AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn is not expected to release a depth chart following the conclusion of its spring practices, but it’s clear where Auburn stands at several positions heading into the summer.
Today we take a look at Auburn’s defense and what the post-spring depth chart should look like. This is not a prediction for the lineup in the opener against Clemson on Sept. 3, but instead shows where SEC Country believes Auburn stands with the players on campus today.
Coming Tuesday: Offensive depth chart
1. Marlon Davidson
2. Paul James III OR Byron Cowart
Freshman Marlon Davidson looked the part of an immediate impact player, and with Paul James III limited for most of the spring with a foot injury, Davidson pushed his way up the depth chart. Meanwhile, Byron Cowart continues to fall and might need some motivation heading into the summer months after spending last year as the nation’s No. 1 recruit.
1. Montravius Adams
2. Maurice Swain
What else can we say about Montravius Adams? He’s the second-best defensive lineman on the roster and should get some talk for All-SEC honors in the preseason.
1. Dontavius Russell
2. Devaroe Lawrence
Dontavius Russell continues to impress and Devaroe Lawrence is a great option, as these interchangeable parts on the interior get a lot of help playing alongside Adams.
1. Carl Lawson
2. Jeffery Holland
Carl Lawson is the best defensive player on the field, and when he’s healthy, it will be hard for offensive tackles to stop him next season. Keep an eye on Jeffery Holland, who could put his hand in the dirt or stand up as an edge rusher as as sophomore.
1. Tre’ Williams
2. Darrell Williams
Tre’ Williams is the best linebacker on the field, and with mostly two-linebacker sets in Auburn’s future, we suspect Williams will be the leader of the group, even with Illinois graduate transfer T.J. Neal on the way in May.
1. Darrell Williams
2. DeShaun Davis or Montavious Atkinson
Darrell Williams and DeShaun Davis showed signs of improvement and will give the Tigers some much-needed depth and competition once Illinois grad transfer T.J. Neal arrives on campus.
1. Carlton Davis
2. John Broussard Jr.
Auburn’s All-SEC freshman a year ago returns with a year of experience and better technique. John Broussard was one of the special newcomers to stand out this spring.
1. Jamel Dean
2. Javaris Davis
Jamel Dean looks the part of a starter after sitting out a season as a transfer from Ohio State, but that doesn’t mean he’ll start next season. Keep an eye on Javaris Davis and Auburn’s plans for Josh Holsey once he returns from knee injury in the summer.
1. Josh Holsey
2. Tim Irvin or Stephen Roberts
1. Tray Matthews
2. Stephen Roberts
Tray Matthews sat out the spring due to a shoulder injury but he should be the starter once again. Stephen Roberts emerged last season from the bench as a viable safety and was again counted on to do more this spring.
1. Nick Ruffin
2. Rudy Ford
Nick Ruffin could be the surprise player in the backfield, meaning Rudy Ford could see more time on the bench if he continues to develop.
1. Daniel Carlson
2. Ian Shannon
Daniel Carlson will again be on preseason watch lists in August. His big leg and consistency was a strength last season for the Tigers. Hitting five field goals in the spring game, including a pair of 50-yarders, only helps.
1. Kevin Phillips
2. Ian Shannon
Kevin Phillips is now on scholarship but don’t count out Ian Shannon. He booted a punt 50-plus yards into a stiff wind at A-Day and looks a lot more confident with his swing than he did last season.
1. Marcus Davis
2. Ryan Davis
Marcus Davis could be primed for a big season as the Tigers’ return man.
1. Rudy Ford
2. Kerryon Johnson
Yes, Kerryon Johnson did not participate in spring drills due to shoulder surgery, but coaches made it clear the sophomore speedster will be at the front of the line on kick returns going into the summer.