ANN ARBOR, Mich. — With Saturday’s Maize-Blue scrimmage, the Michigan football team capped off another year of spring practices. As the Wolverines turn the page from their memorable 2021 season to their 2022 season, they do so with plenty of fanfare and optimism, but seeking replacements for some key departing players.
Who might be in line to fill those roles? Following Saturday’s open scrimmage and weeks of practices, we feel comfortable making those projections, in our first depth chart projections of 2022. Previously, we looked at the projected offensive depth chart. Below, we take a look at the Wolverines’ new-look defense, assessing the starters, backups and other names to keep in mind.
Some reminders on this depth chart and what it means:
– For the defense, we’re sticking with the 4-2-5 base set Michigan used last season. But because the Wolverines mix and personal match so much, we are listing three backups at end, tackle, linebacker and safety to reflect that flexibility.
– We’re assuming full health with this projection, unless a player is ruled out for the season (no one is currently).
– We are not counting players who are not on campus yet.
– This is a snapshot projection, not a forecast. We may have hunches at who can take a leap by September, but we find it more valuable to assess where things stand now.
– There are no ANDs or ORs in our depth charts. Our job is to decipher between close battles and figure out who we think has the lead. Our writeups will elaborate on the roles backups will play.
– Players’ classes are for what they will be in the fall. Redshirt denominations are based on the NCAA’s four-game redshirt rule, not the extra year granted by the NCAA following the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Starters and backups are the traditional two-deep. “Next up” is our list of players we think could legitimately battle for meaningful snaps right now.
– Players not listed are players we have been given the impression are not in the mix for a two-deep or key rotational role at this time (projected redshirt or special teams-only player). That could always change by the time fall camp arrives.
Alright, let’s get on to the projections