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2017 Tennessee Football: Projecting the Depth Chart on Offense

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A look at the potential depth chart for 2017.

NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Tennessee vs Nebraska Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a new era of Tennessee offense — both personnel wise and coordinator wise. Larry Scott will take charge of the unit after the departure of Mike DeBord. The depth chart is getting a totally new look as Josh Dobbs, Alvin Kamara and Josh Malone have moved on to the NFL.

There may be some bumps in the road early on as the Vols adjust, but it should be fun to watch some fresh faces compete. Let’s take a look at how I think the depth chart will shake out.

Quarterback

  1. Quinten Dormady
  2. Jarrett Guarantano
  3. Will McBride

I think Dormady took a massive leap forward in the Orange and White game, looking more in control of the offense than Guarantano did. Dormady might not have the upside of Guarantano, but I’m betting experience wins out here.

Running Back

  1. John Kelly
  2. Ty Chandler
  3. Calin Fils-aime

Welcome to the John Kelly show. He’s going to be the lynchpin of this offense. He showed out in limited time last year, receiving under 100 carries on the year. That’s going to change in a big way. There is quite a bit of uncertainty behind him, but I’m betting on Ty Chandler rolling into the RB2 job sooner rather than later.

Tight End

  1. Ethan Wolf
  2. Eli Wolf
  3. Jakob Johnson

I’m really hoping that this is the year we finally see Tennessee feature Ethan Wolf. I’ve always thought he had the tools to play on Sundays, but he’s never gotten the chance to really be featured in the offense. With the inexperience looming at receiver, Ethan should have an chance to shine.

Wide Receiver

Outside

  1. Jauan Jennings
  2. Josh Smith

Outside

  1. Marquez Callaway
  2. Brandon Johnson
  3. Jeff George

Slot

  1. Tyler Byrd
  2. Latrell Williams

Receiver may be the hardest position to project on the entire roster. Behind Jennings, virtually every position is up in the air. However, I’m confident three receivers will emerge from the pack here — Jennings (obviously), Callaway and Byrd. Callaway was praised in the Spring for making big plays and figures to be the guy to line up opposite of Jennings. His 6-2 frame gives the Vols two guys with size that can win consistently.

Josh Smith gives Tennessee some depth, while Jeff George and Brandon Johnson are total unknowns.

Out of the slot, we should see Tyler Byrd grow after showing some promising flashes last year. Byrd is one of the most dynamic playmakers on the roster. Behind him, Latrell Williams made plenty of plays in the Spring and should push for playing time early on.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle

  1. Brett Kendrick
  2. Trey Smith
  3. Drew Richmond

Left Guard

  1. Jashon Robertson
  2. Venzell Boulware

Center

  1. Coleman Thomas

Right Guard

  1. Jack Jones
  2. Venzell Boulware

Right Tackle

  1. Chance Hall
  2. Marcus Tatum
  3. Drew Richmond

I’m cautiously optimistic here. For the past several seasons, Tennessee has lost the battle at the line of scrimmage on offense. It’s been the main reason behind many of Tennessee’s struggles. But this year could be different.

They have youth and experience. Starting at left tackle could very well be Trey Smith, but he’ll have to beat out an experienced Brett Kendrick first. I’d bet that happens at some point in the season.

The Vols are set on the interior, with Jack Jones, Jashon Robertson and Coleman Thomas set to return. On the right side, Chance Hall should return to his right tackle position. Marcus Tatum and Drew Richmond will likely compete for depth roles.

Hopefully, this is the year Tennessee is finally respectable up front and can give some protection to whoever wins the quarterback gig. The offensive line might actually be a strength for the Vols in 2017.