Projected 2022 Ole Miss football starting lineup

·5 min read

Nov. 27—OXFORD — With its second Egg Bowl win in a row, Ole Miss (10-2 overall, 6-2 SEC) wrapped up its first 10-win regular season in program history. The Rebels are headed to a New Year's Six game, though the specifics won't be official until next Sunday.

It's never too early to look ahead, however, so here is a peek at what the Rebels might look like come 2022 against Mississippi State.

Offense

Quarterback

Luke Altmyer, 6-1, 205, Fr.

The most important question for Ole Miss starts here — who will take over for Matt Corral, who has already said he is headed to the NFL? If there's an in-house solution, it's Altmyer. But if the transfer portal is on the table, a popular name being thrown around is Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler. A lot could happen.

Running back

Henry Parrish Jr., 5-10, 190, So.

I don't know if both Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner come back, but I think at least one of them will hold off on the NFL. Regardless, Parrish will be there. The running back room remains in good hands.

Wide receiver

Jonathan Mingo, 6-2, 225, Jr.

Mingo's season was derailed by injury, but he has had an overall good season when healthy. A strong final campaign as the team's ace could move him into the earlier rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. Braylon Sanders and Dontario Drummond are NFL-bound after this year. Mingo needs to be a consistent top option.

Wide receiver

Dannis Jackson, 5-11, 175, Jr.

Injuries to Mingo, Sanders and Drummond forced Jackson into significant action this season. With Sanders and Drummond gone, Jackson should play a big part in the passing game.

Wide receiver

John Rhys Plumlee, 6-0, 200, Jr.

Plumlee had a huge game against Liberty (as did Jackson) and showed signs that his transition to receiver from quarterback was turning the corner. The Rebels will need him in 2022.

Tight end

Casey Kelly, 6-3, 245, So.

Kelly had a huge night at Auburn and has shown signs of being a steady producer. He should be even better next season.

Left tackle

Jeremy James, 6-5, 305, So.

I think there's a chance Nick Broeker heads to the NFL, so under that assumption, moving James over from the right side makes a lot of sense.

Left guard

Eli Acker, 6-5, 300, Fr.

Acker has played well in recent weeks. He looks to be a solid option up front come 2022.

Center

Bryce Ramsey, 6-1, 330, So.

When Orlando Umana was out, Ramsey played a bit of center. Umana is out of eligibility, so Ramsey fits.

Right guard

Caleb Warren, 6-5, 310, So.

Waren has won back-to-back SEC Lineman of the Week awards. He's going to be a star.

Right tackle

Jalen Cunningham, 6-4, 325, Jr.

Reese McIntyre makes the most sense, but a wild card here could be Cunningham. He's a good athlete who has played both sides of the ball. Plus, he has tackle size. Why not give it a try?

Defense

Defensive end

Cedric Johnson, 6-3, 255, So.

With Sam Williams gone, Johnson will have to be the team's best pass rusher. He has 6.5 sacks this season.

Defensive tackle

K.D. Hill, 6-1, 310, Jr.

There are a lot of potential tackles here, but assuming a 3-2-6 base defense, Hill fits the style of run-stuffer well.

Defensive end

Tywone Malone, 6-4, 310, Fr.

He isn't a proto-typical pass rusher in terms of body, but Malone can be a devastating anchor somewhere up front. His offseason development is crucial.

Linebacker

Ashanti Cistrunk, 6-1, 230, Jr.

Mark Robinson is gone, so Cistrunk could slide in here. Cistrunk had a huge game against Texas A&M.

Linebacker

Chance Campbell, 6-2, 240, Sr.

Campbell still has another year of eligibility remaining, and given that his brother just committed to Ole Miss, it's not too farfetched to imagine them playing together for a year.

Nickel

Tysheem Johnson, 5-9, 205, Fr.

Johnson has come on of late. It's easy to see him playing a big role next season.

Cornerback

Deantre Prince, 6-0, 180, Jr.

Prince's impressive, toe-tapping interception against Vanderbilt was a sign of things to come.

Cornerback

Trey Washington, 5-10, 205, Fr.

Washington has made 23 tackles this year, but he'll be more active come 2022.

Cornerback

Markevious Brown, 5-10, 180, Fr.

The highly-touted Brown should be a fixture in the lineup sooner rather than later.

Safety

A.J. Finley, 6-2, 210, Jr.

Unless he surprises everyone and declares for the NFL, Finley will enter 2022 as one of the team's defensive stalwarts.

Safety

Keidron Smith, 6-2, 210, Sr.

Like Campbell, Smith has another year of eligibility. When Jake Springer was injured, Smith saw significant action.

Special teams

Punter

Charlie Nichols, 6-0, 170, Fr./ Transfer portal

The only other punter other than soon-to-be-departed Mac Brown on the roster is Charlie Nichols. The transfer portal is a likely option.

Kicker

Cale Nation, 5-10, 155, So.

Caden Costa is currently ineligible, and NCAA rules state that if he doesn't win his appeal for banned substances, he would miss a year. If he comes back, it's his job. If not, Nation is the man.

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