Way Too Early 2020 Depth Chart: January 2020

Way Too Early 2020 Depth Chart: January 2020


January 7, 2020
Dylan McCaffrey (image via Detroit News)

Here’s another update to the potential depth chart now that Cesar Ruiz, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Josh Uche declared for the NFL, along with the announcement of transfers from Tarik Black and Stephen Spanellis. There will still be some departures from the depth chart you see below, and there will probably be some additions via transfer, but for now here’s some guesswork.

Hit the jump for more.

QB: Dylan McCaffrey (RS Jr.), Joe Milton (RS So.), Cade McNamara (RS Fr.), Dan Villari (Fr.)
RB: Zach Charbonnet (So.), Hassan Haskins (RS So.), Chris Evans (RS Sr.), Christian Turner (RS So.), Blake Corum (Fr.)
FB: Ben Mason (Sr.), Peter Bush (RS Sr.)
WR1: Nico Collins (Sr.), Cornelius Johnson (So.)
WR2: Ronnie Bell (Jr.), A.J. Henning (Fr.), Roman Wilson (Fr.)
WR3: Mike Sainristil (So.), Giles Jackson (So.)
TE: Nick Eubanks (RS Sr.), Erick All (So.), Luke Schoonmaker (RS So.), Ben VanSumeren (RS So.), Matt Hibner (Fr.)
LT: Ryan Hayes (RS So.), Greg Robinson (RS Sr.), Trente Jones (RS Fr.), Jeffrey Persi (Fr.)
LG: Chuck Filiaga (RS Jr.), Karsen Barnhart (RS Fr.), Zak Zinter (Fr.)
C: Andrew Vastardis (RS Sr.), Zach Carpenter (RS Fr.), Nolan Rumler (So.), Reece Atteberry (Fr.)
RG: Andrew Stueber (RS Jr.), Joel Honigford (RS Jr.)
RT: Jalen Mayfield (RS So.), Trevor Keegan (RS Fr.), Jack Stewart (RS Fr.)

SDE: Aidan Hutchinson (Jr.), Julius Welschof (RS So.), Michael Morris (RS Fr.), David Ojabo (RS Fr.), Aaron Lewis Jr. (Fr.)
DT: Michael Dwumfour (RS Sr.), Chris Hinton (So.), Jess Speight (RS Jr.), Carl Myers (RS Sr.), Kris Jenkins Jr. (Fr.)
NT: Carlo Kemp (RS Sr.), Donovan Jeter (RS Jr.), Mazi Smith (RS Fr.), Phillip Paea (RS Jr.)
WDE: Kwity Paye (Sr.), Luiji Vilain (RS Jr.), Gabe Newburg (RS Fr.), Braiden McGregor (Fr.), Jaylen Harrell (Fr.)
Viper/SAM: Michael Barrett (RS So.), Joey Velazquez (RS Fr.), Quinten Johnson (RS Fr.), William Mohan (Fr.)
MIKE: Josh Ross (RS Jr.), Charles Thomas (RS Fr.), Kalel Mullings (Fr.), Cornell Wheeler (Fr.)
WILL: Cameron McGrone (Jr.), Devin Gil (RS Sr.), Anthony Solomon (RS Fr.), Osman Savage (Fr.), Nikhai Hill-Green (Fr.), Edward Warinner (RS So.)*
CB: Vincent Gray (RS So.), Jalen Perry (RS Fr.), George Johnson III (RS Fr.), Andre Seldon (Fr.), Darion Green-Warren (Fr.)
CB: Ambry Thomas (Sr.), D.J. Turner II (RS Fr.), Eamonn Dennis (Fr.), Jaylen Kelly-Powell (Sr.), Gemon Green (RS So.)
FS: Daxton Hill (So.), German Green (RS So.), Sammy Faustin (RS So.), Makari Paige (Fr.)
SS: Brad Hawkins (Sr.), Jordan Morant (Fr.), R.J. Moten (Fr.)

K: Quinn Nordin (RS Sr.), Jake Moody (Jr.)
P: Will Hart (RS Sr.), Brad Robbins (RS Jr.)

#Ineligible to play in 2020 due to NCAA transfer rules

40 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 22
    Joined: 10/6/2019
    awolverine10
    Jan 07, 2020 at 8:41 AM

    I predict that this 2020 team will be significantly more fun to watch than 2019’s.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1310
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 07, 2020 at 9:18 AM

      Based on what?

