Oregon Football’s Receivers Must Be Better Than Last Years [69 Days of Summer]
Today Ted Miller of the PAC-12 blog on ESPN wrote that Oregon is in “good” shape for the next season in terms of the wide receiver position. I was expecting a “we’ll see” after the performance last year.
The receivers were key in the Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, but it was a frustrating group to watch most of the time. Oregon may never get top talent receivers because they are so well known for running the football, but there were too many drops that plagued certain parts of the season.
Darron Thomas two years ago dropped dimes all over the field to receivers who had some level of separation, and only on rare occasions did receivers need to make an adjustment to make a spectacular catch. This past year Darron Thomas was off his game for most of the season, so much so I thought he was dealing with an injury the second half of the season. This time though the receivers weren’t able to make catches unless it hit them right on the mark.
Never was the lack of receiving skills most evident than in the LSU game, the season opener. Receivers struggled to get separation from the fast secondary of LSU and let passes bounce off their hands and fingertips. There were also touchdowns dropped and key first downs throughout the season that stalled drives.
With a new quarterback who is either going to have little or no starting experience it will be incredibly important for the receivers to step up their game and help him out. Passes that are in the general area of the receiver need to be caught.
There is a lot of optimism though headed in to this upcoming season. First, the receivers that are going to be playing were basically picked out himself. The receivers are not only some of the fastest players on the team while also having enough size to perform the most important part of a receivers job at Oregon, blocking.
The returning true receiver from last year is Rahsaan Vaughn, a 6-2 193 pound senior. Josh Huff, who I think could see a bigger role as a TAZR back to help round out Barner and Thomas is 5-11 and 200 pounds. Converted wide receiver from quarterback Daryle Hawkins, who once scored touchdowns in a game passing, receiving, and rushing, is the biggest at 6-4 and 198 pounds. Freshman standout B.J. Kelly is 6-2 and 179 pounds. Devon Blackmon, one of the most talented receivers out of high school is 6-1 and 194 pounds. The smallest receiver is Tacoi Sumler who dazzled people by running an electronically timed 4.24 40-yard dash out of high school and he comes in at 5-9 and 179 pounds.
The three freshman receivers fit the bill perfectly as fast receivers who can get separation and catch the ball well while blocking downfield. They bring promise that the receivers will be stars in just two more years. However, they are going to be asked to perform at a high level right away. They will have to if Oregon is to win its biggest games of the season. The receivers this season are going to be better than last season’s, if only because they really couldn’t get much worse.