Over the next two weeks, we'll be analyzing the projected depth charts for every Big 12 team coming out of the spring.
We continue this series with the Oklahoma Sooners:
OFFENSE (projected starters in bold)
Mayfield could become the first player since Herschel Walker to finish in the top four of the Heisman voting three times. Kendall was Mayfield's backup last year but will get pushed by Murray, who was the star of OU's spring game. Top to bottom, this is one of the best QB rooms in the country.
The Sooners have a lot of production to replace here, but Anderson has impressed since arriving on campus. With only one career carry through two years, he just hasn't been able to stay healthy. OU needs him to this season.
WR (Y): Mark Andrews (Jr.), Grant Calcaterra (Fr.)
WR (Z): Marquise Brown (Jr.), Mykel Jones (So.)
This is the biggest question mark on the team. OU will be relying heavily on a pair of transfers to boost a receiving corps that no longer has Dede Westbrook. Brown was one of the top juco receivers in the country but showed up to campus weighing 144 pounds. Badet led the SEC at Kentucky last year in yards per catch. Both players can fly and should give Mayfield ample opportunities to keep launching the ball downfield. The X factor, however, will be Mead. At 6-foot-5, he brings some much-needed size. And he came on strong late last season, which carried over into a sterling performance in the spring game.
C: Erick Wren (Sr.), Creed Humphrey (Fr.)
The best offensive line OU has boasted in years should also rank among the best in the country. Brown is the reigning Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and will be an All-America candidate. Evans, meanwhile, was a terrific complement at the other bookend. Inside, the Sooners are even deeper. Coach Bob Stoops has called Humphrey the most impressive freshman center he's had in Norman. And Powers, who was a second-team All-Big 12 pick last year, might not even be able to hold on to his starting job at left guard. This group has terrific talent outside and tremendous depth inside.
DEFENSE (projected starters in bold)
The Sooners are going back to a base 4-3 defense, meaning more opportunities for the tackles. There's no Tommie Harris or Gerald McCoy inside, but Romar has taken over as the unquestioned leader of the group. Gallimore has the capacity to become an all-conference performer in time. Okoronkwo had a terrific season in his first as a starter last year, finishing third in the conference with nine sacks; he should have even more chances to get to the quarterback out of the new defense.
LB: Emmanuel Beal (Sr.), Kenneth Murray (Fr.)
Outside Kelly, who won a starting job by the end of his true freshman season last year, this group remains in flux going into the fall. Murray could be the next to win a starting job as a true freshman after turning heads during the spring. His emergence would go a long way in strengthening this unit.
CB: Jordan Thomas (Sr.), Justin Broiles (Fr.)
Not having a reliable second corner killed the Sooners for much of last year. But Parker helped stabilized the secondary after getting his shot later in the season. Now, the Sooners have two corners they really like for that spot. With Parker dealing with a stress fracture this spring, Motley stole the show in the spring game with several competitive plays on OU's receiving corps. Opposite those two, Thomas can be one of the top five corners in the country; consistency, however, was lacking in 2016.