Quick glance at the depth
With fall camp's Aug. 27 dismissal fast approaching, the depth chart is taking shape. Today's first practice report leads off with a look at some of the Badgers' contentious areas.
The jury is still out regarding the right tackle battle. For the most part Monday morning, Morgan Davis took initial snaps at the position when the first unit took the field but that was not always the case. Mike Lorenz, of course, took the other first-team reps at right tackle.
Davis also worked in at left tackle as Joe Thomas' backup. Unlike last week, he did not take reps at right guard.
The guess here is still that Davis will start and receive the bulk of the reps at right tackle, while Lorenz will work in and also play tight end in the jumbo packages.
The depth at linebacker is beginning to achieve some clarity, if not the security the Badgers would like. Mark Zalewski has had a solid fall camp and is the clear No. 1 at sam linebacker. Paul Joran is clearly his top reserve and looks serviceable. John Gillen and walk-on Ben Landgraf wrap up the sam depth.
With Mike Newkirk moving back to defensive end, Andy Crooks is clearly Reggie Cribbs' top reserve at mike. Crooks has the tools to develop into a top-notch linebacker, perhaps sooner rather than later, but for now the Badgers need Cribbs to stay healthy. T.J. Wielebski is the only other player who has consistently taken reps at mike, almost exclusively with the third team. LaMarr Watkins and Joran have taken some reps at mike this fall. Elliot Goode continues to work back from a knee injury.
Dontez Sanders took all of the first-team reps at will ‘backer Monday morning and appears to be pulling ahead of Watkins. Watkins' ability to play all three linebacker positions makes him a valuable reserve. He and Zalewski look like the top nickel linebackers.
True freshmen Jammar Crane and Nick Sutton round out the depth at will.
Perhaps in a sign of things to come, Brett Bell took some reps with the first-team defense in place of Chuckie Cowans (the latter continues to be the primary counterpart for Scott Starks). Bell, however, still has not taken part in full contact drills, though he did give Marcus Randle El a good shot on a completion along the sidelines this morning.
Levonne Rowan continues to work with the No. 2 defense and the top nickel defense.
Allen Langford has pulled ahead of Jack Ikegwuonu for the No. 5 corner spot. Each worked on the third-team defense Monday morning but Langford also received significant reps with the twos. Both Langford and Ikegwuonu will likely be a part of the second-team nickel defense.
The depth at quarterback has only barely changed since fall camp began; the only movement has been Bryan Savage moving past Sean Lewis for No. 3. Tyler Donovan remains John Stocco's top reserve and walk-on Craig Meier is No. 5.
Times in the 40-yard dash are notorious for their inaccuracy, but Erasmus James' reported 4.5 time sure looked correct Monday morning. Anthony Davis darted around right end during live scrimmage work, made a jump cut to avoid Ikegwuonu and sprinted close to 20 yards down the sideline. Who stopped him? James, who pursued down the line from his backside end position before turning upfield. James had a slight angle, the type of angle one would expect Davis to eat up against most linebackers and some safeties. But a 260-pound defensive end? James reached out and yanked him out of bounds.
James' quickness also played a role in a three-yard tackle for loss he registered against the first offense. James cut into the backfield too quickly for the pulling linemen to react.
James Kamoku has turned it on in the last few practices. He is still working in with the third team at strong safety, and has a way to go before he can move up the depth chart, but Kamoku is showing signs of improvement. He has always been able to hit and his range is improving.
Roderick Rogers had an interception.
Jason Pociask had perhaps his biggest play of fall camp, getting loose in the seam for about a 30-yard reception.
Jim Leonhard put a big hit on Booker Stanley during 7-on-7 work. Reggie Cribbs did the same to Greg Root in an 11-on-11 session.
Getting down to business
Barry Alvarez said following Monday's morning session that the team would break into scouts in the afternoon and begin preparing for Central Florida.
Fall camp report, Aug. 23, morning edition
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