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5 Auburn players with the most to gain during 2017 spring practice

James Crepea | jcrepea@al.com

Auburn opens spring practice on Tuesday and players reported today, with several having a chance to gain a lot over the next six weeks.

Here are five Tigers with the most to gain during the upcoming 15 practices, with an emphasis on potential to see a dramatic jump up the depth chart.

Jarrett Stidham bowl practice.jpegJarrett Stidham will vie for the starting quarterback job beginning with spring practice. (Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics)

1. Jarrett Stidham

Auburn once again has an open quarterback competition and Jarrett Stidham is the presumed favorite to eventually win the job. That process begins with spring practice and Stidham may not face his toughest competition, returning starter Sean White, much if at all over the next six weeks as he recovers from a broken arm.

Even if Stidham doesn't win the job in the spring, he can gain the respect of teammates, who revere White.

Auburn Sugar Bowl PracticeAuburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown (5) works out Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, during Sugar Bowl practice in New Orleans, La. Auburn will take on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2017. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com)

2. Derrick Brown

With three defensive tackles from a year ago gone, Auburn has an opening not only for a starting spot but for high-rep backup roles. Derrick Brown will compete for a starting job, likely with Andrew Williams, who enters spring as the favorite based off last year's production. However, Brown had 11 tackles with one sack and one fumble recovery a year ago and should see an increase in playing time and production regardless.

Auburn vs. ArkansasAuburn wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers (3) celebrates a touchdown by Auburn fullback Kamryn Pettway (36) Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, during the second half at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com)

3. Nate Craig-Myers

Of Auburn's three freshmen receivers to play in 2016, Nate Craig-Myers had the least productive debut, with four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. With two departures at the position, there will be a collective sliding up the depth chart among the receiving corps. Craig-Myers can only go in one direction; it'll be up to him as to how fast he moves that way.

Auburn Fall PracticeAuburn defensive lineman Nick Coe (91) works out Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, during fall football practice at the Auburn Athletic Complex in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com)

4. Nick Coe

Nick Coe redshirted in 2016 but he could see a lot of reps this spring. With Carl Lawson gone and Jeff Holland back, Auburn needs a backup edge rusher and there aren't a lot of options at Buck this spring. Depending on the health of Paul James III and where Byron Cowart is lining up, Coe could be anywhere from fifth among the defensive ends to third.

Auburn Spring Practice Day 9Auburn offensive lineman Marquel Harrell (77) runs through drills during spring football practice Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at the Auburn Athletic Complex in Auburn, Ala. (Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com)

5. Marquel Harrell

Regardless of the amount of movement Auburn creates in order to fill two starting spot on the offensive line, Marquel Harrell should benefit. If three returning starters and last year's sixth man, Mike Horton, stay at their respective spots, then Harrell should be the favorite to take over at left guard after appearing in just four games last season. Even with a series of position changes, Harrell would be the No. 3 guard, at worst.

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