      • Avatar
        Comments: 22
        Joined: 10/6/2019
        awolverine10
        Jan 07, 2020 at 12:56 PM

        I think McCaffrey is very fun to watch & very dynamic, so the idea of watching him sling it to Collins/Bell/Johnson + Sainristil/Jackson + Eubanks + Evans in Gattis Year 2 sounds…. a lot more appealing than whatever we saw for half the season this past year.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1310
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 08, 2020 at 6:36 AM

          Again, based on what? He hasn’t played significantly, and when he has, his performance hasn’t been anything special. He was 10-20 with one TD last year, and his longest pass was 26 yards. Not sure where you get “very fun to watch and very dynamic” from that.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 22
            Joined: 10/6/2019
            awolverine10
            Jan 08, 2020 at 3:42 PM

            You’re kind of a downer, dude.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1310
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Jan 08, 2020 at 6:05 PM

              Sorry if simple facts are a problem for your worldview, dude.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5716
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 08, 2020 at 10:52 AM

          It’s the flashes he’s shown, particularly in the run game. TD vs Wisconsin in particular.

          I don’t see anyone here saying he is some grizzled vet and a sure thing. He’s not very experienced but he comes with good buzz in the program and he’s played enough to show off his potential.

          Can he overcome inexperience and a supposedly weak arm to be a high end QB? We’ll see. Lesser passers with less experience have had greater success. It’s Gattis’ job to put him in position to succeed or move on to the next guy – who also has shown flashes of upside.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1310
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jan 08, 2020 at 11:17 AM

            Again, what “flashes”? One run he made two years ago? He completed 10 passes all of last year (out of 20), and his longest run last year was 10 yards.

            Again…this is not about whether he could possibly be better this year. This is about the claim that he IS (not will be) “dynamic and fun to watch”. There is no basis for that claim.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5716
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jan 08, 2020 at 3:40 PM

              Fun is entirely subjective so you are wrong.

              Some saw a run 2 years ago and think “hey cool maybe we’ll see more of that” and combined with significant changes on offense in the last 2 months and/or 5 years elect to feel encouraged. Others see a consistently successful team and elect to complain and think everyone should be fired. It’s just a matter of choice really of how much fun you want to have.

              McCaffrey hasn’t played much. He’s scored a few TDs. He’s not a sure thing. Your question was answered.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1310
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jan 08, 2020 at 6:13 PM

                Sorry, it wasn’t. I asked multiple times what the “very fun and very dynamic” was based on, and got no reasonable answer. One play in a whole career doesn’t qualify for anyone above the mental age of 10.

                And how many times do I have to repeat, this is NOT about being “encouraged” for the future. And it isn’t about the success of the team. It is about the past, documented, visible performance of one player.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 22
                  Joined: 10/6/2019
                  awolverine10
                  Jan 08, 2020 at 8:53 PM

                  Are you under the impression that if you demand that a stranger on an internet message board justify their opinions about a college football player, they owe you an answer?

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1310
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Jan 09, 2020 at 6:35 AM

                  No. I’m under the impression that if someone makes a claim and can’t justify it with anything rational, the claim can be dismissed as silly and not worth taking seriously.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5716
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 09, 2020 at 1:48 PM

                  Something fun…

                  Something silly and not worth taking seriously…

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5716
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jan 08, 2020 at 6:17 PM

                That’s not at all what it’s about.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1310
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Jan 09, 2020 at 6:33 AM

                  So now you’re telling me what MY question was about? Dude, just admit you were wrong and stop doubling down on being stupid.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5716
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 09, 2020 at 1:49 PM

                  Youre spinning a casual opinion about what is FUN into your typical mindless complaining.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5716
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Jan 09, 2020 at 1:50 PM

                  And hurling hypocritical insults about the mind of a child along the way.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3479
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Jan 09, 2020 at 1:29 PM

              My two cents on McCaffrey: he’s a good runner and an iffy passer. I certainly think he has shown flashes of being pretty fun to watch, but I also think his upside is limited in this offense. I can understand some reservations about the offense with him in there, because I can see some limitations.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 5716
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Jan 09, 2020 at 1:52 PM

                I agree with this, with one caveat. I think the upside is just as high as with any QB we’ve had under Harbaugh because of the run threat.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 22
        Joined: 10/6/2019
        awolverine10
        Jan 07, 2020 at 12:58 PM

        McCaffrey is dynamic and fun to watch. The idea of him slinging it to Collins/Bell/Johnson + Sainristil/Jackson + Eubanks + Evans in Gattis Year 2 sounds a lot more fun than what we witnessed for half the season this past year. Even with a wholly new OL.

