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OL Discussion

With the proper dedication to S&c of course it's possible.

But he projects to be a pretty good TE, so why not let him be that?
Plus all you have to say is look how much an NFL OT gets paid compared to a TE. I’d be stuffing face and hitting the weights harder than ever. A mobile big body like that at OT is exactly what you need.
 
Hope you're right. We haven’t been able to protect a QB since Nassib. Dungey and Schrader could run out of it, scramble and make something from nothing. Tommy, a dropback, pro style QB, could not. The Oline is a huge area of need.
I forgot what recruit it was, but one of them mentioned coach was going to focus on the OL in a comment a few days ago
 
Hope you're right. We haven’t been able to protect a QB since Nassib. Dungey and Schrader could run out of it, scramble and make something from nothing. Tommy, a dropback, pro style QB, could not. The Oline is a huge area of need.
We haven’t been able to protect a QB since ______
1. Marvin Graves
2. The 1950s
3. Donnie McNabble
4. Never
 
Hope you're right. We haven’t been able to protect a QB since Nassib. Dungey and Schrader could run out of it, scramble and make something from nothing. Tommy, a dropback, pro style QB, could not. The Oline is a huge area of need.

Marrone knew there was no depth behind Nassib and Ryan followed orders and was very intelligent regarding moving out of the pocket and protecting himself. Rarely ran the ball and was a decent athlete but still, did what he was taught.
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

1703003772495.png
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

View attachment 235390
Not that it matters at this point, but Enrique is actually a RJr. in the fall
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

View attachment 235390

Thanks for breaking this down. Was going to do a post about the OL / how it shapes up for next year, but I'll just build upon what you started.

So, let's start with the positives -- and there are a couple.

First of all, we return a core nucleus [as things stand today] of players who have started across multiple games. Reed, Cruz, Bradford, Petry, Ellis [in the past]. Wohlabaugh started two games before getting injured. And More has multiple years of starting, albeit at a different level [FCS]. Some of these players [notably Petry / Bradford] shifted into the starting lineup due to injuries, but ended up being fixtures in the lineup for the majority of the season. So, lots of returning starting experience.

Secondly, when you consider that Cruz / Ilaoa have experience playing in a reserve capacity across multiple seasons, then that gives us 8 players who have played quite a bit over the course of their careers, 1 additional player who was an SEC transfer [Wohlabaugh] who has started a bit before getting injured, and 1 player [More] who is still unproven but came here to start. 10 players overall.

Third, 10 players with experience gives us a full two-deep just from that group alone. Will be interesting to see whether current redshirt frosh Mack / Bass also will make a push to crack the two-deep next year. Mack is listed in our depth chart for the bowl game, just pointing that out. We also bring in a quality recruit from Texas [Goodacre] who could make a push next year, due to his physical capabilities. So 13 players currently in the fold -- not accounting for any future portal transfers -- who could see the field.

Fourth, the best OL's tend to have year-over-year continuity. Returning 9 players who played extensively in 2023, 5 of whom started in 2023, and another 1 who started for large chunks of 2021 / 2022, helps establish the aforementioned continuity.

All of the above is positives. Let's look at the developmental opportunities for the OL.

First of all, the results of the OL were mixed in 2023 -- in no small part due to injuries that were sustained during the course of the season. Wohlabaugh -- who looked good early on -- was lost for the season the second game. Ellis [who entered the season as a returning starter] was injured in the off-season, and barely played this year. And More -- a transfer who was expected to push for a starting spot -- only played a few snaps, due to injury. Petry and Bradford performed admirably, but looked intermittently overmatched. So returning a core nucleus is good, but if the components aren't that good then it partially offsets the benefit. This could be a situation where the returning players are "good," but maybe not "good enough" to help the team reach the upper echelon of the conference.

Secondly, pass blocking was a massive issue. E. Cruz was a highly rated LT recruit, and while he's flashed at times, he's also struggled to counter the pass rush, especially against better teams. I think [read: believe] that Wohlabaugh, a transfer from an SEC school, might have solidified the pass rush at RT and performed a bit better than Petry, but he got hurt. But overall, pass blocking was a problem. It does bear noting that after we changed the offense starting with the Pitt game, the run blocking was quite a bit better. So, the foundation might be there for this unit to perform better next year, if they can get some personnel back and shore up the pass blocking a bit.

Third, we don't know what the new offensive system will be, or what the new OL coach / OC will look for. So last year's performance might not indicate future playing time, who starts, etc. Hard to say at this point.

Fourth, we don't know how the injured players will bounce back. Wohlabaugh looked pretty good -- can he 100% recover? What about Kalan Ellis? Multi-year starter who was WAY too heavy this offseason -- can he shed some weight, get stronger, and round back into form? Or is he not a fit for the new system? Is More going to be healthy for his sixth and final year next season, or not? Too early to speculate, across the board.

