Pac-12 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

Pac-12 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

PAC-12

Pac-12 2019 Pre-Spring Rankings, Depth Chart Projections, Biggest Issues

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The 2019 early rankings, depth chart lookaheads, and projections for the Pac-12.


Contact @PeteFiutak

These can and will change after spring ball and going into the season, but for now, as a starting point, welcome to your pre-everything early ranking of all the Pac-12 teams.

PAC-12 NORTH

6. Oregon State Beavers

QB Jake Luton was granted a sixth year of eligibility, but will he have the line to keep him upright – if he wins the job? Three starters are gone up front of a leaky line, but the skill players are in place with all of the pass catchers back but No. 2 WR Timmy Hernandez, and Jermar Jefferson is a rising star leading a deep group of running backs.

The top ten tacklers return, but the defensive tackle situation needs some work, and a few parts are gone in the back eight. It’s a veteran team all-around, and now it has to be far better.

Final 2018 Record: 2-10 (1-8)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: 6
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 12
Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Protection
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Running Back
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Line
– Oregon State Schedule Analysis

5. Cal Golden Bears

The Bears have to get more offensive pop, but at least the experience is there with QB Chase Garbers the presumptive favorite for the gig, and with just enough key receivers back for the passing game to not be any worse. Patrick Laird is done, and now a few new running backs have to emerge behind a veteran line that returns four starters.

Five of the top six and eight of the top ten tacklers return, starting with LB Evan Weaver and all the ends on the front three. The secondary returns intact, led by S Ashtyn Davis and CB Camryn Bynum.

Final 2018 Record: 7-6 (4-5)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: 5
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 9
Biggest Issue To Fix: Passing Efficiency
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Secondary
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Running Back
– Cal Schedule Analysis

4. Stanford Cardinal

The Cardinal have to find several replacements at key spots, starting on the defensive side. The front three should be terrific with everyone back, but all four starting linebackers are gone – fourth-leading tackler Jordan Fox is back, though – and nine of the top 14 tacklers need to be replaced.

QB KJ Costello is back, but where are his targets? JJ Arcega-Whiteside is gone early to the NFL along with TE Kaden Smith. The top three – and five of the top eight – targets are gone, and that includes Bryce Love. There wasn’t much from the ground game, but the two top rushers have to be replaced along with three starters on the O line.

Final 2018 Record: 9-4 (6-3)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: 3
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 3
Biggest Issue To Fix: Rushing Offense
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Defensive Line
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Running Back
– Stanford Schedule Analysis

3. Washington Huskies

Jake Browning is gone, but former Georgia transfer Jacob Eason should be more than ready to step in and potentially improve the quarterback situation. Leading rusher Myles Gaskin is finished, but Salvon Ahmed can handle a bigger role as the top guy in a deep group of running backs. All of the top receivers are back, but even with Trey Adams returning, losing NFL-caliber tackle Kaleb McGary hurts.

Linebackers Ben Burr-Kirven and Tevis Bartlett – the top two tacklers – are gone, and losing CB Byron Murphy and S Taylor Rapp early to the NFL doesn’t help. In all, six of the top seven tacklers – and the entire starting defensive front – have to be replaced.

Final 2018 Record: 10-4 (7-2)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: T1
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 1
Biggest Issue To Fix: Pass Rush
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Offensive Tackle
– Washington Schedule Analysis

2. Washington State Cougars

It’ll be a battle for Gardner Minshew’s quarterback job, and it looks like Eastern Washington transfer Gage Gubrud might be the one to take over. Fortunately, the new guy gets a loaded receiving corps to work with. James Williams is leaving early to the NFL – the Cougars need running back help. The line should be great with four starters back.

Eight of the top 12 tacklers return, but the line needs a few new pieces and leading tackler Peyton Pelluer is gone from the linebacking corps. The secondary needs a few new cornerbacks, but the safeties are strong, starting with Skyler Thomas.

Final 2018 Record: 11-2 (7-2)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: T1
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 8
Biggest Issue To Fix: Rushing Offense (just a little more to help the cause)
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Wide Receiver
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: Cornerback
– Washington State Schedule Analysis

1. Oregon Ducks

Where’s the weakness? Where’s the massive issue? Justin Herbert needs to hit more passes on a consistent basis, but he’d likely be the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Dillon Mitchell is gone, but everyone else of note is back in the receiving corps. CJ Verdell and Travis Dye lead a deep group of running backs behind a line that gets all five starters back.

The defense loses a few of the key parts – three of the top five tacklers are gone – but the linebacking corps is loaded, the top corners return, and in all, eight starters are back from the Redbox Bowl winner.

Final 2018 Record: 9-4 (5-4)
2018 Pac-12 North Finish: 4
2018 Prespring Pac-12 Conference Ranking: 4
Biggest Issue To Fix: Completion Percentage
Biggest Depth Chart Positive: Offensive Line
Biggest Depth Chart Negative: No. 1 Receiver
– Oregon Schedule Analysis

NEW: 2019 Early Pac-12 South Rankings

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