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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Taking a crack at the opening depth chart

Jordan Parker’s play at cornerback has been one of the biggest stories to come out of OU’s preseason practices.

Army v Oklahoma Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

With the kickoff of the Oklahoma Sooners’ 2019 season now less than two weeks away, Lincoln Riley and the rest of his coaching staff likely have most of their depth chart locked down.

Below is an educated guess as to what that looks like based on the news from preseason camp. It mirrors our previous projection from the spring in many ways, but we’ve made some notable alterations in key spots.

Offense

QB

1st: Jalen Hurts, Sr.

2nd: Tanner Mordecai, R-Fr.

3rd: Spencer Rattler, Fr.

Riley will probably announce Hurts as OU’s starting quarterback this week. The buzz about Rattler is hard to ignore, but I’d wager he’s sitting third on the depth chart as of now. The more interesting question is what happens if Hurts misses extended time with an injury this year.

RB

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1st: Trey Sermon, Jr.

2nd: Kennedy Brooks, R-So.

3rd: T.J. Pledger, So.

4th: Rhamondre Stevenson, Jr.

5th: Marcus Major, Fr.

Does it really matter which back nails down the top spot? In light of Brooks’ sabbatical from the program this summer, Sermon begins the year on the top line. That probably won’t affect the distribution of carries in the long run.

The Sooners have five good RBs at their disposal, as each of the newcomers — Stevenson and Major — have also impressed.

FB

1st: Brayden Willis, So.

2nd: Jeremiah Hall, R-So.

Preseason chatter about this spot has been light. Willis has a chance to become a versatile weapon in this scheme, though.

WR-X

1st: CeeDee Lamb, Jr.

2nd: Jadon Haselwood, Fr.

3rd: Theo Wease, Fr.

Position coaches Dennis Simmons and Cale Gundy have plenty of flexibility and talent across the board this season. Lamb has the goods, obviously. Behind him, Haselwood or Theo Wease could get some action.

WR-H

1st: Nick Basquine, R-Sr.

2nd: Mykel Jones, R-Jr.

3rd: Drake Stoops, R-Fr.

This is all a guess. I’m not even certain the H receiver will play much this season. Supposedly Jones has made big strides in recent weeks.

WR-Y

1st: Grant Calcaterra, Jr.

2nd: Lee Morris, Sr.

3rd: Austin Stogner, Fr.

Can Stogner stay on the sidelines? This may be the most loaded position on the entire team.

WR-Z

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1st: Charleston Rambo, R-So.

2nd: Trejan Bridges, Fr.

Rambo takes over for Marquise Brown as OU’s top deep threat. Bridges may play somewhere else (perhaps the slot), but count on him contributing right away.

C

1st: Creed Humphrey, R-So.

2nd: E.J. Ndoma-Ogar, Fr.

3rd: Clayton Woods, R-Sr.

If Humphrey goes down, Tyrese Robinson may end up shifting to center over Ndoma-Ogar and the walk-on Woods.

RG

1st: R.J. Proctor, Sr.

2nd: Tyrese Robinson, R-So.

3rd: Brey Walker, R-Fr.

Sounds like Walker’s move from tackle in the spring was more than just OL coach Bill Bedenbaugh tinkering around. Proctor apparently lived up to billing as a graduate transfer from Virginia, and the latest word is that Bedenbaugh is experimenting with at different spots. We’ll keep him at guard for now, but Proctor may swing out to tackle.

LG

1st: Marquis Hayes, R-So.

2nd: Darrell Simpson, R-Fr.

Hayes can be a star. He’s nasty.

LT

1st: Erik Swenson, R-Jr.

2nd: Finley Felix, So.

3rd: Michael Thompson, R-Fr.

*R.J. Proctor

Swenson looks like the guy for now, but Felix and Thompson each hold a lot of promise. This is also a spot where Proctor could see some action.

RT

1st: Adrian Ealy, R-So.

2nd: David Swaby, R-So.

