SEC Country
With the season fast approaching, (from left) Jamel Dean, Devan Barrett, Nick Coe and Marquis McClain ended fall camp on strong notes.

Auburn football fall camp stock report: Tigers on the rise after Week 3

AUBURN, Ala. — After 15 practices, three scrimmages and a couple of hours signing autographs on Saturday at fan day, Auburn football’s fall camp is complete.

The Tigers won’t practice Monday, because it’s the first day of classes on the Plains. When they return to the practice field, it’ll be a pseudo-game week as they move within two weeks of the Sept. 2 season opener against Georgia Southern.

While the media didn’t get to watch any practices in Week 3, a few names stood out from the words of Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, his coaching staff and his players. Here is the third and final stock report from Auburn’s fall camp, complete with the latest projection of the Tigers’ depth chart:

MORE: Why Gus Malzahn sees preseason injuries as ‘a blessing’ for Auburn

Projected Auburn football depth chart

Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Jarrett Stidham
Jarrett Stidham will enter the 2017 season as Auburn’s starting quarterback. (Wade Rackley/courtesy Auburn Athletics)

Quarterback

  • Jarrett Stidham
  • Sean White
  • Malik Willis

No more projections here for the quarterback. Stidham is the starter and White is No. 2. That’s official. The intrigue at quarterback now centers on just one thing — Willis’ redshirt status for the 2017 season.

Running back

  • Kamryn Pettway
  • Kerryon Johnson
  • Malik Miller or Devan Barrett or Kam Martin
  • JaTarvious Whitlow (injured)

On the rise: Barrett. Malzahn still isn’t ready to announce a No. 3 running back, and there’s talk the team might rotate the duties. The order here is the projected list of candidates — Miller remains the favorite, but there was a lot more buzz around Barrett than Martin during camp. Barrett might be the best fit for that “all-around” role Auburn wants at No. 3.

H-back

  • Chandler Cox
  • Spencer Nigh
  • John Samuel Shenker

For the third consecutive week, there’s nothing to change at H-back. Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said last week Shenker, a freshman, has a chance to help the Tigers in 2017, so look out for him at either H-back or tight end.

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Auburn wide receiver Marquis McClain had a big scrimmage Saturday. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

This week’s wide receiver projections are clearer than the last two stock reports. Auburn fans may hear players or coaches talk about numbers when it comes to the wide receivers. So we include personnel numbers for each receiver spot. An old post from War Room Eagle is a tremendous help making sense of the roles at receiver in a Malzahn offense.

Wide receiver — split end (9)

  • Darius Slayton
  • Nate Craig-Myers
  • Kyle Davis
  • Marquis McClain
  • Griffin King

Slayton continues to lead at this position, while Craig-Myers has the potential to shine bright this fall with a revamped passing attack. Davis can play split end, but his clearest path to a starting job right now is the big slot position down the middle.

On the rise: McClain. The redshirt freshman who looks like a linebacker but moves like a natural receiver had a pair of touchdown receptions in the scrimmage Saturday, according to the highlights provided by Auburn. Fellow receiver Eli Stove said McClain is moving around to several positions in practice, so watch out for him here and at the big slot.

Wide receiver — flanker (2)

  • Eli Stove
  • Noah Igbinoghene
  • Ryan Davis

The speedy Stove is locked in at flanker, an outside receiver who plays off the line of scrimmage and is more involved in the running game. In Auburn’s offense, the flanker sometimes lines up in the slot, depending on the formation.

The No. 2 flanker here is Igbinoghene, the freshman speedster who Malzahn said will contribute for the Tigers in 2017. Stove said he and Igbinoghene rotate at the 2. Davis can provide depth here.

Wide receiver — slot (3)

  • Ryan Davis
  • Will Hastings

Hastings said Saturday he and Davis are the only ones at the 3, which is a traditional slot receiver position. Davis is the leader there, but Hastings — now armed with a scholarship — is motivated to stick in the offensive rotation this fall. John Franklin III’s transfer tightens the rotation here and at flanker.

Wide receiver — big slot (5)

  • Kyle Davis
  • Sal Cannella
  • Marquis McClain

Davis has worked both in the slot and the outside, and he could be a dangerous weapon down the middle. Cannella is the ideal 5 in Auburn’s offense, as he can play both tight end and receiver.

Tight end

  • Jalen Harris
  • Sal Cannella
  • John Samuel Shenker

Like H-back, this position stays the same week after week. Harris will be the go-to guy, especially in blocking situations. Cannell and Shenker provide depth and two different styles of playmaking.

Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Prince Tega Wanogho
Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho is closer to a starting job in 2017. (Justin Ferguson/SEC Country)

Left tackle

  • Prince Tega Wanogho
  • Darius James
  • Calvin Ashley
  • Bailey Sharp

Wanogho looks more like the starting left tackle by the day, as Auburn coaches usually mention him near the front of any list of candidates. If he doesn’t start here, James will most likely keep his spot. The freshman Ashley got more work in the Saturday scrimmage and could potentially be the backup.

Left guard

  • Mike Horton
  • Marquel Harrell
  • Brodarious Hamm
  • Kaleb Kim

Horton looks locked into the starting left guard position, as assistant coach Herb Hand hasn’t moved him around too much in first-team work the last couple of weeks. Harrell is still in the mix, however, and Hamm had a massive impact block in the scrimmage Saturday.

