2015 College Football Preview: Receiver Unit Rankings

2015 College Football Preview: Receiver Unit Rankings


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Unit Rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs

Which teams have the best receivers going into the season? The top ten wide receiver unit rankings are …

1. Texas A&M

If this isn’t the best receiving corps in the nation, it’s in the team photo. The top-shelf recruiting classes are paying off with a boatload of No. 1 targets. Josh Reynolds it the leading returning scorer and yard guy after coming up with 842 yards and 13 scores, but Speedy Noil is every bit as dangerous, Ricky Seals-Jones is a superstar talent, and Edward Pope is good enough to take over games, too. Throw in freshman Christian Kirk, and there’s an embarrassment of riches.

Unit Rating: 10

2. Baylor

Who loses talents like Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood and gets better? The Bears have had some good groups of receivers, but this one is truly special starting with the 1-2 punch of Corey Coleman and KD Cannon. The two combined to catch 102 passes last year with each going over the 1,000-yard mark and a 17-yard-per-catch average. Jay Lee is coming off a 41-catch, 633-yard, six touchdown season, and there’s more talent waiting to break through with Davion Hall and Lynx Hawthorne about to blow up statistically.

Unit Rating: 9.5

3. Clemson

No one in the ACC is going to be more dangerous in the passing game than the Tigers. The team is littered with athletic next-level pass-catchers, primarily Mike Williams and Artavis Scott. Even Charone Peake and Germone Hopper, who’ll battle for touches, could someday play on Sundays. And if defenses fail to account for the tight end, Jordan Leggett, too, can turn a short toss into an explosive play.

Unit Ranking:
9

4. Oregon

A year ago, the receivers were unproven and learning on the fly. Entering 2015, no one in the Pac-12 has a better rotation. The youth that comprised the corps last fall is a year older, and about to be bolstered by the return of budding star Bralon Addison from an ACL injury. Byron Marshall, Darren Carrington, Devon Allen and Dwayne Stanford all averaged more than 13 yards a catch, and jackrabbit Charles Nelson will get touches even if he focuses on defense. If TE Pharaoh Brown returns from a serious knee injury, it’ll be an unexpected bonus.

Unit Ranking:
9

5. Tennessee

The potential is there, the talent is in place, the quarterback is about to become a superstar, and the expectations are through the roof. Now everyone has to live up to the hype. Pig Howard and the top ten Vol pass catchers are back with a dizzying array of options. Howard, Marquez North, and Von Pearson are the veteran upperclassmen who can steady the ship, but there are plenty of young options like sophomores Josh Malone and Josh Smith who have to be worked in, too.

Unit Rating: 8.5

6. Cal

Defending QB Jared Goff is tough. Stopping him when he returns all but one of last year’s top eight pass-catchers will be borderline impossible. The Bear receivers will be an eclectic mix of size, speed and experience headed by acrobatic Kenny Lawler, underrated Stephen Anderson and steady Bryce Treggs. That Goff has pitched to these guys for two full seasons provides a unique advantage against opposing defensive backs.

Unit Ranking:
8.5

7. LSU

Purely in terms of talent, the NFL might showcase this group more than LSU will. With a little more pop from the quarterbacks and with more consistency, the explosion should follow. Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre are special, but they need more chances after each averaging over 20 yards per catch. Sophomores D.J. Chark and Trey Quinn will get their chances, and John Diarse is back after coming up with a few big moments.

Unit Rating: 8

8. TCU

The offense helps make the receiving corps blow up, and vice versa. Josh Doctson is a gamebreaker coming off a 65-catch, 1,018-yard, 11-touchdown season, while Kolby Listenbee, Deante Gray and Ty Slanina are all back for Trevone Boykin to play with. To make the Horned Frogs even scarier is all the young depth waiting to rise up and be a part of the fun. Five receivers caught 30 passes or more last season – expect at least that again, with Doctson, Listenbee and Gray as dangerous as any trio in the country.

Unit Rating: 8

9. Ole Miss

Is Laquon Treadwell back to 100%? All indications are that he’s going to be ready to be the same type of NFL talent he was before breaking his leg, and now he’s leaner and quicker, too. Evan Engram might be the best tight end in America with excellent deep play skills and nice hands. Cody Core and Quincy Adeboyejo are good veterans, and there are more than enough decent backups to work in the depth. 18 Rebels caught passes last year, but 2015 is all about Treadwell. This is a good group no matter what, but Treadwell makes it special.

Unit Rating: 8

10. Ohio State

Forget that almost everyone of note will be gone for Virginia Tech – this is going to be a terrific group. The team’s most dangerous receiver is gone with Devin Smith done, but Michael Thomas is back after coming up with a team-leading 54 catches for 799 yards and nine scores. The addition of Braxton Miller to the H-Back mix and the return of Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith makes this the Big Ten’s most dangerous receiving corps by far – even with Marshall, Smith and Wilson suspended for the opener against Virginia Tech.

Unit Rating: 8