Butch Jones has said that depth charts don’t mean a ton to him, but the Vols do release one every week, and the first one of the season is always one of the most intriguing.
Here’s who the Vols, at least according to the chart, will be starting against Appalachian State on Thursday:
QB: 1. Joshua Dobbs 2. Quinten Dormady
RB: 1. Jalen Hurd 2. Alvin Kamara
WR: 1. Josh Smith 2. Tyler Byrd
WR: 1. Preston Williams OR Jauan Jennings 2. Jeff George
WR: 1. Josh Malone 2. Marquez Callaway
TE: 1. Ethan Wolf 2. Jason Croom
LT: 1. Drew Richmond 2. Marcus Tatum
LG: 1. Jashon Robertson 2. Venzell Boulware
C: 1. Coleman Thomas 2. Dylan Wiesman
RG: 1. Dylan Wiesman 2. Jack Jones
RT: 1. Brett Kendrick 2. Coleman Thomas
Thoughts: The offense is pretty straight-forward with the four veteran receivers being listed as a starter or co-starter and all the newcomers who have been relatively healthy (George, Callaway, Byrd) as the backups. The O-line is as expected with Kendrick claiming the right tackle spot with Chance Hall out for at least a few more weeks. Jack Jones would be the next guy in on the offensive line, in my opinion, and as you can see with guys like Coleman Thomas and Dylan Wiesman, they’d be able to slide guys around, depending who goes down. It looks like Marcus Tatum is the closest to seeing the field among the newcomers that include himself, Ryan Johnson and Nathan Niehaus.
LE: 1. Corey Vereen 2. LaTroy Lewis
DT: 1. Kendal Vickers 2. Shy Tuttle
DT: 1. Danny O’Brien 2. Kahlil McKenzie
RE: 1. Derek Barnett 2. Jonathan Kongbo
WLB: 1. Jalen Reeves-Maybin 2. Quart’e Sapp OR Cortez McDowell
MLB: 1. Darrin Kirkland Jr. 2. Colton Jumper
CB: 1. Cam Sutton 2. Baylen Buchanan OR Marquill Osborne
CB: 1. Emmanuel Moseley 2. Justin Martin
NB: 1. Malik Foreman OR Rashaan Gaulden
SS: 1. Todd Kelly Jr. 2. Stephen Griffin OR Evan Berry
FS: 1. Micah Abernathy 2. Nigel Warrior
Thoughts: Butch Jones usually goes with the older guys first on the depth charts, so it isn’t stunning to see Micah Abernathy ahead of Nigel Warrior or Danny O’Brien and Kendal Vickers ahead of Kahlil McKenzie and Shy Tuttle. Expect all those battles to be ongoing throughout the season, and in the case of the defensive line, think of that more as a four-man rotation for now that a couple other guys will try to break into. It’s telling that there are some really impressive guys such as Kyle Phillips, Darrell Taylor, Austin Smith and others that didn’t even make the depth chart. Those guys should still have a role this year.
Moseley seemed to creep ahead of Martin in camp, so it’s not stunning to see him get the opening nod. I think it’s fair to say that Sutton and Kelly Jr. have spots pretty locked down coming into the season, and pretty much every other spot in the secondary will have competition.
K: 1. Aaron Medley 2. Laszlo Toser
P: 1. Trevor Daniel
KO: 1. Aaron Medley 2. Laszlo Toser
LS: 1. Riley Lovingood 2. Elijiah Medford
H: 1. Parker Henry
KR: 1. Evan Berry 2. Alvin Kamara
PR: 1. Cam Sutton 2. Alvin Kamara
Thoughts: No reasons to mess with success across the board on special teams. There’s no backup punter, so Trevor Daniel needs to stay healthy, no question.