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NFL Depth Charts: Notes And Observations From Initial Releases, Part I

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The NFL season is less than four weeks away, folks. Sure, we’re already getting some good to great preseason action, but those current 90-man rosters around the league will dwindle down to 53 by Aug. 31.

Teams released their initial depth charts earlier this week, so I decided to go through and make some early observations about various teams. This is the first of a two-part look with two teams from each division.

Part II: Coming Soon

AFC North – Notes/Observations

  • Bengals: Michael Jordan (no, not that Michael Jordan) is currently beating out 30-year-old Xavier Su’a-Filo for the starting job at right guard.
  • Bengals: Evan McPherson, the rookie fifth-round pick, is already listed as the team’s starting kicker after a strong start in training camp.
  • Browns: Mack Wilson is listed as the starting WILL linebacker over the re-signed Malcolm Smith and rookie second-round pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
  • Browns: Despite the return of Grant Delpit from a season-ending injury in 2020, Ronnie Harrison Jr. is still listed as a starting safety next to the newly signed John Johnson III.

AFC South – Notes/Observations

  • Colts: Will Holden is beating out the newly signed Sam Tevi for the starting job at left tackle until Eric Fisher is healthy enough to take over.
  • Colts: Rookie first-round pick Kwity Paye is already listed as a starting defensive end ahead of Kemoko Turay and Ben Bangou. Dayo Odeyingbo is still recovering from an injury suffered last season at Vanderbilt.
  • Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence is listed as a co-starter with Gardner Minshew, who continues to believe he’s in an open quarterback competition with the No. 1 overall pick.
  • Jaguars: Carlos Hyde, not rookie first-round pick Travis Etienne, is listed as the co-starter at running back with James Robinson.

AFC East – Notes/Observations

  • Bills: Jake Fromm is currently checking in as the No. 4 quarterback on the depth chart, trailing Josh Allen, Mitch Trubisky and, most notably, Davis Webb. He probably won’t make the roster.
  • Bills: Harrison Phillips, a former Day 2 pick, is in danger of losing his roster spot. He was listed as the No. 3 1-tech behind Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler.
  • Dolphins: Rookie second-round pick Liam Eichenberg is already listed as the starting left guard, while third-year player Michael Dieter is listed ahead of Matt Skura at center.
  • Dolphins: 2021 first-round pick Jaelan Phillips hasn’t broken the two-deep yet, sitting behind Andrew Van Ginkel and Brennan Scarlett at the edge linebacker spots.

AFC West – Notes/Observations

  • Broncos: Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater are listed as co-starters at quarterback, as there hasn’t been much separation between the two players in training camp.
  • Broncos: Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, both new additions through free agency, are the two starting cornerbacks with rookie first-round pick Patrick Surtain II listed behind Fuller at LCB.
  • Chiefs: Two rookies, second-round pick Creed Humphrey and sixth-rounder Trey Smith, are both already listed as starters at center and right guard.
  • Chiefs: Nick Bolton hasn’t been able to wrestle away a starting linebacker job from either Willie Gay or Anthony Hitchens. He’s currently listed as a second-team guy.

NFC North – Notes/Observations

  • Bears: After starting his career at left guard and center, former second-round pick Cody Whitehair has moved to right guard with Sam Mustipher now listed as the first-team center.
  • Bears: Kindle Vildor, a second-year, former Day 3 pick, is beating out Desmond Trufant and Artie Burns for the No. 2 cornerback spot behind Jaylon Johnson.
  • Lions: Despite plenty of training camp buzz around rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, he was listed behind Tyrell Williams and Quintez Cephus on the initial depth chart.
  • Lions: Not a major shock, but top-10 pick Penei Sewell has already taken command of the starting job at right tackle. Tyrell Crosby is listed as the backup left tackle behind Taylor Decker.

NFC South – Notes/Observations

  • Falcons: Willie Beavers is listed as the starting right tackle, not Kaleb McGary or Jalen Mayfield.
  • Falcons: Newly signed free agent Cordarrelle Patterson checks in as the No. 2 running back behind Mike Davis.
  • Panthers: Former top-40 pick Greg Little might not even make the roster. He’s listed as the third-team left tackle right now.
  • Panthers: We’re still waiting to see newly signed Denzel Perryman at linebacker, but in the meantime, Jermaine Carter is listed as the starter between Shaq Thompson and Haason Reddick.

NFC East – Notes/Observations

  • Cowboys: Keanu Neal, a former first-round pick for the Falcons, is listed as the second-team MIKE linebacker behind Jaylon Smith after converting from safety during the offseason.
  • Cowboys: Carlos Watkins is listed as the starting defensive tackle next to Neville Gallimore, currently beating out Brent Urban, Trysten Hill and rookie third-round pick Osa Odighizuwa.
  • Eagles: Jordan Mailata continues to push former first-round pick Andre Dillard at left tackle, as the two were listed as co-starters.
  • Eagles: Jordan Howard is listed as the RB2 behind Miles Sanders, with Boston Scott slotted third and Kenneth Gainwell and Kerryon Johnson both sitting near the back of the pack.

NFC West – Notes/Observations

  • Cardinals: Second-year offensive lineman Josh Jones, a third-round pick in 2020, is currently running with the starters at right guard with Justin Murray out.
  • Cardinals: Rookie first-round pick Zaven Collins is already listed as the starting MIKE linebacker next to Isaiah Simmons, pushing Jordan Hicks to the second team.
  • 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo is currently hanging onto his starting spot at quarterback, while Josh Rosen is unlikely to make the squad. If the team keeps a third QB, it could be Nate Sudfeld.
  • 49ers: The depth at cornerback is atrocious. Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley with K’Waun Williams playing nickel isn’t terrible, but there’s little to nothing established behind them.

Depth Chart – Links

ARI | ATL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL

DEN | DET | IND | JAC | KC | MIA | PHI | SF


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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

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  1. Really well done.
    Layout is great. Easy to see what you’re reading and organized perfectly. Content is also perfect. 2-4 sentences per entry. Not too much. But enough to get the gist and allow the reader to dig in further if needed. I’m smarter for reading it. Not often one can say that.

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