LSU Tigers Football Preview
2019 was a historic season for the LSU Tigers. Joe Burrow had the biggest rise of all time going from average starter to number one overall pick. Ed Orgeron led the talent he had across the board to an undefeated National Championship. Along with Burrow, guys like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and K’Lavon Chaisson were just a few names of guys who made a name for themselves. The NFL Draft was loaded with LSU players because of all the talent they lost. Despite a lot of holes on the team due to guys leaving for the draft, there is still a lot of talent on this roster.
Now that Joe Burrow is a Cincinnati Bengal, LSU will look to Myles Brennan to step up as the starter. Brennan has been waiting in the wings for a few years now after being a highly ranked recruit. There’s no way of knowing how Brennan will do, but if he can do even half of what Burrow did he could be drafted at some point in 2021.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire came on to the scene in 2019 as well. He became the only running back drafted in the first round. Against Oklahoma he faced some injury issues, so they looked to Chris Curry to step up. Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery Jr. also saw some time last season and will also be in the mix this fall.
Ja’Marr Chase really had no hype behind him going into last season either. He would go on to win the Biletnikoff award. He is the consensus pre-season WR1 for the 2021 NFL Draft. All eyes will be on him this season to see what he can do with Brennan at the helm. Justin Jefferson was very productive in Joe Brady’s offense last season, he was another first round pick this past spring. With Jefferson gone, that gives more of an opportunity to Terrace Marshall Jr. who was still heavily involved in the offense last season. Marshall is a deep threat that will be a huge help to Brennan. Trey Palmer will be used to fill the production that Jefferson left along with Racey McMath, a great athlete who’s on the Senior Bowl’s radar.
Thad Moss was looked at as one of the top tight ends in the 2020 NFL Draft, but was undrafted due to medical concerns. Jamal Pettigrew has been in the program for four years now and is the early favorite to replace Moss. They also bring in freshman tight end, Arik Gilbert, the highest ranked tight end in the class of 2020. Look for Tory Carter to potentially get some time as a H-back because of his skillset as a blocker.
The Tigers will return only 1 of their 5 starters from last season. Lloyd Cushenberry, Damien Lewis, Adrian Magee, and Saahdiq Charles are all gone after combining with returning right tackle, Austin Deculus, to win the Joe Moore Award. Deculus was quite last season, but did a good job at right tackle. Dare Rosenthal will step in at left tackle to replace Charles and Chasen Hines, a junior, will come in at Center. Kardell Thomas was a big time recruit and a mauler at guard and he will likely start along with Ed Ingram at the other guard spot.
The defensive front will also look a lot different for LSU in 2020. They’ll lose first round pick, K’Lavon Chaisson and veteran leader, Rashard Lawrence among others. Tyler Shelvin is back after being a great 2 gap player for the defense. Siaki Ika will play next to him on the interior with Justin Thomas and TK McLendon also being inexperienced players coming off the edge.
LSU lost Patrick Queen (another first round pick) and other LB depth as well. They bring in Jabril Cox as a grad transfer from NDSU, he’s a legit prospect for the draft. Ray Thornton saw some action last year at linebacker and will step up in to a full time role this season. Damone Clark will also push for some time in this linebacking group.
Derek Stingley Jr. took the nation by storm as one of the best corners in the country. He was only a freshman and showed skills that would make you think he was an experienced pro player. He returns at corner for the Tigers and is the best DB in the country and is only a sophomore now. Cordale Flott is another sophomore who will see a good amount of playing time with Kristian Fulton gone. Also look for freshman Elias Ricks to contribute in the secondary, he is a great man coverage player. Kary Vincent has been a steady player for LSU in the nickel role. Vincent has had his fair share of struggles, but is among the fastest players in the country. JaCoby Stevens is in the complete opposite mold as Vincent. Stevens is a bigger, linebacker type who is a returning starter for LSU at safety who should be getting some NFL hype. Todd Harris Jr. is an inexperienced player who will be looked at to replace the role that Grant Delpit left.