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The Big 12's top 10 receivers:

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

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    The Big 12's top 10 receivers: Part 2

    http://espn.go.com/blog/big12/tag/_/name/big-12-receivers-072010


    July, 20, 2010 Jul 201:35PM ETEmail Print Comments293 By David UbbenWe've looked at the Big 12's top quarterbacks and top running backs. Now it's time for the receivers.

    After looking through the list of running backs, it's obvious the talent in the Big 12 is much deeper in the backfield than along the line of scrimmage.

    But here's how they stand now, and it could look much different in December. Here's the bottom half of the list.

    1. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
    [IMG]
    [+] EnlargeJ.P. Wilson/Icon SMI
    Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles' 15 touchdowns were second-most in the nation last season.The gap between Broyles and his closest contemporary might be larger than at any other position in the Big 12 -- at least as the season begins. Despite playing with a patchwork offensive line and an inexperienced freshman quarterback, Broyles still caught 89 passes for 1,120 yards and a league-high 15 touchdowns, which were also tied for second-most nationally. What makes Broyles so good is his elusiveness; he can turn a four-yard curl into a 20-yard game-breaker or a quick slant into a 50-yard score. That helps him remain consistent and provide an easy target for his quarterback, despite being just 5-foot-11 and 178 pounds. He missed most of the Miami game after fracturing his shoulder blade on the opening drive, all of the game against Baylor the following week and was limited against Texas. His numbers are even more staggering considering that time missed. Excluding those three games, he caught at least seven passes in all but one game, the opening-game loss to BYU. He closed the season with his best performance, a 13-reception, 156-yard, three-touchdown masterpiece against Stanford.

    2. Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M

    If one player can unseat Broyles this season, it's Fuller. He missed all of four games and most of two more with a broken leg last season, but once he returned, his production swelled and he closed the season with a pair of 100-yard performance, including six catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns against rival Texas. He's got two years of experience, the conference's best quarterback (including great rapport and trust with said quarterback), great size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and outstanding hands. Barring another injury, 1,000 yards look like a very real possibility for Fuller.

    3. Alex Torres, Texas Tech

    Torres is the slightly-more-impressive half of the top of Texas Tech's extremely deep receiving corps. He remained constant while his starting quarterback shifted. He'll be expected to do the same this year for Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts -- a quarterback race that never really heated up this spring after both suffered injuries. Torres had his best game against one of the conference's best defenses last season, burning Oklahoma for 163 yards on 11 catches and a touchdown in the Red Raiders' 41-10 win.

    4. Niles Paul, Nebraska

    Paul is perhaps the most interesting receiver in the entire Big 12. Before last season, he had zero career touchdown catches, and failed to top 800 yards last season with 40 catches for 796 yards and four touchdowns. But Nebraska's shell offense hasn't allowed the nation to quite get a real read on just how talented Paul really is. How much that's affected him -- or should affect him -- is up for debate. NFL scouts recently tabbed Paul as the top senior wideout in next year's draft, but he'll need to validate it on the field this season. One of his brightest flashes of brilliance came in last season's Holiday Bowl on a 74-yard touchdown catch. He'll need more of those this year to move up the list. He was held without a catch once last season, and had just one catch in four other games. But how much was Nebraska's conservative playcalling after a frustrating loss to Iowa State (a game that featured six Paul catches for 143 yards, by the way) to blame? I'm hoping to find out this year.

    5. Detron Lewis, Texas Tech

    Lewis is a little shorter (6-foot) than his Red Raider counterpart, Torres (6-foot-2), but both provided nearly identical production throughout the season. Lewis finished with 65 receptions for 844 yards and six touchdowns, while Torres finished with 67 catches for 806 yards and six scores. But Lewis' production dropped last season, even though he caught at least five passes in eight games. Part of that was the switch to Potts and Sheffield from Graham Harrell, but Lewis never became the top target for his new quarterback, even though he put up impressive numbers. He should have another great year as a senior, but Torres' bright future after equaling Lewis' production in just his first year playing pushes him higher on the list.

