Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at each position group and giving our way-too-early depth chart projections. Today, we move onto the tight ends.
Starter - Mike O'Laughlin
Each year he has been at WVU, O'Laughlin has grown into a more important role for the Mountaineer offense. His receiving number doesn't jump off the sheet but he is seeing a steady climb in that department. Neal Brown wants to use his tight ends more and more so guys like O'Laughlin are going to have to become a receiving threat to take the focus off of the receivers. It may be a bit premature but if O'Laughlin becomes a weapon in the passing game, he will jump onto NFL scouts' radars. He's already a tremendous blocker which is something scouts look at.
Backup - T.J. Banks
Banks has very strong hands and does a good job of catching the ball in traffic. I expect him to be more involved in short-yardage and goal line situations in 2021 that include him slipping out to the flat for an easy pass from Doege to either move the sticks or score. He and O'Laughlin will allow WVU to run more 12 personnel.
3rd string - Charles Finley
Finley is still growing into his frame and is more of a receiving tight end right now than an all-around tight end. Before he starts to see more playing time, he's going to have to continue to add on weight so he can handle the beating in the trenches. However, they may use him in certain packages specifically to run routes. I guess what I'm saying is don't look for him to be in those short-yardage situations. Leave that to the two guys above.
4th string - Treylan Davis
Davis wasn't a highly rated recruit in WVU's 2021 signing class but don't let that fool you, this kid can play. He is a scrappy, hard-nosed, blue-collar type of player that loves to block. Since that area of his game is already developed, it will help him see the field earlier in his career.
5th string - Victor Wikström
Wikström has a lot of potential but that's all it is right now. He is going to be a work in progress and the coaching staff knew that when they brought him in. Adjusting to life in a new country on top of playing a very physically demanding position is not a smooth transition. That said, down the line, he should be a very important piece of the puzzle.
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