The Ducks will kick off practice for the 2013 season on Monday, Aug. 5. Over the next two weeks I'll preview each position group, offering my own analysis and projected depth chart, keeping in mind that the team doesn't actually have an official depth chart at this point.
Projected depth chart
DE: Taylor Hart, Sr.; DeForest Buckner,, So.; Sam Kamp, So.; T.J. Daniel, So.
NG: Wade Keliikipi, Sr.; Alex Balducci, So.; Stetzon Bair, RSo.; Ryan Hagen, Sr.
DT: Ricky Havili-Heimuli, Sr; Arik Armstead, So.; Jared Ebert, Sr.; David Kafovalu, Jr.
KNOWN QUANTITIES: Where to start? Oregon's defensive line goes two-deep with experienced, talented players, led by returning sack leader Taylor Hart and unheralded nose guard Wade Keliikipi. Ricky Havili-Heimuli has been Keliikipi's backup and could very well slide out to replace Isaac Remington at D tackle, but perhaps one of the super sophomores, Arik Armstead, instead stakes his claim to that job in August? Armstead joined classmates DeForest Buckner and Alex Balducci in seeing the field as true freshmen, and now that trio is quite capable of filling out the two-deep, if not starting should injuries take their toll in 2013 the way they did in 2012.
NEW FACES: The only truly new face is that of T.J. Daniel, who played tight end and on special teams as a true freshman last fall. He moved to defense this summer, and has a redshirt available should he need it while making the transition. The Ducks also welcome back Jared Ebert from injury. The former JC transfer was a redshirt in 2011, then was hurt in the first game of 2012 and didn't make it back until this year's spring game. He can help at a number of spots, as can Stetzon Bair, another JC transfer who redshirted, and Sam Kamp, who is still looking to break through.
TO BE DETERMINED: The big question in preseason camp will be the identity of the starter at D tackle, because Hart and Keliikipi are presumably entrenched at their spots. Havili-Heimuli was once a highly touted recruited but injuries have dogged him the last couple years, while Armstead looks like an emerging star.
ESPN's Pac-12 blog says: The Ducks are in great shape at defensive line.
Coming up tomorrow: Linebackers