Projecting a depth chart, especially this early, is an inexact science. Much can change between early March and the start of fall camp in August. Injuries, potential transfers, spring practice results, academics and more can all change the outlook of how the two-deep will look heading into next season.
But with spring practice starting Monday, it’s a good chance to get the conversation started, and then we’ll re-visit it after spring practice concludes to see if it changes. All of these are educated guesses for what the opening-week depth chart might look like when the Vols face Appalachian State on Sept. 3 in Knoxville and don’t take into account current injuries.
We’re going with a simple two-deep at most spots, but may bracket or expand if needed. And because Tennessee essentially has two base defenses – the nickel look (4-2-5) and the base 4-3 – we have 12 starting spots on defense. The offensive side is projected for a 3-wide receiver, 1 RB, 1 TE set – the formation we saw from UT the most in 2015.
An * indicates that the player isn’t on campus yet.