Auburn football: Projecting the Tigers' spring right guard depth chart

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 5, 2014 

Chad Slade started every game at right guard last season. Whether he'll return to the spot this fall is still uncertain.

TODD VAN EMST — Auburn University

Editor's note: Auburn's spring practice starts March 18. Some positions are set in stone. Some are up for grabs. Auburn beat writer Ryan Black has already evaluated all the personnel groupings on the team (which you can find here), but now he's paring that down even further to account for every individual position, projecting how the depth chart will look when the Tigers get back on the field for the first time since the BCS championship game. The series continues with the right guards.

Who's Who:

Chad Slade, senior: Started all 14 games at right guard last year; Three-year starter; 36 starts in past three seasons

Jordan Diamond, sophomore: Appeared in four games (Arkansas State, Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic and Tennessee) last year

Deon Mix, redshirt freshman: Redshirted during 2013 season

Projected depth chart:

1. Slade

2. Diamond*

3. Mix

Analysis: Why the asterisk?

As previously discussed when projecting the left guard position, Diamond's status for the spring is still in question. The third-year sophomore from Chicago had surgery on his knee following the BCS championship game. As such, Gus Malzahn has said Diamond may not participate in spring practice at all. Even if Diamond is cleared at some point this spring, Malzahn said the team likely won't permit him to take part in any contact drills.

Just as it is on the left side, Slade is in no danger of losing his starting job.

In turn, that means the only drama surrounding this position is whether Mix (or someone else) can push Diamond as the top backup while he continues to rehabilitate from his surgery.

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