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Roundtables: Depth Chart

Depth. Depth. Depth.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The depth chart was released earlier this week. Here are some of our thoughts on the released list!

Biggest Surprise?

Attila Gero: My biggest surprise is Jordan Duncan moving from back-up slot receiver to a starter on the outside.

Piotr Le: Jaylinn Hawkins over Evan Rambo. Which means there aren’t many surprises for me. I would’ve thought that Rambo’s sheer dominance on the practice field would vault him into the starting line-up. But I have a feeling we will see him more often than your average back-up SS.

Alex Ghenis: Only one of the true-frosh OL (Will Craig) is listed anywhere on the depth chart, while some guys on the two-deep are back-ups at multiple spots. I was expecting Brandon Mello or Matthew Cindric to be somewhere on there. Maybe later this season...

ragnarok: I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a single Freshman starter—redshirt or otherwise. You don’t expect a lot of them to start, but usually a couple push their way into the starting lineup. I’m sure we’ll see more as the year goes on.

Overall, every starter outside of kickers or holders has varsity experience—and most have multiple years. You hope that it’s because we have a strong returning team and not because we didn’t bring in enough talent the last couple years to push the returnees from a 5–7 team.

Rick Chen: Our offense is fairly healthy going into the first game. Bowers is our man at QB and we have some amazing receivers in Noa and Wharton.

Rob Hwang: Having only three TEs listed. I have to believe more than just the three listed will be playing significant snaps come gameday. We have some real talent at the position now. Amazing how that change comes in merely two years.

Your personal GET HYPE Player?

Attila Gero: My Get Hype player is definitely running back Patrick Laird. Most Cal fans know his story by now—started as seventh on the depth chart as freshman, changed positions to wide receiver, redshirted, and then went back to running back. He topped 1,000 yards last season after his workload slowly increased. Now this is his team and I expect him to run wild on Pac-12 defenses this year.

Piotr Le: Kanawai Noa at slot WR. This man is built like a modern slot WR. Larger-framed, agile WR with a strong sense of where there are holes in zone coverage and large enough to box out nickel corners in man coverage. I think this could be a breakout year for Noa from a national reputation measure.

Alex Ghenis: Marcel Dancy is going to rock it this year. He’ll be a great backup (or 1B to Laird’s 1A) with shiftiness and balance. Count on it.

Runners-up: Moe Ways, Ian Bunting, and Joseph Ogunbanjo (later this season)

Rick Chen: I’m all-in on Bowers. After beating out McIlwain, I expect him to make better judgments on the field (fewer sacks, please!) and show his experience.

Rob Hwang: LONE TOAILOA. I’ve been hyping him for the longest time and it is time TO UNLEASH THE BEAST.

Position that might have the most depth chart battles through the season?

Attila Gero: I think the defensive line has a lot of talent and we could see the underclassman players leap frog the starters for more playing time as the season progresses.

Piotr Le: Safety area. I think all four of the mentioned safeties can start for most FBS teams. There is going to be interchangeability on a week by week basis depending on the match-up.

Alex Ghenis: LB in general. Partly because there’s evolving depth there with good raw talent, so new guys will develop through the season and that will happen at different speeds.

Rick Chen: We have a lot of young talent at defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the depth chart is “upside-down” for some positions going into the BYU game.

Rob Hwang: Easily the defensive front seven. The two-deep will get the bulk of the snaps but some others may work their way in to spell those guys. We could easily see the development and breakout of some players that we did not expect.

What are your thoughts here Cal fans? Let us know in the comments below!