The intent of these articles it to take a good look at our roster, both good and bad, and perhaps provide some commentary about recruiting efforts and roster management. Like I said in the last one...YESSIRS and swagcopters are a lot of fun, but at the end of the day good/bad recruiting is defined by the depth chart. So let's take a look
So out of all the positions Sumlin has recruited, I'd say defensive line is the one where we've probably performed the best. We've got a good mix of DTs and DEs. Terry Price has done a good job overall of managing this roster and finding ways to convince new talent to join old talent. Couple of quick thoughts:
- That class of 2013 is still abysmal. So much attrition...and Chevis/Manning are likely not to become starter quality players any time soon.
- The loss of Obioha and Williams will be minimal and should free up more time for guys like Zaycoven and Cunningham to play.
- TD Moton was a big time addition to the 2015 class.
- Some of this is bad darn luck. Mike Richardson should be a senior starter.
- Others of it is character evaluation. Jordan Richmond and Darian Claiborne were really talented players who just couldn't get out of their own way.
- In my mind there's no reason that you should ever take fewer than 3 LBs in a class. Not taking 3 (like we did in 2012 and 2014) results in big classes like 2015.
- 2016 should be better than 2015. Three staring linebackers shouldn't be difficult to find in this group.
- But 2016 marks four years in a row that we are going to count on a true freshman to log significant minutes--Claiborne, Alaka/Walker, Moore and now (hopefully) either Divinity or McCulloch.
- This group also lacks star power. There's no immediate difference maker here....lots of really good talent but no elite talent.
- The class of 2013 again comes back to bite us. Sezer and Davis are good players but not good enough to be consistent contributors. Ellis has done a good job at the nickel spot but lacks the size to be an every down corner.
- Moving into 2016 we lose Harris, Burns (who'd done a good job at that nickel/FS spot), and Williams.
- Biggest failure was not taking more than 2 DBs in 2014....and Ced Collins was never going to see the field. We needed to circle back and take at least one more
- 2015 will always be defined as the year of missed opportunities. Boyd, Hill, Sheffield...we needed at least one of those. Capers-Smith and Elam are good players but they were always meant to be matched with a surefire day 1 contributor.
- Priest Willis is likely a day 1 starter for us next year.
- I think we need at least 3 in 2016...maybe 4
- Remarkable to me that two years straight we went 0-fer on safeties. Marshall (dismissal), Kam Miles (transfer) and John Wiggins (left the team) all left us a fairly large hole to fill.
- Watts and Wilson are really solid players. Wilson especially was a late steal for us from Utah. That worked out very well for us.
- Chief likes to run out of the Mustang look so safeties will never have a hard time seeing the field. Given the health issues we had late in the year, i think it's safe to say that we need at least 1-2 players who can contribute immediately (ahem Brandon Jones if you're listening)
- The combination of Dunning Pryor and Evans is a dream group...Dunning might outgrow the safety position and turn into a rangy linebacker. Pryor is going to be a really good one and Evans is already an eraser who has no issue hitting people.
- Again the crisis of bad evaluation early was averted by good recruiting later
- The class of 2013 was abysmal across the board. Couple of good players here and there but more a group that was defined by attrition rather than addition
- Seems like the coaches learned their lessons in 2014 regarding character evaluations, we still have some spots of concern.
- We've shown an inability to manage position rosters consistently. I dont know who's in charge of that--Sumlin or the position coaches, but instead of working to create good depth...at LB and CB both we're just looking to plug leaks through individual players