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Nov 20, 2018
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  Football Preview: Offensive Line

There's a lot to like about offensive starters returning this fall, but the offensive line isn't necessarily one of those areas. Auburn lost four starters from the 2017 season and could possibly see some growing pains early in 2018.

The Tigers will be without Braden Smith, who was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft, Casey Dunn, Austin Golson and Darius James. All four brought at least experience, but Golson's versatility to play multiple positions on the line and Smith's skill level will be hard to replace.

So, who does Auburn have in the trenches this year?

The two guard positions will likely have Mike Horton and Marquel Harrel starting. Horton started seven games at left guard in 2017 before being injured. Harrell stepped up after Horton's injury and an injury to Dunn. He started the final seven games of the 2017 season. The only question surrounding Horton and Harrell is who plays left guard and who plays right.

For the exterior positions, it's highly possible 2018 will be an opportunity for Prince Tega Wanogho to shine. The 6-foot-7, 307-pound redshirt junior started seven games at left tackle, where he's expected to slide back in. At right tackle, redshirt freshman Calvin Ashley is considered the favorite to become the starter. Ashley was listed second on last year's depth chart at the position despite redshirting.

The biggest question mark on the line is who will snap the ball. Golson and Dunn solidified the position last year to the point there wasn't a backup needed. With both gone, junior Kaleb Kim has the most experience at center, including playing in seven games last year, but that doesn't make him an automatic pick. Aside from Kim, redshirt freshman Nick Brahms has received praise from position coach J.B. Grimes.

Not to much surprise, Auburn will need to continue seeing success offensively in the trenches if it wants to live up to its 2017 SEC West championship. Also, the Tigers have produced at least one 1,000-yard rusher every year since 2009, which is also something the program prides itself on. Battles for each position will likely continue into fall camp.

Brandon Miller

Quarterbacks and Receivers

Running Backs

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