It’s our first Syracuse Orange football game week of the 2022 season and we have a depth chart. Syracuse released the information today and we gathered our team to share their reaction
What’s the biggest surprise for you in this depth chart?
Christian - Oronde Gadsden II listed as the No. 1 tight end. I’ve made my feelings known about Syracuse usage (or lack thereof) of the tight end position over the past couple of season, but this isn’t exactly how I thought they would solve that issue. Gadsden had been tracking all throughout camp as the No. 1 outside wide receiver, but him listed as a tight throws questions up both at TE and WR.
Mike - I’ll agree with Gadsden since there was little to no indication that he was moving off of receiver. I thought he earned a starting spot with Anthony Queeley out for the short term, but I have to wonder what the plan is here. Was Maximilian Mang not cutting it and Anae is insistent on having a TE involved in his gameplan?
Steve - Going to have to go with Jatius Geer getting the nod at the DE spot. There’s some weird things going on based on Dino’s comments on Linton being ready, but not on the chart, but it’s a surprising and promising to see Geer work his way up to the top of the list.
Kevin - Jatius Geer at starting defensive end. It seemed like Geer was a good candidate for short yardage situations and his size stood out at the spring game but he wasn’t talked about a lot during camp.
Which player currently on the 2nd string do you see taking over a starting role via their play in the first few games?
Christian - Denis Jaquez Jr. He already created quite a buzz on national signing day when he flipped to the Orange and seemed to live up to the hype in spring and fall camps. With how often Tony White likes to changes things up and bring in a 4th D-Lineman, Jaquez probably can get a lot of opportunities to earn a starting role.
Mike - I think Rob Hanna can get himself back into a starting role, whether it’s at rover or elsewhere in the secondary. Babers said that this was the hardest position group to narrow down, so look for him to rotate in often and standby for an opportunity to do more.
Steve - Not sure I think anyone’s ripe to get picked off the way this has gone, but with his experience, Jason Simmons may make a name for himself again and work into a good rotation with the odd start.
Kevin - I’ll go with Trebor Pena. DeVaughn Cooper is one of the most experienced players in the country but Pena has an extra gear that this Syracuse offense will need to match some of their opponents.
Are there any players not on the current two-deep you see pushing for more playing time this season?
Christian - Francois Nolton Jr. He definitely looks the part and with the continued uncertainly about the talent at defensive line, the true freshman could get a chance to create a fearsome duo with Jaquez Jr. for the next couple of seasons.
Mike - This might be a controversial take... but LeQuint Allen or Juwaun Price. To be perfectly clear, there’s no way that Tucker loses the bell-cow designation. But in obvious pass situations (i.e. four-wide sets, 3rd & longs), I might trust one of them more to hold a block for a few seconds before breaking off for a checkdown if needed. Like Chris Elmore, it’s what they could do off the stat sheet that matters here.
Steve - Steve Linton is an obvious look. Whether he stays at defensive ends or works between there and linebacker he’s going to find his way into the playing time once he’s back to full health, be that this week or next.
Kevin - I’m going to stay with the wide receiver group and go with Anthony Queeley. He’s regarded as one of the better blockers among the receivers and I think he’ll find his way back into the mix as the season progresses.
Any other thoughts?
Christian - The good thing about this Syracuse team, for the first time in a while, is that we’re curious why some guys aren’t on this two-deep and for a good reason. There’s actually depth in some units, a luxury the Orange haven’t been able to afford in recent seasons.
Mike - This team is remarkably healthy to start the season. I’m knocking on wood and every other surface imaginable to keep it that way.
Steve - I’m sort of surprised that I’m not surprised where it all landed. Or to rephrase, I can understand why the names landed where they did. I’m sure we’ll have a better gauge after week one and things will get shaken up but I’m oddly happy with the two-deep as it sits.
Kevin- I do think some of what we see is a bit of gamesmanship on the part of the Orange. They want to keep Louisville guessing about what the offense will look like so don’t be shocked if some of what we see on paper doesn’t match what we see Saturday night.
What stands out to you about this week one depth chart?