Thursday, June 27, 2013
Strong and weak: Missouri Tigers
By Edward Aschoff
Every year, players come and go in college football. With the turnover, teams can either grow or take steps back.
It's time to check out Missouri's strongest position and weakest position heading into the 2013 season:
Strongest position: Wide receiver
This position should have been a lot better last seasons, but injuries at quarterback and along the offensive line hurt the receivers a lot. The Tigers return a lot of talent here, and the emergence of Dorial Green-Beckham this spring was huge. He was Mizzou's most talented receiver last year, but like any freshman, he struggled going through the motions. He really matured this spring and was the best receiver on the field during practice. His versatility will be a major plus for the Tigers because he can work both inside and out for Mizzou. Marcus Lucas has deep threat written all over him, but he has to be more consistent. Green-Beckham's improvement should help open things up for him. Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser also had solid springs, along with Texas transfer Darius White, who will get the chance to see plenty of action this fall. L'Damian Washington, another deep-threat athlete, returns as well. What makes the receiver position so strong is that there is a solid base and good depth.
Weakest position: Offensive line
Yes, four starters return from a unit that was injured all year, but there were a lot of issues up front this spring. One reason Mizzou's quarterbacks struggled during spring practice was because of major communication issues along the offensive line, which in turn led to protection problems. That can't be comforting for the Tigers, especially after the way quarterback James Franklin was banged up all last season. If the offensive line doesn't things solved by the fall, the Tigers offense will only take steps backward in its second year in the SEC. Evan Boehm was the only lineman to stay healthy all year, but he moved from left guard to center this spring and had some trouble with the transition. Even with veterans Justin Britt, Max Copeland and Mitch Morse returning, there were still problems this spring and that's not good.