What we've learned: Beavers' 2014 Fall Camp

CORVALLIS – The most intriguing position on the Beavs thus far in fall ball? I’d peg it to be one on offense, and probably not the one you’d think. To commemorate the end of the second week of the Beavers’ fall camp, here are a few of my impressions at each position.

Quarterbacks: I don’t know who the second best quarterback on this team is. If we’re going by the results of the scrimmage, it’s probably Brent Vanderveen. If we’re going by who’s been getting the most reps with the second team, it’s Luke Del Rio.

After Saturday’s scrimmage, however, Mike Riley noted that the younger players tend to be nervous for the scrimmages, which may have been partly responsible for Del Rio’s iffy play. Riley didn’t elaborate on who he liked more at this point, although he has said that he hopes neither of them have to play at all.

Sean Mannion is the obvious starter, and he has a chance to rewrite the record books this year.

Running Backs: This is probably the most intriguing position of any. There are five players who all have legitimate chances to crack the rotation. There are the experienced backs of Storm Woods, Terron Ward, and - to a lesser extent – Chris Brown. Then there is the youthful duo of redshirt freshman Damien Haskins and true freshman Ryan Nall, who have both impressed in camp.

I anticipate a lot of debate as to who should be getting carries this season. I’ll start by saying my vote is for Haskins.

Wide Receivers: There is talent at the receiver position, but it’s going to be a matter of putting it all together for sustained periods. Receivers coach Brent Brennan wants more consistency from Xavier Hawkins, and offensive coordinator John Garrett said the same thing about Jordan Villamin.

Victor Bolden and Richard Mullaney are expected to be a big part of this year’s passing attack, but we didn’t get to see much of either of them this week due to injuries. Bolden sat out the entire week, and Mullaney missed several days as well.

Tight ends: Connor Hamlett, Caleb Smith, and Kellen Clute headline a tight end/H-back rotation that Riley is quite excited about. When comparing this group of players to those in years past, he didn’t want to say they were the best he’s worked with, but he did say it might be the deepest he’s had.

Offensive Line: If I have any concerns about the offense, it’s along the offensive line. The Beavs’ most reliable lineman is still recovering from a fractured foot in Isaac Seumalo, while the rest of the line still has a ways to go in terms of learning technique and the playbook.

Defensive Line: Jalen Grimble and Dylan Wynn have been causing havoc for the offense. Jaswha James, Obum Gwacham, Siale Hautau, and Edwin Delva have all had their moments as well. Additionally, position coach Joe Seumalo has been impressed with the younger players, and they tackled well during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Linebackers: Along with the tight ends, Riley is intrigued by his experienced linebacking corps that includes seniors Michael Doctor, Jabral Johnson, and D.J. Alexander. Rommel Mageo has taken over for Alexander as he recovers from a hamstring strain, and he looks capable. In skelly and live team drills, the linebackers always seem to be in the right position to make tackles.

Secondary: True freshman Dwayne Williams has been one of the biggest stars in camp so far, although he was quieter as the second week went on. Steven Nelson appears poised to build off last season when he recorded a Pac-12 best six interceptions. Opposite him, Larry Scott has allowed a few big plays, but Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman are experienced safeties that can cover for him.

Punters: I’ll say it, I like watching the punters. Keith Kostol is listed at 6-feet-4, and he might have unusually long legs as well, helping him boom impressive punts time and again. His backup, redshirt freshman Mitch Seeley, doesn’t look like he’ll push for playing time so long as Kostol is healthy.

Kickers: Trevor Romaine looked much better in camp this week than the first, while the opposite was true for Garrett Owens. Romaine is one of the more experienced kickers in the conference, and he certainly has a strong leg, but accuracy was a bit of an issue for him last year, connecting on 70 percent of his field goal attempts.

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