      • DonAZ
        Comments: 499
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        DonAZ
        Jan 07, 2020 at 2:15 PM

        I tend to agree with “awolverine10,” but I’ll confess it’s just a hunch.

        Michigan 2019 would have been almost twice as exciting if the first half of the season was played more like the second half. The first half featured a hobbled Shea Patterson and a very constrained Gattis offense. I wish I knew the *real* reason behind the first half offense — Gattis learning curve? Harbaugh reluctant to let go? Patterson not understanding new scheme?

        Second, I like the prospect of Dylan McCaffrey, based on what we’ve seen before. I think he represents a credible run threat, and I think his passing may be pretty good if he gets more comfortable with live action. Memo to Mr. McCaffrey: learn to slide and step out of bounds to avoid getting hit!

        But mostly I say all this simply because I want it to be so. 🙂

        • Avatar
          Comments: 22
          Joined: 10/6/2019
          awolverine10
          Jan 07, 2020 at 2:25 PM

          Yeah. McCaffrey throwing to these receivers, with Evans back, in year 2 of Gattis, just sounds like fun TV to me.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5716
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 07, 2020 at 4:19 PM

      I think this perspective is refreshing. Most people just focus on wins and losses…or whatever bar allows them to complain. Anyway – FUN – Yes please.

      I personally think this offense was pretty fun to watch starting with the second half of PSU. Frustrating execution at times, but also fun to see:

      Big backs like HH and ZC grinding out yards
      Downfield throws to Collins
      Bell getting YAC
      Anytime Giles Jackson touched the ball
      Gattis’ creativity and general desire to score TDs whenever possible.

      As for next year:
      McCaffrey’s legs could make things a whole lot more interesting.
      Little WRs unleached (Sainristil, Henning, etc.)
      Jackson and Evans getting a bigger role
      Gattis building on the late season success

      But… the OL could hinder things so maybe it’ll fall apart.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 22
        Joined: 10/6/2019
        awolverine10
        Jan 07, 2020 at 4:25 PM

        Exactly! I have a hunch that McCaffrey throwing to Nico/Bell/Johnson (plus Evans) will feel more fluid and dynamic than Patterson to Nico/DPJ/Black (even though going into ’19 that would have sounded ridiculous).

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5716
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 07, 2020 at 4:44 PM

          Transition costs were dramatically understated heading into 2019. Gattis year 2 should be a big net benefit – for the coach and the players both.

          WR will be trading size for speed while gaining experience. I’m optimistic that’ll be a net positive.

          QB play or OL could submarine it but the buzz has been solid all along with the backups. Despite how some portray it, the starters this year were good so the young backups are excused from not having seen the field much yet.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1721
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 07, 2020 at 11:35 AM

    With a new OL and a new QB, I expect growing pains. Can we get past a rebuilding UW? IDK, our road history isn’t too stellar

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5716
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 07, 2020 at 4:39 PM

    I think it’s extremely unlikely that Carpenter and Rumler are both at center.

    Ross struggled at MLB and seems destined to return to WLB with McGrone breaking out. Maybe not much difference.

    In more hair splitting, I could see Kemp and Dwumfour rotate at NT with Hinton emerging as the starting DT.

    Secondary looks solid at the starting level but there’s no proven depth. Plenty of opportunity for a young player to emerge.

    Can anyone replace Uche on the EDGE?

  4. JC
    Comments: 270
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Jan 07, 2020 at 5:09 PM

    We need four things next year to make it to Indy.
    • To be sophomore DTs to play meaningful minutes.
    • Kemp and Dwumfour to stay healthy.
    • Extra bonus would be Jeter doing something.
    • 2 non-Ambry corners to step up.
    • Gray is a competent player, but has a B.Watson ceiling.
    • Heard anything about Perry, Johnson, Turner or Green?
    • If not, I like Seldon’s chance of playing meaningful minutes.
    • Above average QB play.
    • McCaffrey becoming Burrows would be nice though.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1721
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Jan 07, 2020 at 6:22 PM

      Excellent observations. Add an s&p prediction in there and this post brings the entire board together

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5716
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 07, 2020 at 6:29 PM

        Too soon! It’s unsubstantiated opinion season. See below.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5716
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 07, 2020 at 6:28 PM

      No disagreements from me though grad transfers could change things.

      We’ve got potentially a lot of guys back at DT but the question is if any are difference-makers. If not Brown is going to continue to roll DEs inside to manufacture ‘organic’ pass rush.

