This is a good discussion. I tend to be long winded because I feel compelled to back up my predictions.
OL - slightly better - I base this on a few things. On the plus side the guys we have coming in are going to be better in pass protection than they guys they are replacing (Griffin, Devine). I feel confident in saying that, and it is not a small matter. We will lose experience, and that is never good, especially at C. Had Finch been full strength all year, I would say he would be very hard to replace, but he wasn't. I think we will be able to duplicate what he gave us and maybe even improve in short yardage situations (O'Reilly's size). RT cannot possibly be worse. I don't care who plays out there. It won't be worse. Having a guy like Devine enter the mix is going to give us a HUGE lift. He may be the first guy we have ever had who will match up well against every opponent that goes against him for the entire season. He may not play every series. We will see, but when he is in there he will move his guy.
WR - slightly better - Smelter will be better, more able bodies, people don't get worse with more experience and weight training.
AB - slightly worse - On the down side, we will not be able to replace what Godhigh gave us. We have some guys who can play and they will improve, but Robbie was pretty special.
BB - I have no idea - Laskey looks thicker and that is good. To date, I have never seen Custis play, so I have no basis for comment. I like Donovan Wilson and think he will be a good back. In my mind, this could go either direction. It could blow up if Custis shows out or it could just be serviceable like it has been. Your guess is as good as mine.
QB - Decidedly Better - If JT is able to hold off TB, that will be saying something. The option will be run well and either QB will run the football with a passion, albeit differently. The big surprise will be that we pass it better. We will pass better for two reasons: first, protection will be better and second, because we will run better. Both guys can throw and both seem to be able to see the field. Vad was overrated as a passer. He might have an edge in arm strength, but not mechanics, field vision, and decisions. I will be astounded if we aren't better at this position. Vad was a great athlete but a bumbling mess running our offense.
DT - slightly better - The Aussie continues to improve and Green stays healthy. The second line has more experience.
DE - Decidedly worse - I see nothing to give me confidence so far. Freeman will be great, but I'm not so sure he is ready this year.
LB - About the same - I really like the Nealy, Marcordes combo. Davis is a great back up. I am not counting on Harrell for anything. I hope he makes it back full strength, but that is wishful thinking. We only need two at a time for most of the snaps.
S - slightly better - depth and experience improves.
CB - about the same - I don't know where to account for Thomas. I guess here. He will be missed. White will improve. I like what I see in Griffin. We know Milton can play. Hopefully Demond will make us not miss Jemea. That is a lot of pressure though.
K - better - only an unforeseen sophomore slump will derail this budding prospect.