2017 discussion: Offense

Submitted by reshp1 on October 11th, 2016 at 10:12 AM

Might as well do one for offense too.

Graduation: Butt, Smith, D Johnson (maybe), Darboh, Chesson, Magnuson, Kalis, Braden.

Flight risk: Cole (NFL), O'Korn (PT transfer), Morris (PT transfer)

My projected 2 deep:

QB: Speight, (O'Korn), Peters 

LT: Newsome, Ulizio?

LG: Bredeson, Spanellis?

C: (Cole) Kugler, Runyan Jr?

RG: Dawson, Onwenu?

RT: JBB, Ulizio?

TE: Asiasi, Wheatley

Flex: Bunting, McKeon

RB: Isaac, Evans, Higdon

FB: K Hill, Poggi, Henderson

WR1: Ways, Harris

WR2: McDoom, Crawford 

Slot: Perry, N Johnson

OL is the scariest position for me by far. We're scraping together just the starting 5 and the backups are 404 file not found. Losing Darboh, Chesson, and Butt will take a ton of production off the field, but at least we have some guys that seem to be pushing through from this class. RBs and blocky catchy guys are in good shape depth and talent wise.

Thoughts? 

Comments

Real and Spectacular

October 11th, 2016 at 10:17 AM ^

I think Cole returns. Lord I hope so. In that case the mostly likely 5 would be Newsome, Bredeson, Cole, Kugler and JBB. That doesn't seem so scary. We have a chance at elite OL still but I don't really want to depend on true freshmen for anything besides depth. The offense I think will be just fine provided Speight can make some improvement in his second year starting, which I believe he will.

reshp1

October 11th, 2016 at 10:27 AM ^

I think comes back too. He's been good, but not dominant this year. Another year at center to add to the resume will improve his draft stock significantly. 

Even if he stays though, we're one injury away from unknowns. I guess the glass half full way to look at it is our 2nd team OL pasted Rutgers for 35 points on the ground in the 2nd half. 

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 10:29 AM ^

I agree that our OL could be just fine, but I don't think Kugler is ever going to get there. He has just never had that aggressiveness you need as an OL for an elite program. I think we see another freshman show himself to be too good not to play, whether that is at the guard position or at RT with Ulizio or JBB getting play at the guard spot (would alleviate some of the pass-pro concerns with JBB and capitalize on his aggressive road-grading style).

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 11:07 AM ^

He did and I actually think he started the game against Hawaii at guard. Doesn't change my opinion on him. He's technically sound, but I have never seen the fire in him. Basically he has been the opposite of Kalis to this point. Kalis always was strong and mean enough for the position but needed a lot of coaching. Kalis has improved drastically this year, but technique and game IQ are easier to improve than someone's core mental make-up.

Mr Miggle

October 11th, 2016 at 3:41 PM ^

They don't allow a 5th year of eligibiliy for their own players.

We have seen a number of schools desperate for help at QB. Two transfers from Purdue have been starting at Florida and LSU this season. These were players who left Purdue for playing time. If Shane Morris does a grad transfer, he'll have no trouble finding a Power 5 school that wants him.

reshp1

October 11th, 2016 at 10:23 AM ^

It's his last year of eligibility and I assume a grad transfer is in the cards for him considering how long he's been in school. Also an FCS transfer is an option with no waiting. If he doesn't win the job again next spring, I don't think he'll stick around. If he has ambitions of playing football after college, he needs another year as the starter to show what he can do. 

Davymac97.

October 11th, 2016 at 10:22 AM ^

Not bashing the OP, but we're 6-0 and have the chance for a very special season.

I just want to enjoy this year, we can worry about next year when it comes. I tend to worry a lot less with an elite coaching staff anyway.

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 10:26 AM ^

I believe the starting WR's (if you can call it that, will be a heavy rotation with McDoom, Ways, Martin, etc.) will be Crawford, DPJ, and Perry. McDoom will be the 4th man in. DPJ being an early enrollee will be able to get up to speed on the playbook in time for the season (he's highly intelligent) and from there is just too talented to not beat out Ways, and Mo is a fine player himself - but 6'3 200 4.4 forty doesn't grow on trees. McDoom is slightly faster than Crawford but I think Crawford's edge in technique and blocking tenacity will get him on the field first.

At RB, pretty easy to predict a nice rotation there...unless we flip Harris. That kid will play early and play a lot. He is a top heisman candidate for the next 3 years, wherever he ends up. He is one of the best running back prospects I can remember.

I think Peters is the starting QB, even if Speight continues or improves on his season so far. BP is just too talented.

I actually think OL will be fine. I think Cole comes back. Bredeson will start somewhere. I think a freshman OL that is not yet committed to Michigan will start somewhere. Nice things are being said about Ulizio. If we can get past Florida in game 1 we should have a nice schedule to let the OL gel and go through their natural Drevno improvements.

