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Braden Smith has primarily been at right guard for Auburn, but he's switching to right tackle.

No. 1 priority for Auburn football’s fall camp: Drawing the offensive, defensive lines

SEC Country’s Auburn football coverage team weighs in on the No. 1 priority for fall camp, which starts Monday afternoon:

Lauren Shute: Offensive line

Auburn’s biggest priority during fall camp is settling on a five-man rotation on the offensive line. The Tigers likely have the reliable quarterback and depth they lacked in seasons past. Now, it’s up to Herb Hand’s unit to protect the starter. It’ll be difficult because Auburn is adding some new faces and some, like Braden Smith, are giving a more unfamiliar position a try. Auburn must find a five-man group early in camp and stick with it to give the players as much time as possible to develop chemistry.

Justin Ferguson: Defensive line

Elite teams in college football are almost always elite on the defensive front, and Auburn must replace its two best linemen this fall. There’s plenty of depth. But Rodney Garner has to find the best combinations, especially for the reloading pass rush. Who will be the new Buck? How will freshmen such as Markaviest Bryant fit in? Those answers will go a long way in how successful Auburn is in 2017.

Benjamin Wolk: Safety depth

There aren’t many position groups on this Auburn team where depth could be a concern — but safety is one of them. Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts and Nick Ruffin bring some experience to the room, but the losses of Markell Boston and Marlon Character have created depth issues. Kevin Steele and Greg Brown will have to look toward guys like Daniel Thomas, Jeremiah Dinson and others to figure out what direction the Tigers secondary will go if injuries take place.


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