Finally, who will the new coaching staff bring in? What types of players will they target in the transfer portal? It could be -- based on the volume of returning players -- that they might only focus on a player or two to supplement depth and generate competition. Alternatively, they might look at a position [say just for example, LT], deem what we have insufficient, and chase transfer options to fill the void. I'm expecting them to bring in at least TWO players -- a tackle and an interior OL -- with this off-season / spring practice being an open competition for 2024 playing time. There's also bound to be a push after spring practice with the portal, as another wave of disgruntled players from other P5 teams look for greener pastures.

Overall, I think it is impossible to speculate on how next year's OL will shape up. Still have to see what the coaching staff does with the transfer portal, and we don't know which types of players / attributes the next offensive system will require.

I'm encouraged that we return an experienced nucleus, that's a good starting point to build the foundation. And we might not have to bring in blue chip caliber portal transfers to turn a relatively lackluster unit into a group that can be a team strength next year -- just quality guys who can challenge for a starting position, and elevate the unit overall.

We also clearly saw this year that there is strength in depth. Our depth got severely tested this year due to injuries. Without that depth, we wouldn't have gotten even to bowl eligibility. It would be nice -- for once -- to not see the entire positional unit decimated by injuries, and to not have to scramble just to field a functional unit.

But the foundation looks pretty good. What their ultimate potential will be will be largely determined by what portal transfer are brought in to fortify what we already have.
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

View attachment 235390
We need an immediate upgrade at LT so Cruz can slide to RT. He’s just not good enough.

Overall we need 2 immediate impact transfers on the line. Can’t rely on Bradford and petry as the first two subs if you want to have a chance to win the ACC.
 
We also can't assume everyone is planning to stick around, particularly Petry who walked on Senior Day.
 
We are a yr away from no true Centers on the team.. cross training is great but you would think they need to find someone probably 2..
Cross training the way we did always struck me as . . . odd. The second part of the phrase "jack of all trades" is "master of none." We only have so many practice hours. I understand the need to cross-train some, but whatever we were doing was too much.

Also, transitioning from one position to another after an injury is always going to come with growing pains. Cross-training isn't going to eliminate that if you're going from center to right tackle.
 
Cross training the way we did always struck me as . . . odd. The second part of the phrase "jack of all trades" is "master of none." We only have so many practice hours. I understand the need to cross-train some, but whatever we were doing was too much.

Also, transitioning from one position to another after an injury is always going to come with growing pains. Cross-training isn't going to eliminate that if you're going from center to right tackle.
I think its a function of time and ability though.. its one thing if the next best oline dude up is a center but if truly is someone else you need to spend some time cross training.. Look at the pros with even more limits on the roster they need to be able to snap the ball with someone.
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

View attachment 235390
It's interesting to see that based on class how many on this depth chart should be knowns that are still unknowns. More barely played and Wohlabaugh only a game and a half against poor competition due to injury. Ellis - can he slim down and strengthen up? Bradford and Petry were in due to injury - both seem ok for spot duty but definitely in my opinion are not starters. Ilaoa is similar. Then largely a bunch of young guys who we really haven't seen much of.

IMO the only clear starters heading into the spring from his depth chart are E. Cruz and Reed. Wohlabaugh is the next closest, and all the rest are a crap shoot.
 
Cross training the way we did always struck me as . . . odd. The second part of the phrase "jack of all trades" is "master of none." We only have so many practice hours. I understand the need to cross-train some, but whatever we were doing was too much.

Also, transitioning from one position to another after an injury is always going to come with growing pains. Cross-training isn't going to eliminate that if you're going from center to right tackle.
I have also said this a ton of times. u loseyour cohesiveness with the guys next to u.
 
Cross training the way we did always struck me as . . . odd. The second part of the phrase "jack of all trades" is "master of none." We only have so many practice hours. I understand the need to cross-train some, but whatever we were doing was too much.

Also, transitioning from one position to another after an injury is always going to come with growing pains. Cross-training isn't going to eliminate that if you're going from center to right tackle.
I'm not sure how common it is on other teams now, but I know cross training was common with Deleone.
 
Current OL going into next year. Sorted by what I think the depth chart would look like if everyone was 100 heathy. The rating is from 247.

Bold is guys that have started games, italics guys that missed most if not all of the year to injury.

It’s a group of three star guys that have good size on paper. Also it’s an experienced group full of upperclassmen, which isnt the norm here, but important for a development program. Always good to add talent but I think it’s not an emergency.

View attachment 235390
Wont be surprised to see two names with experience added via transfer portal
 
So we only brought in 2 kids from HS? That isn't good for the future. Might have to bring in an entire OL (5 kids) in next year's class.
 
So we only brought in 2 kids from HS? That isn't good for the future. Might have to bring in an entire OL (5 kids) in next year's class.
If there is a position group that we all expect further additions, it’s this one. Well that and CB.
 

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