By Chris Ross @DraftScout_NFL on May 25, 2014
The Missouri Tigers lost a lot of talent this offseason to the NFL, and going into 2014 there are plenty of holes that still need to be filled. Several younger players must take the next step in 2014 if Missouri expects to continue to win games on a consistent basis, and it’s really up to the youngsters to take the reins and steer this team to victory. That said, here are the five Missouri football players with the biggest shoes to fill.
Taking over for star receiver L’Damian Washington, Darius White has some pretty big shoes to fill. Washington was far and away the best receiver Missouri had last season, and White needs to prove that he can replace Washington’s production.
With Henry Josey deciding to enter the NFL after the 2013 season, Russell Hansbrough is expected to take the reigns going into next season. Hansbrough has a lot of natural talent, and if he can improve some of the finer points of his game, Hansbrough should be just fine.
Star cornerback E.J. Gaines is on his way to the NFL, and it’s now up to Aarion Penton to take over in the secondary. Penton displayed solid coverage skills last season as a freshman, and as long as he can continue to develop going into his sophomore season, he should make for a nice replacement.
Markus Golden enters 2014 as Missouri’s replacement for Kony Ealy, and although the latter is a tough act to follow, Golden has the talent to be successful. He has displayed great pass-rushing ability in limited action, and now it’s time to show that ability on a consistent basis.
Taking over for 2013 co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, expectations are high for Shane Ray going into the 2014 season. Much like Golden, Ray has displayed great talent in limited action; he just needs to prove he can produce in a starting role.
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