3rd: Stacey Wilkins, Fr.

Ealy is a future pro.

Defense

NG

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1st: Neville Gallimore, R-Sr.

2nd: Marquise Overton, R-Sr.

Could Overton play nose in some situations with Gallimore sliding to three-tech? It seems like it’s worth considering as an option against more physical run games.

3-tech DT

1st: LaRon Stokes, Jr.

2nd: Dillon Faamatau, R-Sr.

At 267 pounds, Stokes’ size raises some concerns about how well he will hold up when he tries to shoot gaps on the interior. Faamatau, on the other hand, may not have the mobility to handle Grinch’s shifts up front.

5-tech DE

1st: Ronnie Perkins, So.

2nd: Isaiah Thomas, R-So.

*Kenneth Mann, R-Sr.; *Jalen Redmond, R-Fr.

Most of the intrigue at strong side defensive end comes from what will happen with Redmond and Mann. There’s plenty of noise coming from Norman suggesting that Redmond has changed from RUSH LB to a true defensive end. Maybe he backs up Perkins, or perhaps the two end up on the field together as bookending edge players in a four-down front. The goal seems to be to get both Perkins and Redmond on the field together, but with limited reps, Redmond may have to spell Perkins at first.

As for Mann, his health status raises questions about how – and where – he can best contribute this year.

RUSH LB

1st: *Jalen Redmond, R-Fr.

2nd: Jon-Michael Terry, R-Jr.

3rd: Nik Bonitto, R-Fr.

4th: Mark Jackson, Sr.

5th: David Ugwoegbu, Fr.

The situation here has changed dramatically since the spring. Supposedly JMT has made a big move in the eyes of the coaches. Meanwhile, Redmond’s potential transfer to a new position creates opportunities for new blood at RUSH. However, Redmond is probably the guy in the long run if he stays put.

MIKE LB

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1st: Kenneth Murray, Jr.

2nd: Levi Draper, R-So.

3rd: Bryan Mead, R-Jr.

There’s been lots of positive talk about Draper’s emergence this month at inside LB. He may have passed Mead in the pecking order.

WILL LB

1st: DaShaun White, So.

2nd: Ryan Jones, R-So.

3rd: Brian Asamoah, R-Fr.

White has as much promise as any OU inside linebacker in years. Jones has always looked the part, but his struggles last year don’t offer much in the way of confidence about what will happen if he has to play extensive reps this fall.

NB

1st: Brendan Radley-Hiles, So.

2nd: Chanse Sylvie, R-Jr.

Physically, Sylvie looks more like the nickelbacks Grinch has used in the past at Washington State. If Grinch decides he wants a bigger body there, Bookie could get passed on the depth chart.

LCB

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1st: Tre Brown, Jr.

2nd: Miguel Edwards, R-Fr.

3rd: Jaden Davis, Fr.

Brown has proven to be OU’s best cover player. Davis could make a move up as the weeks wear on.

RCB

1st: Jordan Parker, R-Jr.

2nd: Parnell Motley, Sr.

3rd: Woodi Washington, Fr.

Parker’s emergence at cornerback has provided one of the more interesting storylines of preseason practices. He played well as a freshman at corner in 2016 when he took over in the middle of the season. After losing the 2017 campaign to injury, he never looked comfortable in his rare opportunities to play at safety last year.

The Sooners could use the ‘16 version of Parker making an appearance in 2019.

FS

1st: Patrick Fields, So.

2nd: Robert Barnes, Jr.

3rd: Justin Broiles, R-So.

Not much has changed here since the spring. Grinch seems to trust Fields as much as any other player in the secondary.

SS

1st: Delarrin Turner-Yell, So.

2nd: Jeremiah Criddell, Fr.

3rd: Jamal Morris, Fr.

If DTY isn’t getting it done, he will start to feel blue-chip freshman Criddell nipping at his heels pretty quickly.

PK

Gabe Brkic, R-Fr.

P

Reeves Mudschau, R-So.