Nick Saban continued his tradition of begrudgingly issuing a depth chart to media on the first game week Monday, and there aren’t too many surprises.
- As expected, Mac Jones is the starting QB. No “or” designation.
- John Metchie III is the third starting WR alongside DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.
- Emil Ekiyor Jr. nailed down the OL opening vacated by Jedrick Wills Jr. He is slotted at RG, moving Evan Neal outside to RT.
- Waddle is operating out of the slot with Slade Bolden as his understudy.
- Will Anderson won the jack LB job in his first camp, which is incredibly difficult for a true freshman. We will get to see what this young man has from the jump. Drew Sanders is listed second at the position with no third, so the youth movement is in full effect.
- Ben Davis, who had been starting in much of camp, is backing up Christopher Allen.
- Daniel Wright won the starting FS job, with Demarco Hellams running second.
- We don’t know who the sixth DB will be should the team go to dime, but Josh Jobe has won the outside CB job opposite Patrick Surtain II and Malachi Moore will start at star.
- Justin Eboigbe reportedly had a strong camp and has emerged as a DR starter opposite LaBryan Ray.
- D.J. Dale will be backed up by the other splashy freshman name in camp, Tim Smith. Ishmael Sopsher is running third at the nose and he has had plenty of positive reviews as well.
- Will Reichard is the kicker, as expected. A freshman walk-on named Sam Johnson will punt. Just kidding, we ain’t punting. Mac Jones is the primary holder. You usually want someone other than the starting QB for that role, but he is the man.
- Waddle and Smith are listed as the top two KR, and I’m not terribly crazy about that.
For the most part, this is pretty well what we expected with the exception of the all-freshman depth chart at jack and the out-of-nowhere freshman punter.