The fog of New Year’s Eve is still heavy, and the reality of Missouri’s 38-33 Liberty Bowl loss to Oklahoma State is still sinking in.
Does that loss change anything for 2019? No, absolutely not. Missouri still has plenty of returning talent; they have a number of key newcomers that should be huge contributors. And, of course, they’ll have some pretty substantial vacancies needed to be replaced.
With that being said, let’s take a quick overview of what the way-too-early 2019 depth chart looks like. We’re just going with the two-deep mainly, and — at this point — we’ll keep new signees off the depth chart.
We’ll start with a look at the offense. Players in bold mean they are new projected starters based on the final depth chart of the 2018 season.
- R-SR Kelly Bryant
- R-SO Taylor Powell (6-2, 210-pounds)
NOTES: Barring injury, this is the easiest vacancy to project. Bryant will be the starting quarterback in 2019. Beyond him, it gets murkier. Almost assuredly, there will be transfers from this position group, as the Tigers bring in Bryant, TCU transfer Shawn Robinson (who will redshirt) and freshman signee Connor Bazelak. Still, it makes sense that Powell would stay, as he saw playing time this year and would be one injury away from serious playing time in 2019.
- JR Larry Rountree II (5-10, 210-pounds)
- SR Damarea Keener-Crockett (5-11, 225-pounds)
- SO Tyler Badie (5-9, 190-pounds)
NOTES: Rountree certainly did enough in 2018 to be the “featured” back in 2019, and in my opinion, the offense should go through him next season. Keener-Crockett and Badie are just a tier below him and are most likely separated by an “or”; really, all three would see meaningful snaps and the workload will likely be split in a 40-30-30 share, ideally. Missouri should have a rushing attack that could rival the 2013 team, which ran for over 3,300 yards en route to an SEC East championship.
- SO Jalen Knox (6-0, 195-pounds)
- R-SR Alex Ofodile (6-2, 200-pounds)
- SO Kam Scott (6-2, 170-pounds)
- R-SR Jonathon Nance (6-0, 190-pounds)
- R-SR Johnathon Johnson (5-10, 180-pounds)
- SO Dominic Gicinto (5-9, 180-pounds)
- R-SO Barrett Bannister/R-SR Richaud Floyd
NOTES: This is the position group that will absolutely have a lot of change, and you can almost guarantee that at least two of the three freshmen (CJ Boone, Maurice Massey and Anthony Watkins) will play in 2019, in addition to graduate transfer Nance — who I project will start behind Kam Scott to begin with. The slot receiver position is the most set, as Johnson and Gicinto will be focal points of this offense. Outside gets a bit murkier, as you have one rising star in Knox, another young player in Scott that showed some flashes and then not much else. Expect Boone, Massey and Watkins to all get looks at the outside receiver positions.
- R-JR Albert Okwuegbunam (6-5, 255-pounds)
- SO Daniel Parker (6-4, 260-pounds)
- R-FR Messiah Swinson (6-7, 230-pounds)
NOTES: Okwuegbunam won’t go to the NFL... right? Injuries are always a scary proposition for players and fans alike, as sometimes those can force players to head for the NFL earlier (SEE: Josey, Henry). But let’s go with the assumption that Okwuegbunam stays; if that’s the case, then this rivals running back as the deepest position group on the roster. Daniel Parker showed he can be a do-it-all force at the position, as a blocker and receiver; Swinson would have been a huge part of this offense had he not suffered a knee injury prior to the season. Even with the loss of Kendall Blanton, Missouri has plenty of options at tight end.
- SR Yasir Durant (6-7, 330-pounds)
- R-FR Bobby Lawrence (6-8, 300-pounds)
- R-SO Case Cook (6-5, 295-pounds)
- R-SO Larry Borom (6-6, 340-pounds)
- R-JR Trystan Colon-Castillo (6-4, 315-pounds)
- R-SR Jonah Dubinski (6-2, 295-pounds)
- SR Tre’vour Wallace-Sims (6-5, 330-pounds)
- R-FR Xavier Delgado (6-5, 330-pounds)
- R-SO Hyrin White (6-6, 305-pounds)
- R-FR Mike Ruth (6-7, 320-pounds)
NOTES: This is the toughest group to project beyond the returning starters of Durant, Colon-Castillo and Wallace-Sims. There’s going to be some shuffling, and you’d have to think that Hyrin White makes the most sense to get the first shot at the starting right tackle job to replace Paul Adams. At left guard, I imagine Case Cook gets the first look, but I think the mammoth Borom could slide inside and give Missouri one of the most physically-imposing interior lines in the SEC. The back-ups at both tackle spots are tough to project, so I went with Ruth at one spot — who saw playing time in the season-opener — and the 6-foot-8 Lawrence at the other.