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Northwestern football 2015 projected depth chart

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We've updated our projections after Saturday's open practice.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Back in February, on the eve of Northwestern spring practice, we put together our educated guess at the Wildcats' depth chart heading into the spring, and heading into the 2015 season. However, we did so with the knowledge that a lot would change between then and Sept. 5, and that a lot of jobs could be won and lost in that time period. After getting a look at the team on Saturday, albeit with a lot of players sidelined due to injury, here is our updated guess at the depth chart, with some of the changes explained:

Before you read, make sure to check out our practice notes from Saturday. The full reasoning behind the changes can probably be found there.

Changes/Notes

- The most shuffling occurred on the offensive line. Geoff Mogus was playing left tackle Saturday, so we now have him slotted in as the starter there. Tommy Doles goes back to the second team (we previously had him as the starter at right tackle), and Blake Hance moves from left to right. Adam DePietro, who split first team snaps with Connor Mahoney Saturday, takes Mogus' spot at left guard. We previously had DePietro as the backup at both guard spots, but Shane Mertz was the first team guard on Saturday, so we've added him as the backup right guard -- behind Matt Frazier, who is injured.

- It's tough to evaluate the defensive tackles because of injuries, but Max Chapman was running with the first team as a tackle Saturday. Prior to the spring, we had him as a reserve defensive end, but he is officially listed as a tackle now. We now have him as a second team defensive tackle.

- Both Dean Lowry and Deonte Gibson spent some snaps playing inside Saturday, with Ifeadi Odenigbo consistently with the first team as a defensive end. For now, we'll keep Lowry, Gibson and Odenigbo where they are

- A slimmed down Treveon Henry is no longer listed as a backup linebacker.

Projected Depth Chart

Position Starter Backup
Quarterback Clayton Thorson (RS Fr) Matt Alviti (So)/Zack Oliver (Sr)
Running Back Justin Jackson (So) Auston Anderson (RS Fr)/Warren Long (Jr)
H-Receiver Miles Shuler (Sr) Solomon Vault (So)/Stephen Buckley (Jr)
Y-Receiver Christian Jones (Sr) McHugh (Jr)
Z-Receiver Cameron Dickerson (Sr) Pierre Youngblood-Ary (Sr)
X-Receiver Shuler (Jr) Andrew Scanlan (Jr)
Superback Dan Vitale (Sr) Garrett Dickerson (So)
Left Tackle Geoff Mogus (Sr) Tommy Doles (RS Fr)
Left Guard Adam DePietro (Jr) Connor Mahoney (Jr)
Center Brad North (So) Ian Park (Jr)
Right Guard Matt Frazier (Sr) Shane Mertz (Sr)
Right Tackle Blake Hance (RS Fr) Eric Olson (Jr)
Defensive End Dean Lowry (Sr) Xavier Washington (So)
Defensive Tackle CJ Robbins (Sr) Max Chapman (Sr)
Defensive Tackle Greg Kuhar (Jr) Sean McEvilly (Sr)
Defensive End Deonte Gibson (Sr) Ifeadi Odenigbo (Jr)
SAM Linebacker Drew Smith (Sr) Jaylen Prater (Jr)
MIKE Linebacker Anthony Walker (So) Brett Walsh (So)
WILL Linebacker Joseph Jones (Jr) Nate Hall (RS Fr)
Cornerback Nick VanHoose (Sr) Parrker Westphal (RS Fr)/Keith Watkins (So)
Safety Traveon Henry (Sr) Kyle Queiro (So)
Safety Godwin Igwebuike (So) Terrance Brown (Jr)
Cornerback Matt Harris (Jr) Marcus McShepard (So)
Kicker Jack Mitchell (Sr) Hunter Niswander (RS Fr)
Punter Hunter Niswander (RS Fr) ???
Kick Return Miles Shuler (Sr) Solomon Vault (So)
Punt Return Miles Shuler (Sr) Solomon Vault (So)

We'll have one final update next week after Saturday's spring finale.