Auburn football: Projecting the Tigers' post-spring weakside linebacker depth chart

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMay 12, 2014 

Auburn Texas A&M

After moving from the middle to the weakside, Kris Frost will enter the fall as a starter.

TODD J. VAN EMST — Auburn University

Editor's note: Auburn's spring practice concluded with the A-Day game April 19. Some positions didn't change. Some had upheaval. With that in mind, Auburn beat writer Ryan Black will give his position-by-position projection of the entire depth chart as the Tigers head into the summer. The series continues with the weakside linebackers.

Who's Who:

Kris Frost, junior: Played in 14 games (one start); 59 tackles (33 solo, 26 assisted), 6.0 TFLs, one PBU, 3 QBHs, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles

Anthony Swain, junior: Played in all 14 games; 26 tackles (19 solo, seven assisted), one TFL, one PBU, one fumble recovery

JaViere Mitchell, sophomore: Played in 13 games; 13 tackles (eight solo, five assisted), one TFL

Kenny Flowers, junior: Appeared in 13 games; four tackles (one solo, three assisted)

Cameron Toney, redshirt freshman: Redshirted during 2013 season

Pre-spring projection:

1. McKinzy

2. Swain

Post-spring projection:

1. Frost

2. Mitchell OR Flowers

Analysis: This position didn't have upheaval. It had major upheaval.

McKinzy and Frost, as defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson planned, flipped positions, with McKinzy moving to the middle and Frost shifting to the weakside.

But that wasn't all.

Swain, who was the top backup at the Will last year, wasn't with the team this spring for reasons coach Gus Malzahn declined to disclose. So while it wasn't a surprise that Frost came out of the spring as the starter — that was the plan, remember? — Swain's absence allowed others to rise up the depth chart. As noted above, this included the duo of Mitchell and Flowers. Mitchell has struggled to stay healthy the past two seasons, but has proven he can produce when given the opportunity.

And enough can't be said about Flowers; he was the defensive MVP of the A-Day game, after all.

Khari Harding provide further depth at this spot after shifting from safety during the spring.

With this quartet, the Tigers should have a solid rotation, regardless of whether Swain returns or not.

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