Alabama Football: Saban’s ‘Grouping’ Chart and our Depth Chart

Nick Saban will soon lecture the Alabama football media on ‘organizational grouping’ charts. We offer the pre-camp, Bama Hammer Depth Chart.

All Alabama football fans know Nick Saban is never wrong. When he says there is no pre-camp depth chart, that is technically correct. No player begins a fall camp assured of anything. Every session, other players will be trying to beat out presumed starters.

Beyond the presumed starters is a large group of players fighting for two-deep slots. The position battles will not end when Duke game week begins. The first two games will be auditions for many players. After that, reps will be reduced for the guys outside the two-deep.

Suspensions (Deonte Brown for four games) and future injuries will allow a few players to move up in the pecking order. Incoming freshmen (other than special teams play) will get their best playing chances in the second half of the season. The four-game redshirt rule will influence the game activity of a few players.

‘Bama Hammer’ Pre-Camp Depth Chart

We promise nothing more than a starting point. Some positions are no-brainer choices, a few others are hunches. If we just don’t know, we admit it by using a question (?) mark. All projected starters are in bold.

Alabama Football Offense

  • Quarterback – Tua Tagovailoa
  • QB2 – Mac Jones
  • QB3 – ?
  • Running Back – (1A) Najee Harris, (1B) Brian Robinson
  • RB2 – Chadarius Townsend and Trey Sanders
  • Wide Receivers – Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle
  • Backup WRs – John Metchie, Xavier Williams, Tyrell Shavers, Slade Bolden
  • Tight End(s) – Miller Forristall and Cameron Latu
  • Backup TE – Major Tennison
  • Left Tackle – Alex Leatherwood
  • Backup LT – Scott Lashley
  • Left Guard – Emil Ekiyor
  • Backup LG – Evan Neal
  • Center – Chris Owens
  • Backup Center – Emil Ekiyor
  • Right Guard – Matt Womack
  • Backup RG – Landon Dickerson
  • Right Tackle – Jedrick Wills
  • Backup RT – Tommy Brown

The interior of the offensive line could end up being very different. Owens, Ekiyor, Womack, Dickerson and Deonte Brown, after his suspension,  may offer enough depth for the center and guard positions. If so, Evan Neal’s time might be better spent as a backup tackle now and as a future starter.

Alabama Football Nickel Defense

  • Defensive Tackle – D.J. Dale
  • Backup DT – Phidarian Mathis
  • Defensive Ends – Raekwon Davis and LaBryan Ray
  • Backup DEs – Christian Barmore, Justin Eboigbe and Byron Young
  • Outside Linebackers – Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis
  • Backup OLBs – Chris Allen and ?
  • Inside Linebackers – Dylan Moses and Josh McMillon
  • Backup ILBs – Shane Lee and ?
  • Cornerbacks – Trevon Diggs and Josh Jobe
  • Backup CBs – ? and ?
  • Star Corner – Patrick Surtain II
  • Backup Star – Shyheim Carter
  • Safeties – Xavier McKinney and Shyheim Carter
  • Backup Safeties – Jared Mayden (would start in Dime) and ?

Five question marks in the defensive two-deep is a big number. Mostly, it is a reflection of an overall young roster. Guys to look out for to fill those openings are (in no particular order) Daniel Wright; Eddie Smith; Jalyn Armour-Davis; Jaylen Moody; Christian Harris, Scooby Carter and Demarcco Hellams.

Alabama Football Special Teams

  • Kickoff Specialist – Joseph Bulovas
  • Field Goals and PATs Placekicker – Will Reichard
  • Punter – Skyler DeLong
  • Long Snapper – Thomas Fletcher
  • Kick Returners – Henry Ruggs III and ?
  • Punt Returner – Jaylen Waddle

August 1 is player report day with the first day of practice, Friday, Aug. 2. The annual Fan Day extravaganza is Saturday, Aug. 3.