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Projected 2016 depth chart

By Blast Media|teammemphis@memphisblast.org

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February 29, 2016, at 6:30 PM,

 

Memphis, Tenn-The Memphis Blast Pro Developmental Football Franchise is in pursuit of a National Championship in 2016, the Blast will be without quite a few of its most impactful players from its 2015 playoff team.

Memphis loses its starting quarterback (Cameron Mayfield), he is headed to Germany after signing his pro contract also both backup Quarterbacks where free agents and decided to move on (Nathan Hawkins is contemplating retiring & Joshua Dixson moved closer to home), our best O-lineman(Arron Williams) is on medical leave, two of the team’s top players (Gerard Kaufman/signed an Indoor pro Contract and Marquis Spurgeon chose to stay closer to home signed with Lee County Ti-Cats (MS) ) and our unquestioned defensive leader (Lawrence Miller is now the Blast new defensive coordinator).

We lost a few players, but the Memphis Blast has always had players line up ready to play so the team never has to rebuild, it simply reloads. Stated GM Lazarus Settles, It doesn’t hurt that top talent like Xavier Jones, Julius Black, and Timothy Graham decided to return for another year.

Quarterback analysis:

With the Blast losing all of their Quarterbacks from 2015, The Blast again has to break in a new quarterback in 2016. The top two options appear to be Blake Clanton and Timothy Graham. Clanton is a rookie, he is the early favorite after finishing mini-camp and making great strides and improving his mechanical skillset and has mastered and understands the Blast schemes. Offensive coordinator, Eric Cruthirds likes Clanton, he stated, Blake should be a good fit in the Blast offense. Graham, who is multi-talented, is the highly-regarded around the GDFL as a top-tier athlete and is a preseason GDFL All-Pro. Graham has put on some serious muscle weight after arriving in mini-camp but coaches like him and he’s viewed as the centerpiece of the offense. The wild card is Jeremy Buffington, who looks to be a serious contender heading into summer camp, but fell off the pack and finished behind Graham.

Tight end analysis:

Blast adds a few new pieces to the mix  Michael Stackens will still be the star of the show. Matthew Shelton will be a serious threat in the passing game his rookie season could be a big factor in 2016 that could help the Blast get into Gridiron Bowl VII.

Running back analysis:

The Memphis Blast has a stable of running backs, one of them happens to be Timothy Graham. Who is a workhorse and could break multiple Blast and GDFL rushing records this season, but Fred Jones looks to be our most consistent Back and comes out of mini-camp leading the pack. JC Austin has so much speed that defenses will be shaking every time he touches the ball he has showed glimpses of his potential in 2015. Robert Harris was the No. 3 running back for most of the 2015 season and while he didn’t have a major breakout game, he was extremely productive and will have more opportunities to succeed in 2016.

Offensive line analysis:

Blast loses the center and a multi-talented, run-blocking, right tackle from its 2015 playoff team. Juan Gonzalez looks to be the likely replacement for third-year center Grover Young though that’s no easy task. The right tackle spot vacated by Arron Williams is a harder project though Melvin Carter is a good early guess. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Cortez Ayers be in contention for the right tackle and Chris Jones right guard starting spots. Isaac White, Exavius Applewhite Mikey Bishop and Josh Holbrook could also push for starting spots on what could be a young offensive line.

Defensive line analysis:

Charles Beard returns for a second season Beard, who is a natural leader he leads the team with 10 sacks in 2015, he will lead a young but very talented group. The Blast loses its top defensive linemen – Kiomotti Ewing Jr — plus key contributors like Dexter Patterson and LeCareous Niles, but there is plenty of talent on the roster not to suffer too much of a drop-off.

Jeremy Barr, who looked very good in mini-camp, is a good bet to see a significant amount playing time. He and Marcus Rayford could rotate at one of the defensive end spots. Standout 2nd Year Martelle Taylor should be the clear starter at the Right defensive end spot and should be one of the major bright spots on the defensive line. Sidney Hall should also get playing time plus, at least, one of the incoming rookies like Dominick Robinson or Marcus Rayford could make an immediate impact. Veteran Xavier Hunt will lock down the left defensive end spot.

Linebacker analysis:

Blast loses a key veteran, most notably All-Pro Linebacker Lawrence Miller Jr, but there is a lot of depth for New Defensive Coordinator Miller and Co. to work within 2016. GDFL All-Pro LB Antonio Myers returns for his 3rd season to help lead the Blast to Gridiron Bowl VII!!!  Corey Lyons should slide into a starting role after primarily serving as a back-up in 2015. Rod Hand and Johnathan Bradley, who rotated in various schemes in 2015, could both get their starting spots in 2016. Charles Conway has the potential to take a major step in 2016 to becoming a complete player. Newcomer Erick Rollins appears to have locked down the SAM, but Keith Dodson, Martelle Taylor, and Sidney Hall, among others, could push for major playing time.

Secondary analysis:

Will Singleton is a good bet to start at one cornerback position, and Kadeem Clark should be one of the starting safeties, but everything else could be up for grabs. Julius Black will be a starter somewhere but will coaches keep him at the “DOG” position or move him to a cornerback spot? That could determine how the rest of the secondary shakes out. Brad Campbell, who is well regarded in the program and should find a role somewhere on the depth chart to get a good chunk of playing time. De’Mario Anderson seems like the natural fit to take over Marquis Spurgeon vacant safety spot, but he’ll face competition.

The biggest question mark is Marcus Mills and whether he’ll be a contributor for the Memphis Blast this season. He’s been put on notice on the depth chart for the time being but would certainly have a spot on there somewhere if he returns and is okay to play at the start of the season.

Click Link to View Depth Chart: http://memphisblast.org/team/dept-chart/

 

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