LSU Football: 5 Biggest Holes in the Roster the Tigers Must Fill for 2013

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2012

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 22:  Tharold Simon #24 of the LSU Tigers celebrates his interception in the final seconds of their 12-10 win over the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LSU is currently preparing to take on Clemson in what should be a very exciting Chick-Fil-A Bowl game on Dec. 29th in Atlanta.

However, in the meantime, we can't help but to look ahead to next season and think about what this Tigers' team might look like in 2013.

The offense should stay in tact for the most part, but what happens on the defensive side of the ball?

Do Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo and Eric Reid all make the early jump to the NFL?

Let's go ahead and preview the five biggest holes in the Tigers must fill in 2013.

* This article is based on the author's opinion and speculation of which juniors will leave early for the NFL Draft.

1. Center

When one thinks about the most important spot on the offensive line, center isn't exactly the first position that pops into your mind.

However, LSU senior center P.J. Lonergan has been a rock on that Tigers' offensive line throughout his collegiate career.

Lonergan has been a three-year starter and is exceptional in both run and pass blocking. He will likely be the first or one of the first centers taken in this year's NFL Draft.

Again, center doesn't seem like a gaping hole when looking ahead, but in this case, it will be because you simply can't just replace someone like Lonergan.

2. Kicker

Similar to the center position, kicker isn't exactly a position that you think of as a top priority heading into a new football season.

But the fact is that Drew Alleman's incredible run as LSU's kicker had to come to a close at some point.

Alleman will leave LSU as one of if not the most accurate kicker in the school's rich football history.

He has connected on 20-of-28 FG attempts this season and is a perfect 41-of-41 on extra-point attempts.

The other kickers on the current roster include freshmen Colby Delahoussaye and Trent Domingue.

Hopefully, for the Tigers' sake, one of those guys can step up and fill the shoes of Alleman, who will likley be moving on to kick in the NFL.

3. Tight End

Not that the Tigers had much of an option at tight end anyway this season, but the fact that senior starter Chase Clement is graduating certainly can't help make things any better, right?

Heading into the season, Clement was supposed to be a reliable receiving option at tight end for LSU.

Well, he hauled in just four passes for 44 yards, which is rather pathetic, but that was as the team's starting tight end.

Reserve tight ends Travis Dickson and Nic Jacobs caught just five passes apiece this season.

Talk about a hole that needs to be filled next season.

It's a good thing LSU locked up four-star tight end DeSean Smith because he should be looked at to come in and play right off the bat next season for this LSU offense.

4. Safety

The first three positions I listed here were because of senior departures. However, these last two positions will leave voids because I believe the players there right now will leave early for the NFL Draft.

We start here at safety, where the Tigers feature the best free safety in the game in junior Eric Reid. 

If Reid does leave early for the NFL, and I truly believe he will, then he should be the first safety prospect selected in the draft, most likely in the first round.

The Tigers still have Craig Loston, who showed signs of greatness this season, as well as reserve Ronald Martin, but who else will step up and help fill the void of Reid?

We can only wait and see now.

5. Defensive End

This is another pick that is based on pure speculation, but as it stands right now, I would be surprised if one of not both starting defensive ends for LSU go on to the NFL.

Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery are arguably the top DE duo in college football today.

While the stat lines weren't quite as dominant as last year, both of these guys still put up very good numbers this season and both of them feature NFL ready bodies and NFL ready talent.

Lavar Edwards was the top reserve at the defensive end position, but he is a senior and could be playing on Sundays next year as well.

If both Mingo and Montgomery head to the NFL, the defensive end position becomes a huge question mark heading into next season.

If both of them stay, then go ahead and scratch this one off this list, because this will be the best defensive end combo in college football next season.

Hands down. 


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