The group on Auburn's defense this fall with the most question marks is undoubtedly the secondary.
The Tigers will open the season without Carlton Davis, Stephen Roberts, Tray Matthews, Jason Smith and Nick Ruffin - all guys that the Tigers have depended on for multiple years in the past. Saying that, it's not to be said Auburn is in trouble in 2018.
The Tigers still have experienced players like Jeremiah Dinson, Jamel Dean, Javaris Davis and Daniel Thomas returning. The challenge will just be getting these guys to be leaders and then having the support behind them.
Dean, Davis, Thomas and Dinson all are likely to be starters this fall at their respective positions.
Davis and Dean, both juniors, return to the two cornerback positions after being in the mix for a starting spot last fall. Dean recorded 43 total tackles on the year, including five in the SEC Championship and six against UCF. Davis made 29 total tackles on the year, in a season that provided the most action for him as a Tiger.
Due to depth in the secondary, Dinson could make the move to free safety, while Thomas seems like a strong option at strong safety. Dinson's experience is primary nickleback, where he started in 2017. He recorded 47 total tackles.
Expected to fill in at nickleback for Dinson could be Jordyn Peters, who played behind Dinson last year. As a true freshman, Peters recorded a team-leading eight tackles against UCF. Thomas, who has been a contributor at strong safety, also has experience at nickleback. He made 35 tackles last fall and intercepted three passes.
Auburn's defense, which is loaded with experienced talent on the front seven, could see growing pains early in the season while starters adjust to their new roles and underclassmen become contributors. Some of those underclassmen could include freshman cornerback Christian Tutt and sophomore cornerback Traivon Leonard, and freshmen safeties Quindarious Monday and Jamien Sherwood.
Quarterbacks and Receivers