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Projecting Michigan Football’s 2021 depth chart ahead of fall camp

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Does Michigan have enough talent to get itself back on track?

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The idea that the Michigan Wolverines have question marks on the 2021 roster has been well-plowed ground this offseason. The 2020 campaign saw them finish with a 2-4 record that could have been much worse if their season did not get cut short.

Everyone dealt with a COVID-impacted season last year, so that might not carry a ton of weight. Injuries, inconsistencies and a lack of development in critical areas were the themes of a disappointing season. Those things brought about a much-needed hard reset for the program.

Because spring football this year took place while the pandemic was still raging through the country, media sessions were still conducted via zoom and there were not any practices made available to the public. This included the spring game. So once again, improvements made or steps forward were left to hearsay.

This is a roundabout way of saying that updating the projected depth chart comes with a little less intel than it normally would.

Below is our projection ahead of fall camp. Our depth chart page (which can be accessed and bookmarked here) has also been updated to reflect this.

Michigan Football 2021 Projected Depth Chart — Week 1

Position First Team Second Team Reserves
Position First Team Second Team Reserves
Quarterback Cade McNamara J.J. McCarthy, Alan Bowman Dan Villari
Running Back Hassan Haskins Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards Tavierre Dunlap
Wide Receiver Ronnie Bell Daylen Baldwin, Roman Wilson
Wide Receiver Cornelius Johnson A.J. Henning
Wide Receiver Mike Sainristil Cristian Dixon, Andrel Anthony
Tight End Erick All Luke Schoonmaker Matthew Hibner, Louis Hansen
Left Tackle Ryan Hayes Karsen Barnhart Jeffrey Persi, Tristan Bounds
Left Guard Trevor Keegan Chuck Filiaga Raheem Anderson
Center Andrew Vastardis Zak Zinter Reece Atteberry, Greg Crippen, Raheem Anderson
Right Guard Zak Zinter Andrew Stueber Nolan Rumler, Greg Crippen
Right Tackle Andrew Stueber Karsen Barnhart, Trente Jones Giovanni El-Hadi, Joel Honigford
Defensive Tackle Christopher Hinton Jess Speight Rayshaun Benny
Nose Tackle Mazi Smith Donovan Jeter Jordan Whittley, Ike Iwunnah
Defensive Tackle Julius Welschof Mike Morris Gabe Newburg, Kris Jenkins, George Rooks, Dominick Guidice
Outside Linebacker Aidan Hutchinson Taylor Upshaw Braiden McGregor, TJ Guy
Inside Linebacker Josh Ross Junior Colson
Inside Linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green Mike Barrett
Outside Linebacker David Ojabo Jaylen Harrell Kechaun Bennett, Tyler McLaurin, Joey Velasquez, Anthony Solomon
Cornerback DJ Turner Vincent Gray Darion Green-Warren, Andre Seldon
Free Safety Daxton Hill RJ Moten, Jalen Perry Rod Moore
Strong Safety Brad Hawkins Makari Paige Quinten Johnson
Cornerback Gemon Green George Johnson German Green, Eamonn Dennis, Ja'Den McBurrows
Kicker Jake Moody
Punter Brad Robbins Tommy Doman
Kick Return Ronnie Bell, Blake Corum
Punt Return A.J Henning

Depth chart thoughts

  • The quarterback derby might be as drama-free as it ever has been by naming Cade McNamara the starter coming out of the spring. Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman has people sweating out how the depth chart might look, but it still feels like he was brought in as insurance as opposed to the man for the job. He will compete for the backup job with J.J. McCarthy
  • Blake Corum is walking around campus looking like Drax the Destroyer, so it would not be surprising to see him in a larger role. Donovan Edwards is going to play a lot, too.
  • The addition of Daylen Baldwin might have everyone on notice in the wide receiver room. He came to Michigan to play and believes he has an opportunity for a big role. There is a ton of fluidity to the wide receiver pecking order and he will be in the mix.
  • Ryan Hayes and Andrew Stueber are locked in on the offensive line, but everything else is up for grabs. Zak Zinter repped at center this spring, so it seems like they think he can crack that starting five either there or at guard. No position group on the roster will benefit more from a full offseason together than the offensive line room.
  • It actually feels like the front seven might be somewhat set because there is not a ton of depth. Make no mistake about it, that is a big question mark. Mazi Smith, Jordan Whittley, Donovan Jeter, Chris Hinton, David Ojabo, Junior Colson and Mike Barrett are players whose development I’m most interested in tracking.
  • Cornerback is another position of concern, but the development of Vincent Gray and Gemon Green from the start to the end of 2020 was one of the only bright spots from last year. It’s time to see something out of DJ Turner and Jalen Perry.