Center

  • Austin Golson
  • Casey Dunn
  • Nick Brahms

Golson will most likely remain at center this season, with Dunn providing veteran depth in case the senior gets injured or if the Tigers need to move him.

Right guard

  • Braden Smith
  • Wilson Bell
  • Tyler Carr

If Wanogho starts at left tackle, James will go to right tackle, which should push Smith back inside to his old home at right guard. Auburn already knows he’s an elite force at this position. Bell is the next man up at guard if someone goes down.

Right tackle

  • Darius James
  • Braden Smith
  • Bailey Sharp
  • Prince Sammons

The far right spot on the offensive line will go to either James or Smith. James is a stronger run blocker than a pass protector, and a potential tandem with Smith would be extremely beneficial for Auburn’s rushing attack.

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Watch out for Nick Coe to play a number of roles on Auburn’s defensive line this fall. (Justin Ferguson/SEC Country)

Defensive end

  • Marlon Davidson
  • Nick Coe
  • Tyler Carter

Davidson is on track to play the season opener against Georgia Southern after sustaining a non-contact knee injury two weeks ago. Coe is the backup here, but he might move around on the line to get more playing time — more on that later.

Nose tackle

  • Derrick Brown
  • Andrew Williams
  • Alec Jackson
  • Tyrone Truesdell
  • Jaunta’vius Johnson

Brown will start, and Williams will be the top reserve at defensive tackle whenever he gets back to full strength. Jackson might play as a freshman because of his versatility and motor.

Defensive tackle

  • Dontavius Russell
  • Nick Coe
  • Byron Cowart
  • Alec Jackson
  • Tashawn Manning

On the rise: Coe. Russell is starting, but his backup might be a rather unexpected one. SEC Country learned this week that Coe is the player to watch at defensive tackle behind Brown, Russell and Williams. Coe definitely has the size now to play inside at 270 pounds, and it’s no surprise Auburn wants him in a greater role than Davidson’s backup.

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Auburn defensive end Jeff Holland is on track to be Carl Lawson’s replacement this fall. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Buck defensive end

  • Jeff Holland
  • Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant
  • Paul James III
  • Tre’ Threat

Holland has taken over the race to replace Carl Lawson, and the next man up could be a competition. D-line coach Rodney Garner says James needs to get better at run-stopping, but he has rave reviews for Bryant and says the freshman has the potential to play right away.

Strongside linebacker

  • Darrell Williams
  • Montavious Atkinson
  • T.D. Moultry
  • Chandler Wooten

Weakside linebacker

  • Tre’ Williams
  • Montavious Atkinson
  • Chandler Wooten

Middle linebacker

  • Deshaun Davis
  • K.J. Britt
  • Richard McBryde

No changes here, but expect Moultry to play some sort of role for the Tigers in 2017. He might be a special pass-rushing weapon at strongside linebacker in certain situations. Atkinson is the next man up behind the three starters, but Moultry has what it takes to play now.

Boundary cornerback

  • Carlton Davis
  • John Broussard Jr.
  • Jeremiah Dinson

Field cornerback

  • Jamel Dean
  • Javaris Davis
  • Traivon Leonard

On the rise: Dean. Things stay the same here at cornerback from last week, but it sounds more and more likely that Dean will start against Georgia Southern. Dean creates a perfect pairing with Carlton Davis thanks to his size and physicality, and he has the speed to thrive at field cornerback. Auburn’s best possible lineup at defensive back looks like Carlton Davis, Dean and Javaris Davis at nickel.

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Auburn cornerback Javaris Davis (13) is a potential starter at nickel in 2017. (Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics)

Nickel back/star

  • Javaris Davis
  • Jeremiah Dinson
  • Jordyn Peters
  • Jayvaughn Myers

Dinson could be a super sub of sorts at cornerback and nickel this fall, as he’s played both in practices. Peters could fill in here as a key reserve if Daniel Thomas sticks more to safety — and the sophomore had a cast on his left hand earlier in camp. Thomas didn’t have the cast at fan day, however.

Free safety

  • Stephen Roberts
  • Nick Ruffin
  • Jason Smith

Strong safety

  • Tray Matthews
  • Daniel Thomas
  • Jordyn Peters

There are no questions about the starters at safety. The depth is an interesting situation, though, with Peters and Jason Smith getting good reps the last two weeks thanks to some minor injuries in the back end. Malzahn called Smith a “heat-seeking missile” at safety Saturday, which is high praise for a player at a brand-new position.

Kicker

  • Daniel Carlson
  • Anders Carlson
Auburn Tigers-Auburn football-Ian Shannon
Auburn punter Ian Shannon is officially a starter for the Tigers.
(Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Punter

  • Ian Shannon
  • Aidan Marshall

The specialists are locked into place now that Shannon has won the starting punter job. Auburn will want to see if Shannon’s improved consistency will carry over into the regular season, as his few punts in 2016 didn’t provide a lot of confidence.

Kick returner

  • Kerryon Johnson
  • Kam Martin
  • Javaris Davis
  • Noah Igbinoghene
  • Devan Barrett

Punt returner

  • Stephen Roberts
  • Ryan Davis
  • Griffin King

There’s also no new movement at returner, although Igbinoghene and Barrett both have rising potential to contribute on special teams this fall.