Bunting and Asiasi are good. Wheatley is a potential freak. McKeon is getting a lot of talk as well. Should be fine here.

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 11:09 AM ^

Love that quote from Evans.

 

I think we will land a somewhat "historic" OL class. One superstar that people forget (at least I do from time to time) we are in great position for is TJ Slaton. He's been pretty quiet with his recruitment but he could be a day 1 starter at one guard spot. Leatherwood could also start from day 1 at RT if we were able to flip him.

mackbru

October 11th, 2016 at 1:08 PM ^

There are always exceptions -- hello, Sammy Watkins -- but there's a reason people say true freshmen receivers tend to either suck or be very limited. DPJ may well be the exception to the rule. But I wouldn't bank on it just yet.

Gulogulo37

October 11th, 2016 at 11:03 AM ^

I agree the OL looks fine. Looks like a solid starting 5. Sure, there are a lot of questions after that, but aren't there always with positions where there's no rotation without injury? Harbaugh and Drevno are getting their guys in here and they've obviously proven they can coach up a bunch of maulers.

That offensive lineup the OP posted looks good overall. Now to check out the defense discussion...

RockinLoud

October 11th, 2016 at 11:15 AM ^

You truly think a RS freshman will start over a RS JR at QB who has 2 years in the system and a year of starting experience under his belt? He would have to be the second coming of Andrew Luck for that to even remotely be a possibility. I can see him as backup, but will be completely shocked if he wins the starting job next year.

Now, 2018? If Speight stays, I can see Peters very much pushing for the starting spot and potentially winning it; still think it would be tough to beat out a 5th year QB with 2 years of starts under his belt unless Speight just absolutely implodes.

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 11:23 AM ^

Yes I do. He has better mechanics, a stronger arm, throws a prettier ball, is more accurate, is much more athletic, and has been praised by the coaches as having great "poise" and "confidence".

Many a scout has appraised him as exactly what you somewhat sarcastically labeled him: the second coming of Andrew Luck. He possesses many a quality that closely resembles Luck.

RockinLoud

October 11th, 2016 at 11:54 AM ^

Oh I'm aware he's very very talented and has received tons of praise, and he very well be the next Luck. My point was that the odds of a RS freshman beating out a slightly above (at this point) average returning veteran QB is pretty dang low. Peters would have to be a truly special player for that to happen, which, all the better for us if he is and does win the job. But how many times have we heard similar things about young guys getting hyped up and then turns out they barely get any actual playing time? Hell, even O'Korn being reported as clearly the best QB last year and then gets beat out by Speight this year!

Not saying it couldn't happen, just that given past history it's highly unlikely, BUT, is probably a good thing if it does because it means he's a truly rare talent.

DrMantisToboggan

October 11th, 2016 at 12:36 PM ^

I think many people would still tell you that, in a vacuum, O'Korn is the better talent. If it were a competition of routes-on-air then JOK would have won the job. However, football is not played in a vacuum and where JOK breaks down is when pressure is added. Speight makes better decisions under duress and has better ball security. His other passing skills are adequate enough that, given his advantage in ball security, he had a higher overall utility than JOK.

 

That being said, yes it is rare for that to happen. However, as a poster said below we have seen two recent RS Fr. Heisman winners. FSU is currently starting a RS Fr.  who is performing well (their defense is mostly at fault for their two losses, as much as you can blame a defense for Lamar Jackson). The thing that makes me so confident in the hype around Peters is that he is Harbaugh's hand-picked prospect. That's who Jim, the best QB coach in the country said "I want him to run my offense". Rudock and JOK were Jim's picks only of the available transfer candidates. Speight was Jim's pick of the leftover Hoke recruits. Peters is the first quarterback that Jim brought in as the result of a nationwide search, and I think his playing time will bear that out next fall, after a whole year of coaching and studying the offense.  

HAIL-YEA

October 11th, 2016 at 12:43 PM ^

don't want to rant about Speight, he is not doing anything to lose us games which is most important on a team like this. His raw qb rating puts him at the #58 qb in the country, with Tyler Oconner at #59. The only real statistcal difference between them is O'conner has 3 more int's on the year, and considering the olines and talent around them I would say that is understandable for O'conner. Here is Speight

SEASON CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT RAW QBR ADJ QBR
2016 98 159 1194 61.6 7.51 54 11 2 9 145.0 61.6 71.7

here is O'conner

SEASON CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT RAW QBR ADJ QBR
2016 78 128 976 60.9 7.63 86 8 5 10 137.8 61.5 63.8

Speight has played in 1 more game. My point is Speight is not starting next year if he does not improve. If we were to take the UCF game out his numbers get really bad, and that was a non p5 team stacking the box begging us to throw. 

RockinLoud

October 11th, 2016 at 12:55 PM ^

Very possible as I agree he's not been fantastic. But, Rudock wasn't lighting the world on fire at this point last year either, so I'm curious to see how Speight improves over the rest of the season.