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Depth Chart: No-Brainers, Position Battles & Freshman?

The 2016-17 depth chart has been released.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well guys, we are 9 days away from Cowboy football, and the depth chart has been posted! I shouldn’t have to say it, but this depth chart can change everyday until game day. We could see a very different chart come 9/3.

LET’S DIVE IN!

Offense

Quarterback

Nothing surprising here. Mason Rudolph has been the leader of this team since the tail end of 2014, and we weren’t expecting that to change. It seems as if what everyone has been hearing is true; Taylor Cornelius has taken control of the QB2 position. Cornelius, John Kolar and Keondre Wudtee have been battling for that number two spot all offseason, and it’s nice to see that someone has stepped up.

Running back

This battle has been fun. We have had three experienced seniors jockeying for position in the backfield, and a true freshman who is the hot topic in Stillwater. Jeff Carr was excluded from this depth chart, but Mike Gundy cleared that up in his interview today, "he should be."

It still seems like the RB position is a little up in the air as, if you didn’t notice, there is an "-or-" after each of Carson, Childs and Sanders’ name. This is almost to be suspected as all three, as well as Hill and Carr, will likely split carries throughout the season. However, as a Cowboy fan, I would like to see a running back separate from the pack. Expect to see more depth chart movement in this group.

Cowboy Back

This is about as steady of a position group that we have. Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch have been around this program, and have been total pros throughout. I expect big things out of this group in the Fall.

Wide Receiver

The top of the WR depth chart looks very familiar with Washington, McCleskey, Seales, Hays and Lacy showing up, but it’s the backups that are intriguing. Hello freshman! Tyrell Alexander, Obi Obialo and Dillon Stoner have a short time to make an impression on Coach Gundy and his staff, but it seems like they didn’t need any time at all. We’ve been hearing great things out of camp from this group of young men, and the future at this position looks very bright!

Offensive Line

Four of the five starters are pretty much the same as last season, which is a little disconcerting for me, but I really don’t think this positioning is final. I still feel like Larry Williams has a place as a starter, but what do I know? It will be interesting to see how the addition of Marcus Keyes effects this group. Keyes was a tad overlooked coming out of high school, but has a NFL pedigree, and seems to move around well for being a big fella.

Another year of continuity may bring success, as this group looks to improve on a less than lackluster ‘15-’16 season.

Defense

Cornerback

No surprises at corner. Lampkin is coming off an injury, but has had a solid career at OSU, and we’ve been watching Ramon Richards for two years now. Lenzy Pipkins, the graduate transfer from Louisiana Monroe, has been impressive in camp, and will likely get a lot of time in the nickel package. Darius Curry has played sparingly for the Cowboys over the past three years, but his experience with the Cowboys defensive scheme will be helpful. I’m in interested to see how this group performs with the loss of some major pieces.

Safety

One of the strongest groups on defense, and I don’t have much to say about these guys that you don’t already know. It’s good to see Derrick Moncrief, the transfer from Auburn, on the depth chart. I think he could be a major depth piece for our secondary.

Linebacker

With Jordan Burton and Chad Whitener, the middle and strong side linebacker positions have been set in stone for a while now, but the real battle has been at the weak side linebacker position. Glenn Spencer has been looking for one of Devante Averette, Justin Phillips or Gyasi Akem to step up and take a hold of the starting spot. It seems, for now, Devante Averette will be the guy, but I wouldn’t expect this position battle to slow down anytime soon.

Defensive line

The defensive line looks just like we expected it to. The difference between these positions, and others, is that the players shown as backups will get plenty of playing time. Spencer likes to keep his d-line fresh, and I expect guys like Trey Carter, Darrion Daniels and Vili Leveni to get significant playing time.

Special Teams

Kickers and Punters

Ben Grogan looks to build on his successful career at Oklahoma State as he shows up as our top place kicker. Matt Ammendola appears to be the kicker in waiting as he shows up number two.

Zach Sinor comes back after a stellar freshman season, where we absolutely beat teams up in the field position battle. We expect big things in his second go-around.

Punt and Kick Returners

Jalen McCleskey is probably the popular choice for punt returning here. Very quick, elusive, and has the ability to break a coverage unit wide open.

Barry J. and Justice Hill are going to be running back kicks for the Pokes! BARRY J! ARE YOU EXCITED?!?!?!?

GO POKES!