Greg McElroy says depth is the Tigers’ big issue
There’s a lot to like about LSU in 2023.
After putting together a season of 10 wins and SEC West titles last fall, coach Brian Kelly returns for Year 2 with many key figures including starting quarterback Jayden Daniels, lead receiver Malik Nabers and rising defensive star Harold Perkins.
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But things are a little less solid behind these returning starters. LSU entered the offseason with depth problems at a number of positions, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines, as well as in the secondary and at linebackers.
At the start of a 2023 season as the Tigers make the leap to national title contention, ESPN’s Greg McElroy sees depth as the team’s number one concern.
“We know there won’t be many problems when it comes to the talent on the list,” McElroy recently told the ESPN College Football channel on YouTube, per On3. “We know that. But we’ll still be very interested in seeing the depth of the squad because this team was pretty thin at times last year.”
However, having added a number of key additions in another fantastic transfer portal class, McElroy sees this as less of a concern than earlier in the offseason.
“Look how aggressively they went into the portal and tried to make key differences on both sides of the ball,” he said. “You get a great defensive transfer from Oregon State In Omar Speights. They go and get quality defense supplements DenverHarris, JK Johnson, Darian chestnut And Zy Alexander.”
“You clearly realize your seven defenses defensively aren’t up to the standard that we’ve come to expect from LSU, so you’ve made it a big priority,” McElroy said. “You get Denver Harris out Texas A&M. He’ll probably lock at least one of the vertices, you would assume. You go and pick up Deuce Chestnut Syracuse. You go and get JK Johnson from State of Ohio. And you go and get Zy Alexander from Southeast Louisiana.
“That’s four guys to fill two spots, maybe three depending on how you want to line up down in your base and distance defensively. I think you’ll probably be in Nickel most of the time just looking at how things are. So you need three high quality corners, you go out and have four and they add that to a pool of already pretty decent corners. Not elite but decent corners who contributed as underclassmen last year.
McElroy said he’s “impressed” with what LSU has done at Portal so far this offseason, and the Tigers will have a chance to build things even stronger when the second Portal window opens after the Spring Ball.
Depth will be a question mark in some areas in 2023, but skillful work in the portal has mitigated that significantly.
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