UCLA Football 2018: Projecting the depth chart – Offensive Line

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Theo Howard /

Go Joe Bruin continues to project the depth charts for the UCLA football team as we move over to the offensive side of the ball and try to make sense of the offensive line.

The difference between the UCLA football team’s offense and defense is that the defense is a little bit more stable. Whilst fashioning our projected defensive depth charts, most positions appeared to be pretty straightforward predictions. The defense has a lot of returning players and a lot of talent DC Jerry Azzinaro can use.

RELATED: Is Chip Kelly the Best College Football Coach in Los Angeles?

The offense is a different story as head coach Chip Kelly, who is also the de facto offensive coordinator, is nowhere close to naming his starters, let alone his entire depth. And even when he has an idea of how he is going to use his players, they are probably going to work at multiple positions.


So when we developed these projected depth charts, understand that they are just that, “projections”, so take them with a grain of salt. If by chance we do pick the right depth, there is a chance it will be completely different by season’s end. With that being said, let us take a wild guess at what the offensive line might look like.

Right Tackle

  1. Jake Burton, 6-4, 302, R-So.
  2. Alec Anderson, 6-4, 300, Fr.
  3. Zach Cochrun, 6-5, 291, R-Fr.
  4. Mohamed Khalil, 6-5, 291, R-Fr.

Right Guard

  1. Justin Murphy, 6-6, 291, Grad.
  2. Lucas Gammlick, 6-8, 310, Fr.


  1. Chris Murray, 6-2, 298, Fr.
  2. Zach Sweeney, 6-2, 290, R-Fr.
  3. Sam Marrazzo, 6-3, 290, R-Fr.

Left Guard

  1. Michael Alves, 6-4, 322, R-So.
  2. Boss Tagaloa, 6-1, 315, Jr.
  3. Josh Wariboko-Alali, 6-2, 293, R-Jr.
  4. Baraka Bennett, 6-3, 280, Fr.

Left Tackle

  1. Andre James, 6-5, 305, R-Jr.
  2. Jon Gaines, 6-4, 280, Fr.
  3. Bryan Weitzman, 6-4, 310, R-So.
  4. Stephen DeFranco, 6-4, 270, Fr.

light. Hot. UCLA Football: 10 bold predictions for the 2018 season

To understand how difficult it is to guess how the offensive line depth chart was to produce, understand that all of these players have been used in multiple positions. Since spring, Kelly has moved players all over the line and will probably continue to do so throughout the season.

For example, last week we found out that seven players were taking snaps under center. Obviously, we can’t have seven centers and the ones that will not start or back up the center spot, will be used in other areas.

Still, the depth that we have come up with has been based on performance from last year, performance in the spring and reports from fall camp. So let us look at what we have starting on the right side.

At tackle, Jake Burton has been emerging as the top candidate for the outside spot. Grad transfer Justin Murphy was also working at that position but might also work at right guard. Alec Anderson and Zach Cochrun have also been doing a decent job on the right side and provide much-needed backup.

At guard, Murphy should get the starting spot but might also be backed up by Alves. Alves brings consistency to the line, especially as a starter last season, but might start at the other guard spot.

More from Go Joe Bruin

I highly doubt Kelly has settled on a center, especially since it came out that the candidates are having trouble snapping. Boss Tagaloa and Zach Sweeney held onto center duties in spring but have not exactly produced what Kelly expects. But never fear, Kelly got some help from the talented freshman Chris Murray, who just might land the starting spot, especially if Tagaloa and Sweeney can help fortify the depth at other positions.

At left guard, Alves could be the top candidate, but I would not rule out Tagaloa or Sweeney who have been developing nicely, but Kelly also has the experience of Josh Wariboko-Alali to utilize.

At the all-important left tackle position, it seems like a lock for Andre James to start here. He showed a lot of progress last season and has been a solid OL for Kelly. In this writer’s opinion, James will be such a key figure to the line that he earns All-Pac-12 honors at the end of the season.

Whatever combination Kelly uses, he is going to need this line to quickly adapt to his style of football. The O-linemen are going to have to play fast, play smart and react very quickly while trying to minimize their mistakes. The biggest thing they have to work on is moving the line forward and opening gaps so that the running backs have room to run.

Next. The 30 Greatest UCLA Football Players of All-Time. dark

Either way, there is still time to assemble a functional O-line. It may not be perfect to start but think about this… the offensive line only has one grad transfer and no seniors this year, which means that the majority of this line will be in Westwood to start the 2019 season. Now that is something to get excited about.