      Turner has gotten some buzz at CB. That’s about it AFAIK.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 372
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Jan 07, 2020 at 8:59 PM

      Michigan needs to beat OSU in Columbus if they want to make it to Indy. The rest of this stuff is meaningless including a team being fun to watch……..

      Its fun to watch Michigan win and unfortunately they aren’t going to make it to Indy with this team. The opening season loss at Washington is almost meaningless for getting to Indy in terms of conference record tho the experience down the road may prove beneficial in conference play.

      The yearly ass whopin givin by OSU at the end of the season will quash any hopes for a trip to Indy that may yet still remain at that point in the season. SOooo what other games will it be ‘fun’ to watch Michigan? Wisconsin or PSU in the Big House? On the road against Minnesota? ‘Less the idea of fun to watch is putting up 50 or 60 on New Jersey State. Whoppeee!
      Until I see otherwise I’m picking them to go 8-4 in 2020; 9-3 at best…….
      Basically samo samo which is very predictable and ho-hum; boring.
      What ‘fun’ is that? INTJohn

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1721
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Jan 07, 2020 at 9:10 PM

        You see that poll up there? I’m one of the few that picked 11-1

        I think our toughest opponents are ohio, Wisconsin, PennSt, UW, in that order. Traveling to Washington will be a challenge of it’s own, but one I’m hoping Harbaugh & Co can pull out the road W in year 6

        Losing 4 will get the hot seat really going

        • GKblue
          Comments: 336
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          GKblue
          Jan 08, 2020 at 8:52 AM

          I don’t know if I am being conservative or pessimistic. I can’t offer my season win prediction yet.

          I am concerned once again about QB, OL and DL, but with some reserved confidence esp for the OL. I would like to see some resolution with position coaches and possible transfers. Maybe a better prediction can be made after the spring and filtering out the hype. At this point I would lean more towards 8-4/9-3 than 11-1.

          As far as exciting goes lets see what Gattis can bring. Looking for an improvement over no tempo and running into a loaded box. Oh, and speed in space has to apply to our defensive coverage.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5716
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Jan 08, 2020 at 10:55 AM

            Yep. It’s too soon. Expecting 11 wins at this point is just wishful thinking.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 108
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Jan 07, 2020 at 6:58 PM

    I have some minor nitpicking with regard to the actual depth chart as shown.

    – I think the linebackers will flip rules based on what they played the last two years respectively
    – I would be surprised if Jeter stays ahead of Smith on the depth chart. In reality I think they’re going to try and rotate the three main guys with the occasional snap from Smith next year. You could argue Speight is ahead of Jeter as well.
    – I wouldn’t be surprised if the two offensive tackles flip rolls based on experience, not sure.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5716
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 08, 2020 at 10:57 AM

      Maybe Jeter can make a senior comeback but I have to agree that he should be lower on the depth chart for now. Getting passed by a walk-on AND true freshman is usually a very bad sign. But not all injuries get reported.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 1721
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 07, 2020 at 7:44 PM

    I expect Carpenter to pull ahead, based on Bowl ‘hype,’ but wouldn’t be surprised to see the older guy hold him off from leading this new OL

    I hope that Hinton & Smith can assert themselves. With Kemp coming back, I’d expect him to start, but the other two should see HEAVY rotation. If they’re still not ready, we can expect to get pushed around again by Wisc & ohio

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 108
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Jan 07, 2020 at 9:23 PM

    The position battles that will be most interesting (concerning?) to me are….

    — LG & C – A bit scary to have to replace these both and may result in early season issues, but I love that there are literally SIX guys (none true freshmen either) who could win these two spots.
    — CB – I think Gray has a low ceiling, but j think he will be ok. I have no idea who the third and fourth guys will be.
    — S – I have concerns about the third safety, who will certainly be needed at some point.
    — DE – We need a third guy to rotate and ideally they would be a pass rush specialist. I don’t see that person yet…

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5716
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 08, 2020 at 3:57 PM

      I would just lump the whole OL as a competition. Mayfield’s going to start at one OT spot. My guess is LT but who knows. The other tackle spot could be Steuber or Hayes.

      Steuber is a favorite to start somewhere but I really doubt they just move him to guard right off the bat in Spring. They will want Hayes to get stiff competition from someone, maybe Jones can deliver it.

      Supposedly there may be transfers coming or going to change the dynamics.

      Everything in pencil. I don’t think a single spot is locked in.

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