Stanford Projected 2014 Depth Chart: Offense

Eric Cotton: Big potential at tight end

The 2014 season is still about six months away, but let's pretend that it's kicking off tomorrow. After watching a session of spring practice and learning about the Stanford team, here's The Bootleg's first crack at a projected depth chart for the next campaign.



*Indicates incoming true freshman

Quarterback
1 - Kevin Hogan
2 - Evan Crower
3 - Ryan Burns
4 - Keller Chryst*
5 - Dallas Lloyd (remains available as running specialist)

The Take: Hogan and Crower were the only two quarterbacks who saw action in the first session of spring because Burns was suspended and Chryst is still across the street at Palo Alto High School. David Shaw was not thrilled that Burns missed valuable repetitions, so it'll be imperative for him to do a good job playing catch-up in the second session.

Running Back
1 - Remound Wright
2 - Barry Sanders
3 - Ricky Seale
4 - Kelsey Young
5 - Christian McCaffrey*
6 - Pat McFadden
7 - Ryan Gaertner

The Take: Shaw has called Wright Stanford's top pass-blocking running back, which is a significant compliment given how important that skill is for playing time in the Cardinal's system. Still, it appears that the by-committee approach is more likely than ever at this position. Sanders and Seale have drawn praise for their open field elusiveness, while Young is more comfortable now after a shift from the perimeter.

Wide Receiver
1 - Ty Montgomery
2 - Devon Cajuste
3 - Michael Rector
4 - Francis Owusu
5 - Jordan Pratt
6 - Jeff Trojan
7 - Rollins Stallworth
8 - Dontonio Jordan
9 - Conner Crane
10 - Gautam Krishnamurthi

The Take: I'm wrong about many things, but last year in this space, I wrote that Cajuste was a "mismatch waiting to happen" and that Stanford's wide receiver corps was set to emerge. Well, fast forward about 365 days, and that's certainly already happened. Shaw thinks this unit may be the deepest in the country, and it's easy to see why: Even Stallworth, the seventh listed guy, is a serious contributor as the Cardinal's "fade specialist." With Kodi Whitfield's move to safety, Stanford appears to be counting on Owusu to emerge as a consistent threat.

Speedster in Space
1 - Ty Montgomery
2 - Kelsey Young
3 - Barry Sanders
4 - Isaiah Brandt-Sims*
5 - Christian McCaffrey*

The Take: Though Young has technically moved from the perimeter to the backfield, this position isn't dead yet. As Stanford pushes to become more explosive offensively, featuring versatile athletes across different locations in the formation remains imperative. The Cardinal used Montgomery and Young creatively last year (Ty even lined up as running back later in the season), and there's a good bet that they'll continue to use explosive playmakers in different ways. The above listed names are all potential candidates.

Tight End
1 - Eric Cotton
2 - Austin Hooper
3 - Greg Taboada
4 - Dalton Schultz*
5 - Charlie Hopkins
6 - Eddie Plantaric
7 - Alex Frkovic
8 - Chris Harrell

The Take: Tight end production dropped precipitously in 2013 (only 10 combined catches, zero touchdowns on the season). Stanford's youngsters at the positions will try to change that in 2014. Shaw remains noncommittal on whether or not Schultz will play his freshman year, but Cotton (fluid route-running), Hooper (tough to bring down), and Taboada (impressive physically) all look ready to be integrated. Frkovic, nicknamed "the Big Canadian," is an intriguing wild card size-wise in his second season coming off knee injury. Plantaric and Harrell are both potentially valuable bodies that can contribute to depth to both the tight end and fullback positions. Stanford's plans for them should become more clear once the team installs more complex offensive packages this summer.

Ogre
1 - Brendon Austin
2 - David Bright
3 - Casey Tucker*

The Take: Shaw told The Bootleg that Austin, who recently moved from tackle to guard, is the frontrunner to replace Garnett at James McGillicuddy's famed Ogre position. Stanford won't install this portion of the jumbo offense until August camp, though, so the full depth situation is not clear at this point. Bright, though, has impressed many with his development and versatility. He's currently anchoring the second unit at right tackle.

Fullback
1 - Lee Ward
2 - Pat Skov
3 - Daniel Marx*

The Take: The staff believes Marx is the best 2014 fullback prospect in the country, but Ryan Hewitt's old job belongs to the veterans until Shannon Turley's system kicks in. Ward and Skov should both see time as the Cardinal's backfield bowling balls.

Left Tackle
1 - Andrus Peat
2 - Nick Davidson
3 - David Bright
4 - Casey Tucker*
5 - Lucas Hinds
6 - Reilly Gibbons*

The Take: Peat is the undisputed starter and potential top-five pick in next year's NFL Draft. The main question: Who is his back-up? In the event of an injury, there's a chance Stanford shifts Kyle Murphy over from right tackle and plugs either Davidson or Bright in on that side. The key question to be answered when freshmen arrive this summer will be the readiness of top-flight prospect Casey Tucker. If he's as immediately ready as The Big Three were in 2012, Tucker can theoretically rocket up this list and become the next body in line at tackle.

Left Guard
1 - Joshua Garnett
2 - Brendon Austin
3 - Kevin Reihner
4 - Austin Hall*
5 - Jesse Burkett*
6 - Brandon Fanaika

The Take: Shaw says he's just as excited to feature a monstrous left side of Peat and Garnett as he was last year, when Peat and David Yankey formed quite the duo at left tackle and left guard. Austin's move from tackle makes him the first reserve at both guard positions this year. Though we have him listed as a tackle, the versatile Bright can also plug depth holes here. Fanaika is a true wild card: Where he fits will depend on what kind of shape he's in when he returns from his LDS Mission.

Center
1 - Graham Shuler
2 - Kevin Reihner
3 - Thomas Oser
4 - Jim Grace

The Take: Shuler is said to be Stanford's most athletic center of the Harbaugh-Shaw era. He still needs to put on about 10 more pounds of strength, but that's not expected to be a problem this offseason. Reihner is next in line, while Oser (whose versatility is also a strong suit) awaits the results of an MRI.

Right Guard
1 - Johnny Caspers
2 - Brendon Austin
3 - Kevin Reihner
4- Austin Hall*
5 - Jesse Burkett*

The Take: Caspers has added over 30 pounds of strength since arriving at Stanford, and his hard work will likely lead him to a starting assignment at Kevin Danser's former position. The famed 2012 recruiting class is expected to comprise the entire 2014 starting offensive line.

Right Tackle
1 - Kyle Murphy
2 - David Bright
3 - Nick Davidson
4 - Casey Tucker*
5 - Lucas Hinds
6 - Reilly Gibbons*

The Take: Murphy's polish and footwork make him the ideal candidate to succeed Cam Fleming. There may be some questions of inexperience at center and right guard for Stanford, but the staff is assuredly breathing easy at right tackle with a player of Murphy's caliber.

*Indicates incoming true freshman






David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com and follow him on Twitter @DavidMLombardi.

Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!

TheBootleg.com Recommended Stories