While its probably a little early, I thought it might be helpful to write out what our new depth chart is going to look like and compare it to last year. Its probably the easiest way to see if we've gotten better from a personnel perspective. What does everyone think. Looking at this it does look like the offense should be better, personnel wise, than last year.
(Let me know if I get any of this wrong.)
2008 - JTO, Hill, Smith, Martin
2009 - Hill, Smith, Davis, Huard
Verdict - Upgrade. JTO was terrible. Davis has tools and might develop.
2008 - Gore, Foster, Robinson, Clayton
2009 - Gore, Coffee, Robinson, Sheets, Clayton
Verdict - Upgrade. Coffee and Sheets are intriguing and should be better than Foster, who looked washed up. Clayton probably gets cut.
2008 - Keasey
2009 - Norris, Keasey
Verdict - Upgrade. Keasay's no longer hurt and Norris is the bruiser we were missing last year.
2008 - Bruce, Johnson, Morgan, Hill, Battle, Zeigler
2009 - Bruce, Crabtree, Morgan, Hill, Jones, Battle, Zeigler, Bradford
Verdict - Upgrade. Crabtree should be great. Morgan and Hill are a year older and seem to be coming into their own. Zeigler, Bradford or Battle might get cut.
2008 - Davis, Walker, Bajema, Ryan
2009 - Davis, Walker, Pascoe
Verdict - No difference. Pascoe is supposed to be the same kind of solid blocker as Bajema and a better receiver, but he's also a rookie.
2008 - Staley, Jennings, Sims, Synder, Duckett
2009 - Staley, Smith, Sims, Synder, Boone
Verdict - Upgrade. Smith and Boone certainly can't be worse than a guy that didn't even play (Jennings).
2008 - Bass, Rachal, Wragge, Bender
2009 - Bass, Rachal, Wragge, Toledo, Bender
Verdict - Upgrade. The players are the same, but Rachal has his rookie year behind him, Wragge got some experience and Bass isn't coming off a pec injury.
2008 - Heitman, Wallace
2009 - Heitman, Wallace
Verdict - No difference. Same guys, same relative level of health and experience.
2008 - Smith, McDonald, Sopoaga
2009 - Smith, Balmer, Evans, McDonald, Francois, Egboh
Verdict - Who knows. Hopefully Balmer comes into his own and Evans plays some quality snaps. McDonald is coming back from surgery. Egboh probably won't make the team. Francois is a project who hopefully will help down the line.
2008 - Franklin, Fields
2009 - Franklin, Sopoaga
Verdict - Same. Sopoaga rottaing with Franklin sound solid, but not strong.
2008 - Lawson, Haralson, TBC, Green, Moore
2009 - Lawson, Haralson, Brooks, Moore, Washington
Verdict - Same. Lawson bulked up and Haralson had 8 sacks in limited action. Maybe their better and maybe Brooks does something. Or maybe we should have drafted 1 OLB to help our edge pressure.
2008 - Willis, Spikes, Ulbrich,
2009 - Willis, Spikes, Ulbrich, McKillop
Verdict - Better depth, same starters, so upgrade.
2008 - Clements, Harris, Spencer, Strickland, Brown, Hudson, R. Smith, Rossum
2009 - Clements, Harris, Brown, Spencer, Hudson, Word-Daniels, C. Thomas, Rossum
Verdict - Downgrade. We lost Strickland and Harris is really getting old.
2008 - Roman, Goldson
2009 - Goldson, Roman, R. Smith, J. Williams
Verdict - Upgrade, maybe. Roman made no plays. Hopefully, Goldson will make some without given up others. Williams is a wildcard. Smith was a relatively high pick.
2008 - M. Lewis, K. Lewis,
2009 - M. Lewis, R. Smith, C. Taylor, Baker
Verdict - Same starter, but better depth. K. Lewis was worthless. Smith was a relatively high pick.