson
RT: Tenuta, Dzansi

DE: Reed, Griffin, Bryant
DT: Crawford, Pollard, kendricks
DT: Hewitt, Fuga, Cunningham
DE: Garbutt, Belmar, Debose
LB: Ashby, Artis
LB: Barno, Dax, Tisdale
Whip: Conner, Murray
FS: Deablo, Walker, Peoples
SS: Hunter, Rodgers, Hawkins
CB: Farley, Chatman, Thompson
CB: Waller, Webb, Strong

Really nice job. A few questions:

- Redshirt either Nester or Hudson? Whichever one doesn't start at RG?
- That's the best job of projecting the WR/Slot/TE position that I've seen. You've got 12 positions, so either Blackshear or Smith wouldn't be on the field, depending on opponent. And Mitchell might be in the slot and Gallo on the field as well.
- Really, really happy that Justus Reed joined the team. Hope Teerlinck can whip up a miracle from that DE bunch.
- Barno over Dax, huh? Interesting.
- Murray would be a different type of Whip than Conner but you could be right, when we need a cover guy he could be in there more
- It will be interesting to see what, if anything, we can get from Webb at this point.

Something happen to Armani Chatman? I'd say he's better than Murray

I could see Nester RS'ing and Hudson starting at LG with Hoffman at C.

I'm also with Chris over at TSL in believing that Barno has potential at DE. Long arms and a big frame.

I'm with everyone on Devon Hunter - hope he pops off this year. But keep an eye on JR Walker. He's a stud.

Bailey is going to move to the Offensive line - saw some Instagram workouts that looked like OT hand/footwork drills. Also isn't he roommates with one of the offensive linemen? Darrisaw?

Wish Dax could have redshirted, but it was never going to happen while Foster was here. I might be in the minority that thinks that Tisdale is a better full-time option, and should see the field more.

If we have any true 3-LB sets in the playbook, that solves that problem.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

A couple notes:

-would be very surprised if King redshirted
-from left to right, my OL prediction is Darrisaw, Smith, Hudson, Hoffman, Tenuta. 2nd most likely
option is Darrisaw, Smith, Hoffman, Nester, Hudson.
-I think K. Smith starts the season opposite Turner but it becomes a pretty even split with he, Payoute, and even Robinson out there. Not sure Bowick is fully healthy yet and a lack of spring will hurt him.
-Bailey to OT
-No way Crawford loses his starting job, especially to Cunningham
-Wouldn't surprise me to see Griffen take over for Garbutt on one side
-Chatman is our CB #3

This is what I was hoping for.

Good detail on the OL and DT front.

Griffen had some games where he stood out last season. Can definitely see him taking snaps away from others.

I do hope we rotate DLine a bunch. Keeps them fresh.

I will also say that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Cannon start. While limited athletically, dude is reliable as they come

I agree with this. If Hoffman is as good as advertised, Hudson and Smith were more consistent than Nester. Although, no mix of those four would shock me. Nester was strong in the run game, but needs some refinement with his pass blocking technique.

Right tackle will be very interesting. The Dzansi of the last two games of 2018 will be the starter. Tenuta beats him out if Dzansi plays like he did to open last season.

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Is Bailey to OT a mutual decision? I read an article where he chose the ACC over the SEC due to the average number of pass attempts per game. Did he outgrow the position or is this due to talent or lack of depth?

If Marco Lee and Tajh Gary get an opportunity they will surprise some people. While they won't be starters, they might get some significant carries and break off some good runs.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

I've been waiting on a RB surprise for a decade. Bring them on.

I don't expect a 3-4 defense, but I read an interview with TnT or Hamilton? recently mention that Tisdale and Barno need to be on the field. Maybe that's a 3-4, with Connor in one of the linebacker spots, and Barno/Tisdale on one end.

Edit: is this basically a 3-3-5 stack?

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I'm guessing (literally) they'll play a single gap D with a 4 man front...and the similarities with the old D will end there.

