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Ranking Oregon State Football’s Position Groups

Which position group is the top dog?

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Stanford Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Here at BTD, we’re always thinking ahead to next season and with most of Oregon State’s 2019 recruiting class already locked in, we’re looking forward to the next football season. Today I decided to rank all of Oregon State’s position groups (excluding special teams), from first to worst.

Admittedly this is kind of a strange exercise, because it’s next to impossible to rank different position groups against each other, but I had some fun anyways. Without further ado:

#1 - Running Backs

The Players:
  • Jermar Jefferson
  • Artavis Pierce
  • Calvin Tyler Jr.
  • Kase Rogers
  • B.J. Baylor
  • Taron Madison
  • Christian Wallace

Oregon State has some talented running backs. Jermar Jefferson earned his place atop the depth chart, but behind him are a bunch of awesome RBs that could probably handle the workload and still succeed. I’m excited to see a fully healthy Artavis Pierce and Calvin Tyler Jr, but I’m most excited for Jefferson to win the 2019 Heisman.

#2 - Wide Receivers

The Players:
  • Isaiah Hogdins
  • Trevon Bradford
  • Tyjon Lindsey
  • Kolby Taylor
  • Jesiah Irish
  • Champ Flemings
  • Aaron Short
  • Tino Allen
  • Anthony Gould
  • I’Shawn Stewart
  • Mason Moran

Oregon State’s top three wide receivers might be the best in the Pac-12. Tyjon Lindsey is a little bit of an unknown, but I think he’s going to be really good for the Beavs. I’m also excited to see what Kolby Taylor and Jesiah Irish can do in this offense with a bigger role.

#3 - Safety’s

The Players:
  • Jalen Moore
  • David Morris
  • Jeffrey Manning Jr.
  • Omar Hicks-Onu
  • TraJon Cotton
  • Charles Moku-Watson

If we were just judging these position groups on starters, the safety’s would have been number one. Jalen Moore and David Morris (when healthy) are arguably the two most talented players on Oregon State’s roster. Health always seems to be a struggle for the Beavers secondary, but I think they will have some nice depth next season.

#4 - Linebackers

The Players:
  • Andrzej Hughes-Murray
  • Kee Whetzel
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr.
  • Avery Roberts
  • Shemar Smith
  • Isaiah Tufaga
  • Matthew Tago
  • Doug Taumoelau
  • John McCartan
  • Omar Speights
  • Hamilton Hunt
  • Riley Sharp
  • Ryan Franke
  • Michael Erhart

Depth at the linebacker position is really solid headed into 2019. Adding Avery Roberts will give this group a greater physical presence. I also really like the three soon-to-be sophomores that saw a lot of playing time as true freshman (Tago, Tufaga & McCartan). I’m also hoping to see Whetzel, Rashed and Hughes-Murray in opposing backfields more often in the fall.

#5 - Quarterbacks

The Players:
  • Jake Luton
  • Tristan Gebbia
  • Jack Colletto
  • Aidan Willard

The 2019 season will probably be the best quarterbacking season the Beavers have seen since Sean Mannion was drafted into the NFL. Jake Luton’s additional year of eligibility is huge for continuity and depth reasons. Tristan Gebbia’s talent should earn him ample playing time next season, but it’s much better to have have a 2nd trustworthy quarterback available as a safety value. Outside of those two depth is an issue though.

#6 - Offensive Line

The Players:
  • Blake Brandel
  • Gus Lavaka
  • Nathan Eldridge
  • Keli’l Montibon
  • Brandon Kipper
  • Onesimus Clarke
  • Clay Cordasco
  • Brock Wellsfry
  • Travis Mackay
  • Jake Levengood
  • Robin Vanderlaan
  • Jacob Ferenczi

I was more worried about the offensive line before Nathan Eldridge decided to grad transfer to reunite with his former offensive line coach. Brandel, Lavaka and Eldridge are all very good offensive lineman, but the depth after that is worrisome. As long as this group stays healthy they should have a good year though.

#7 - Cornerbacks

The Players:
  • Shawn Wilson
  • Jay Irvine
  • Kaleb Hayes
  • Isaiah Dunn
  • Jaydon Grant
  • DeShon Wilson
  • Jojo Forest
  • Wynston Russell
  • Alex Austin

The cornerbacks have been snake-bitten with injuries over the last few seasons. Jay Irvine missed the entire 2018 season and Isaiah Dunn was frequently in and out of the lineup as well. With the way offenses are more inclined to spread it out, defensive backs are in short supply. The 3 CBs they recruited in this years class will have a good opportunity to compete for playing time.

# 8 - Tight Ends

The Players:
  • Noah Togiai
  • Isaiah Smalls
  • Teagan Quitoriano
  • Luke Musgrave
  • Bryce Bramscher
  • Jack Holum
  • Ralph Taufa’asau

The tight end position has suffered as Noah Togiai has dealt with injuries that past couple of seasons. Isaiah Smalls and Teagan Quitoriano did some nice things as true freshman and should improve in year two. Incoming recruit, Luke Musgrave, has the tools to become the next great tight end at Oregon State but he’ll need time to develop. Overall TEs are limited in depth and overall playmakers, but thankfully the Beavers have a talented WR-corps that can take a majority of the pass-catching load.

#9 - Defensive Line

The Players:
  • Elu Aydon
  • Addison Gumbs
  • Isaac Hodgins
  • Jeromy Reichner
  • Miki Fifita
  • Isaac Garcia
  • Jordan Whittley
  • James Rawls
  • Evan Bennett
  • Keishon Dawkins
  • Kelsen Hennessy
  • Simon Sandberg
  • Cory Stover
  • Bradley Bickler
  • Josh Bowcut

You knew it was coming, the much-maligned defensive line brings up the rear in these rankings. Despite the last-place ranking I think the defensive line will make some strong improvements in 2019. The coaching staff took drastic steps to this off-season adding players that should contribute immediately in: Addison Gumbs, Jordan Whittley, James Rawls and Simon Sandberg. They also recruited nicely and a couple of true freshman could see playing time. Overall this group has potential, but they need to show on-the-field improvement before I’ll trust in the defensive line or defense as a whole.