Alabama Football: Pre-A Day, defensive depth chart

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to a play during the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to a play during the second half against the Georgia Bulldogs in the CFP National Championship presented by AT /

Check out the latest changes in our projected Alabama football defensive depth chart leading up to the A-Day game.

Several weeks ago, we responded to the ongoing interest of Alabama football fans with two ‘Never Too Early’ depth charts: ‘Never Too Early’ Offense and ‘Never Too Early’ Defense.

After 12 spring sessions and an additional 2018 player signee, we have updated the depth charts heading into the A-Day game. Are they still too early to be of value? Our position is more information is of more value than less information.

DT/NG Starter: Quinnen Williams

Williams can play inside or outside and could easily do both next fall.

Backups: Johnny Dwight and Phidarian Mathis

Others: True freshman Stephon Wynn will benefit from an early enroll and is expected to play in 2018. He too can play inside or outside. The other true freshman, Christian Barmore will join the team this summer and will probably work on the interior of the defensive line. The Alabama football staff believes Wynn and Barmore have considerable potential.

Potential big change before game one: JUCO transfer Tevita Musika could leap-frog Dwight and Mathis and is at least expected to be in the 2018 rotation.

DE Starters: Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis

Backups: LaBryan Ray and Stephon Wynn

With all the front positions, the rotation makes key backups almost starters. Ray could play almost as much as Buggs and Davis.

Potential big change before game one: Musika and Mathis perform so well, Williams also rotates as a defensive end.

Jack, Outside Linebacker Starters: Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis

Jennings and Lewis will rotate and if they stay healthy should have great seasons.

Backup: Jamey Mosley

Others: Chris Allen

Allen has done well so far this spring. If he is not moved to shore up inside linebacker depth, he could gain some playing time outside.

Potential big change before game one: Summer arriving, freshman, Eyabi Anoma is such a pass rushing threat, he is expected to fit into 2018 plans somewhere.

Sam, Outside Starter: Christian Miller

Backup: Jamey Mosley

Others: Cameron Latu and Jordan Davis

Christain Miller should have a great 2018 season. He has the size and speed to consistently be an impact player. Mosley is a capable player whose once thin body has grown to 248 pounds. The true freshmen, Latu and Davis may be restricted to special teams play.

Mike and Will, Inside Linebackers: Starters: Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses

Backup: Keith Holcombe, Josh McMillon, and  Markail Benton

Others: Ben Davis and Jaylen Moody

As long as Mack and Dylan stay healthy the Tide is in great shape at inside linebacker. Holcombe is a capable backup though not a great run-stopper. He may choose to drop football to concentrate on baseball. Coming off a redshirt season, Benton could be a pleasant surprise.

Potential big change before game one: VanDarius Cowan IF he resolves disciplinary issues could play a major role at backup, inside linebacker. Cowan could become a star for the Tide but it is suspected the work necessary to escape Saban’s doghouse will be hard and include zero-tolerance for future mistakes.

Safety Starter: Deionte Thompson

Other Possible Starter: Xavier McKinney, Daniel Wright

Others: Kyriq McDonald and Keaton Anderson

Daniel Wright stood out on special teams as a freshman. The Tide should be in good shape with either Wright, Mckinney at the second safety slot.

Cornerback Starter: None

Possible Starters: Trevon Diggs, Saivion Smith, Jared Mayden and Patrick Surtain Jr.

Others: Nigel Knott, Eddie Smith, Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis

Diggs and Saivion Smith are the probable starters. Patrick Surtain Jr. is expected to play in 2018. The Alabama football staff is very high on Jobe and Eddie Smith. Armour-Davis will probably redshirt.

Star Starter: Shyheim Carter

Backup: Surtain Jr. should be the player closest in versatility to Minkah Fitzpatrick and might be used at Star.

Money Starter: Whoever does not start at safety between McKinney and Wright.

Others: Surtain Jr., Keaton Anderson and Josh Jobe.

The safety positions along with Carter at Star provide confidence going forward. Therefore, Saivion Smith should be able to focus on cornerback. The development of the 2018 secondary will be exciting. Inexperience may lead to some breakdowns in the first half of the season. The Ole Miss receivers will be a challenge for the young secondary. By midseason, the secondary should be good, perhaps very good.

Next: Ranking the QB's under Nick Saban

Stay tuned Tide fans. Our pre-A Day offense depth chart will soon follow.