Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Baylor Depth Chart Preview - Offense

With 4 key starters along the offensive line graduating and star receiver Corey Coleman declaring for the NFL draft, there will be some new faces for the 2016 Baylor offense.

This past season saw one of the most experienced Baylor rotations in recent memory. Nine out of 11 starters returned in 2015, but 2016 will provide a very different look. The Bears lose five of its top six offensive linemen and two of its top three receivers, including an All-American from each. 

That said, 2016 should be an opportunity for some incredibly talented players to get their first real looks at the field. Baylor has done an excellent job compiling talent in the past few recruiting classes -- it's time for them to shine. There will be plenty of opportunity for motivated underclassmen to win jobs. 

Here's a first look at our projected Baylor depth chart. 

Position

First String

Second String

Third String

QB
Seth Russell, SR Jarrett Stidham, SO Chris Johnson, JR
RB
Shock Linwood, SR Johnny Jefferson, JR JaMycal Hasty, rsFR
UB
Devin Chafin, SR Terence Williams, SO
WR
Ishmael Zamora, SO Quan Jones, JR Pooh Stricklin, rsFR
IR
Chris Platt, SO Devin Duvernay FR
RT
Patrick Lawrence, SO Dom Desouza, JR Riley Daniel, rsFR
RG
Rami Hammad, JR Josh Pelzel, SO
C
Kyle Fuller, SR Blake Blackmar, SO Sean Muir, JR
LG
Branton Autry, JR Tanner Thrift, JR
LT
Mo Porter, JR Ishmael Wilson, JR
TE
Jordan Feuerbacher, JR Sam Tecklenberg, rsFR
IR
KD Cannon, JR Lynx Hawthorne, SR Tren'Davian Dickson, FR
WR
Davion Hall, JR Blake Lynch, rsFR

Quarterback

Had some things gone differently, we could have seen a quarterback competition this offseason. However, it became clear very early on that Baylor was not the same offense without Seth Russell in the starting lineup. Russell is expected back for spring ball and should win the starting job once again. Jarrett Stidham played well in limited opportunity before getting hurt, but should still easily be No. 2. With all the issues this season, don't be surprised to see Chris Johnson stay at quarterback -- just in case. 

Running back

This is easily the strongest position group on Baylor’s roster, offense or defense. The Bears return all four running backs and add redshirt JaMycal Hasty to the mix. Perhaps my favorite part about this group is that every single back in the rotation has a different signature skill. Hasty is quick, Devin Chafin has monster strength, Shock Linwood has pristine balance, Johnny Jefferson is deceptively athletic and Terence Williams has some of everything. With a reliable passing game, the numbers might not be as gaudy, but the Bears should be even better on the ground next season.

Wide receiver

This is where Wide Receiver U really has to come into effect. The Bears lose Biletnikoff-winning wide receiver Corey Coleman (1,363 yards, 20 touchdowns) and reliable senior Jay Lee (38 catches, 758 yards, 6 TDs). The spotlight now dubs to the quartet of elite receivers from Baylor's 2014 class. KD Cannon (868 yards, 6 TDs) is already a star. Ish Zamora and Chris Platt both also showed tremendous poise for their experience in limited opportunity this season. Now, Davion Hall has to prove he can step in and continue the tradition as well. True freshman Devin Duvernay should get some burn as well, and redshirt freshman Blake Lynch could enter the lineup on the outside. 

Tight end

Baylor graduated LaQuan McGowan and Gus Penning, which makes it thin at tight end. Right now, Jordan Feuerbacher is the only player on the roster who has played a game at tight end. Redshirt freshman Sam Tecklenberg might also get some playing time out of necessity. Don't be surprised to see QB Chris Johnson also get some reps at tight end, like he did early during the 2015 season. A wild card: former All-Big 12 tight end Tre'Von Armstead, who was kicked off the team for undisclosed reasons, could potentially return. 

Offensive line

This is where all the questions will come. Baylor returns just one starter on the offensive line: center Kyle Fuller. You can go ahead and check off JUCO transfer Branton Autry, the No. 2 offensive guard in the nation per Scout's JUCO rankings. He should start. After that it gets dicey. Former JUCO tackle Mo Porter has the talent to win one of the tackle spots. There are several players competing for the other guard and tackle spots. Rami Hammad, a former 4-star prospect and Texas transfer, should have the upper hand at guard. Without a true leader at the other tackle spot, Patrick Lawrence, Texas A&M transfer Ish Wilson and JUCO transfer Dom Desouza will compete for the spot. Baylor is also in deep with No. 2 JUCO OT Malcolm Pridgeon, who would likely push Porter to right tackle and start at left. That said, every one of these positions (save Fuller) is subject to change in spring camp. 


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