Please no 3 man front in college 😳

So many teams do this because of the spread. When you have tweeners that could be OLBs or DEs, slide them to the edge, and let them play up against the line, or drop back in coverage. This is to account for edge speed on spread teams. I also read this article recently on Georgia doing this out of a "Mint" package.

Georgia's Mint Package

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

The Mint/Tite front has trended in recent years. Some places have used it successfully (Iowa State, Clemson, UGA some) and others not so much (Texas last season). Not all of them are playing the same way behind it. ISU and Clemson were rocking the three safety variant a good bit. Clemson obviously didn't run it until this past season after meeting up with Heacock after the whole DL left for the draft. No need to deviate from the four many front when you have their 2018 DL.

Is whip still gonna be a position in the new scheme? Regardless, Connor needs to be on the field as a starter imo he was one of the best players on defense last year

I'm interested to see how the WR and RB rotations will be handled. WR feels like a particularly murky situation with so many options/different WR positions/utilizations.

I think DT won't be too shocking. Will be largely the same crowd as last year with potentially more Fuga and Cunningham snaps than last year.

DE will be interesting. I expect Reed and Garbutt/Griffen, but between TnT and the new scheme I'm excited to see how they are utilized and what the snap distributions are.

I've heard some conflicting things at LB. I've heard there will be base 3LB looks with Dax, Ashby, and Tisdale all on the field, and I've heard to keep an eye on Barno establishing himself. Unless he's a way better "true" LB than I would guess, I imagine he will be used in formations where he plays primarily as a stand up edge defender either as a rusher or edge setter. That still leaves the question of Chamarri. The reality is that 5DB formations are the new "base" in most systems, at least in terms of snaps taken, so it's hard to imagine he isn't on the field often. The question will be "where" in the new scheme.

QB will be interesting as well. No Spring hurt BB and QP's shot at the week one starting job, but until Hooker can prove he can play a full season without injury issues I will assume there are starts available for whoever lands at QB2.

Positions I'll be most interested to hear about how they are lining up:

Safety, Nickel/Slot/Whip, WR, RB (pecking order), DE, and OLB.

Teerlinck was know for his high frequency of rotations in Buffalo. Probably will see a lot of line shifts on the DL

I said this last year, but when VT is three wide, one TE, I think they should start Gallo at H, with Mitchell, Robinson, and Turner out wide. Then, if they go two tight, move Mitchell to a Y. That is the safest lineup.

Of course, I predicted that last year and Mitchell wasn't wide as much as I expected. Also, I say this in part because I like Blackshear as a true tailback much more than a lot of folks. To me, he or King would be the starter, and Herbert would be the change up back.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Yeah it stands to reason that Mitchell out wide would be an option. We saw it plenty with Bucky in 2016.

QB: Hooker, Patterson/Burmeister
RB: Herbert/King, Holston, Gary, Lee
WR: Turner, Payoute, Bowick
WR: Robinson, Blackshear, Bowick
WR: Mitchell (in all reality, this is where he lines up), Smith, Simmons, Fairs
TE: Gallo, Mitchell
LT: Darrisaw, Culver
LG: Smith, T Smith
C: Hoffman, Hudson, Hoyt
RG: Nester, Hudson, Cannon
RT: Tenuta, Dzansi

DE: Reed, Belmar, (any word on Becton? Is he gone gone?)
DT: Hewitt, Kendricks, Fuga, Cunningham
DT: Crawford, Pollard
DE: Garbutt, Griffin, Debose
LB: Tisdale, Barno
Mike: Ashby/Hollifield, Artis
Nickel: Connor, Walker
CB: Farley, Chatman
CB: Waller, Murray, Webb
ROV: Hunter, Peoples
FS: Deablo, Rodgers, Walker

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson

I also hope King doesn't redshirt, simply because with the way things have gone lately, I'm afraid that if we redshirt anyone who's already played then they'll be in the transfer portal real quick.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Personally, I think either Dwayne Lawson or Mark Leal will start at QB.

If history has shown us anything, Blackshear will have an uphill battle to be eligible next year

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.