    See the list's bottom half.Share8 Tags:Big 12, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Jeff Fuller, Steven Sheffield, Ryan Broyles, Alex Torres, Detron Lewis, Niles Paul, Taylor Potts, Big 12 receivers 072010
    The Big 12's top 10 receivers
    July, 20, 2010 Jul 2010:45AM ETEmail Print Comments61 By David UbbenWe've looked at the Big 12's top quarterbacks and top running backs. Now it's time for the receivers.

    After looking through the list of running backs, it's obvious the talent in the Big 12 is much deeper in the backfield than along the line of scrimmage.

    But here's how they stand now, and it could look much different in December. Heads-up for Part 2 this afternoon.

    [+] EnlargeBrendan Maloney/US Presswire
    Kendall Wright collected 66 passes for 740 yards and four touchdowns in 2009.6. Kendall Wright, Baylor
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    Wright led the Bears in receiving as a freshman, again as a sophomore, and with quarterback Robert Griffin III back and more mature, Wright should do it again with even bigger numbers. He improved (66 rec., 740 yards) by 16 receptions and 91 yards from his freshman to sophomore years and a big year for Griffin should mean a big year for Wright. There's no reason to think he won't duplicate his production from 2009, but if the Bears get rolling and are in bowl contention late in the season, 1,000 yards could be in play for the sticky-handed 5-foot-11, 185-pounder.

    7. Scotty McKnight, Colorado

    One of the conference's most underrated receivers, McKnight's numbers didn't suffer even with the Buffaloes' unrest under center. He ranked sixth in the Big 12 in receiving yards and receptions, catching 76 balls for 893 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers are second-best among returning Big 12 receivers, behind Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles. He'll get some help at receiver in Michigan transfer Toney Clemons, but we'll have to wait and see how that affects his production. Clemons' presence on the outside could free up some space and allow McKnight to be more productive, or Clemons might mooch on McKnight's total targets. Either way, it'll be good for the Buffaloes.

    8. Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M

    Nwachukwu made the game look "EZ" as a freshman, racking up 40 catches for 708 yards and six touchdowns. His numbers led all Big 12 freshmen, and with the conference's best quarterback, Jerrod Johnson, tossing him the ball, those numbers could grow in Year 2. A shifty, 6-foot, 179-pound slot receiver, defensive backs should be much more adept at spelling his last name after chasing him around the field for 60 minutes. He showed plenty of potential to be a consistent target for an entire game, topping 100 receiving yards in three games, including two in conference play, but his production slowed slightly over the second half of the season.

    9. Hubert Anyiam, Oklahoma State

    9. Jerrell Jackson, Missouri

    9. Malcolm Williams, Texas

    I ordered these final three in how they'll finish in the yardage category, but all three are on the list based on potential and all three will be stepping into roles as likely No. 1 targets. None are guarantees with capable talent alongside them on the field, but Anyiam and Jackson should both be in for big years in offenses whose strength is best shown through the air. Williams may not produce the numbers of the other two, but he'll be instrumental in helping first-year starter Garrett Gilbert get acclimated to the college game. Without a solid, consistent receiver, that's going to be difficult. He also has the deepest well of talent to draw from, but at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he'll give Gilbert at the very least a big target. He's also the Longhorns' leading returning receiver and should see his 550 yards on 39 catches grow significantly. Players like Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper at Oklahoma State, Wes Kemp and T.J. Moe at Missouri and James Kirkendoll, Marquise Goodwin, DeSean Hales, John Chiles and incoming freshmen Mike Davis and Darius White could change these three receivers' status as the season progresses.

    Just missed: James Kirkendoll, Texas; Tramain Swindall, Texas Tech; Wes Kemp, Missouri; Lyle Leong, Texas Tech; Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M; Johnathan Wilson, Kansas.

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