Washington State has really struggled finding quality depth all over the field over the past 5 or 6 seasons, it’s no secret that many Pac-12 caliber players just haven’t filled out the charts in that time. But this year seems to be a bit of a corner turner for the Cougars, as they strive to actually attempt to compete in their second string with players that could actually hold down the position at this level of college football.
CougCenter put together an early projection of the 2013 Offensive Depth Chart and we’re going to put in our own thoughts with their projections for each position group. For CC’s full projection thoughts, click the link.
Nov. 23, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver Brett Bartolone (19) converts a two point conversion against Washington Huskies saftey Sean Parker (1) during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Cougars would go onto beat the Huskies by a final score of 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The Cougar receiving group was talented, but extremely undisciplined in 2012. Also, they were the most publicized group, in no small part to Marquess Wilson. Of course there was the dismissal/walk-out issue that we won’t go into, but before that just because he’s a good player.
At times, Gabe Marks, Brett Bartolone and Dominique Williams shone brightly. At other times they were nowhere to be found. So the key for this year is to get those 3 more consistently productive and bring the other guys along. Leach was adamant that the receivers as a group were mentally weak last season, so the focus will of course be on the mental aspect of the game.
I expect the receiving corps to strengthen in such a way this season, that I believe we could have a top 5 passing offense in the country easily. The scoring offense will definitely increase as well. Remember the Cougars dropped a million touchdowns last season, so if they’re even mildly improved in the catching department we will see some good scoring totals.
ACU: This is where we start to differ in opinion (why some are crossed out), but it doesn’t change the ability of this group, which is pretty darn good. In my mind even though River Cracraft is more prototype for the Y position… well Cracraft isn’t in our chart because he redshirts, no question. Plenty alright with Marks on the outside, although when the Cougs go empty this year (which I think they will do quite a bit more this season than last because of improved O-line play), Marks could line up inside and either Mayle or Kristoff could move out to Z. Screens to either side should be high volume with those guys blocking on the outside in the empty set and the new gameplan would help Halliday to get the ball out quicker.
Galvin then moves to #2 Y and Lewis/Eaddy will fight it out for #2 in the H slot. Really think Lewis becomes higher volume as the year unfolds because of his dynamic playmaking ability with the ball in his hands.
The receiving group is just a smidge better as a unit than last year, should they stay healthy. Let’s not kid ourselves, Wilson was a premier playmaker and losing him is a blow to any group. Still, the addition of Mayle and a healthy returning Galvin make up for the loss. The key for the remaining group will be gripping the football so they can use all that talent.