As coach Barry Odom and the Missouri football team prepare for the 2016 season, here are the biggest strengths and weaknesses heading into fall camp.
Biggest positive: The Tigers can sell hope. They have a young quarterback with an upside in Drew Lock, a new coordinator and a line that could have as many as five new starters. There could be a new starter at tailback and a newcomer who is the go-to receiver. Plus, it’s almost impossible for this group to be as bad as they were a year ago.
Biggest negative: If an offense's biggest positive is hope, it shouldn't be a surprise that there are plenty of negatives. Missouri goes into 2016 with relative unknowns at quarterback, wide receiver and along the line. The line is the biggest negative. It was announced Thursday that the only returning starter, G Nate Crawford, has to give up football after his second back surgery.
Biggest positive: There is a lot to like, most notably at tackle. Even with Harold Brantley's dismissal last week, the Tigers return four defensive tackles who combined for four sacks and 22 tackles for loss in 2015. Terry Beckner Jr., Rickey Hatley, Josh Augusta and Josh Moore should combine to be one of the most dominant four-man tackle rotations in the country.
Biggest negative: Depth. Missouri's defense is loaded across the board, but there are some legitimate questions about the backups at end, linebacker and cornerback. The Tigers will be counting on a number of players to fill critical roles who have seen little to no playing time before this season.
(You can follow Brandon Kiley on Twitter @BKSportsTalk)
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