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 middle linebackers.
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
JaViere Mitchell, sophomore: Played in 13 games; 13 tackles (eight solo, five assisted), one TFL
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Kenny Flowers, junior: Appeared in 13 games; four tackles (one solo, three assisted)
Cameron Toney, redshirt freshman: Redshirted during 2013 season
Projected depth chart:
Analysis: With Jake Holland gone, Frost will undoubtedly begin the spring at the top of the depth chart.
Behind him, it's wide-open. Mitchell is a good bet to be his backup, even though he practiced at both linebacker positions last year. The difference is that it will be far easier for him to break into the two-deep at this spot than it will be with Cassanova McKinzy and Anthony Swain entrenched at the weakside.
Flowers and Toney are in the same situation: They'd like to see playing time as soon as possible, and it seems like it will be easier at "Mike" than "Will." (Aside from both McKinzy and Swain, the uber-talented Justin Garrett could be competing in the middle if he doesn't move back to Star.)
Things will get even more competitive this fall, when the highly-touted duo of Tre Williams and Deshaun Davis enter the fold. Given his size and skill set, it's likely Williams will play in the middle. If that ends up being the case, winning a spot on the two-deep during fall camp wouldn't be out of the question.