3 Auburn football players who should be replaced on the depth chart for 2024

FanSided college football writer Josh Yourish thinks that Tigers should find upgrades at these three positions ahead of the 2024 season.

Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1)
Auburn Tigers quarterback Payton Thorne (1) / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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The bottom line with Hugh Freeze’s first season at Auburn is that 6-7 is not good enough. That would have all been different had the Tigers hung onto their lead over Alabama in the Iron Bowl and finished 7-6 while knocking the Crimson Tide out of the College Football Playoff, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. 

Freeze has done a nice job recruiting, but given his track record that was no surprise. His elite freshmen class will need to make an impact right away because the No. 7 recruiting class means nothing if it amounts to seven wins. 

The Tigers weren’t immune to the offseason roster churn that happens all country college football, losing 14 transfers, and a few key pieces on defense to the NFL. However, the defense, despite finishing 47th in the country and losing defensive coordinator Ron Roberts to Florida should be the least of Freeze’s worries. 

His offense finished 92nd and 124th through the air, so I have three changes to the depth chart that could open things up on the side of the ball and turn the Tigers into an SEC contender sooner than later. 

Senior. Izavion Miller. . 525. RT. player. Izavion Miller. . Izavion Miller. 72

Left tackle Dillon Wade had a chance to leave early for the NFL, but decided to return to school, so the Tigers are returning both starting offensive tackles, next season, but Miller shouldn’t walk back into a starting spot on the right side. 

In his first season as a starter, Miller played 612 snaps at right tackle, and in his 311 pass-blocking reps, he allowed a team-high 21 pressures and 18 hurries. Those pressures only turned into three sacks, a credit to Payton Thorne’s mobility, but the transfer quarterback was constantly on the run because of breakdowns on the right side of his offensive line. 

In terms of total pressures, the Auburn line was quite good, only giving up 90 on Thorne as a unit, ranking the quarterback top 10 in terms of fewest pressures faced among quarterbacks who played over 300 snaps. However, Thorne’s average time to throw of 2.79 seconds along with his 39 scrambles, 15th most among the same sample of quarterbacks according to Pro Football Focus, conspired to mask Auburn’s pass-blocking weaknesses along the offensive line. 

Over the last three games of the season, Miller allowed 11 pressures, four against New Mexico State, five in the Iron Bowl, and two in the bowl game against Maryland. The Tigers need a new starting right tackle next season and maybe that player is Percy Lewis, who transferred from Mississippi State.