2006 Unit Rankings – Wide Receivers

Posted Aug 27, 2006

Preview 2006 Unit Rankings Wide Receivers  

Offenses | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Offensive Lines
Defenses | Def. Lines | Linebackers | Secondaries | Spec. Teams

1. USC
This group will keep the NFL stocked for years to come. The entire corps is full of big, fast, talented receivers who can do it all highlighted by the best returning receiver in America, Dwayne Jarrett, and the speedy Steve Smith, who's also All-America caliber. Patrick Turner and Chris McFoy would provide excellent depth if it was just the two of them, but top recruit Vidal Hazelton and junior Whitney Lewis help to make the reserves something truly special. There's a good rotation at tight end between three good pass catchers.

2. Texas Tech

It'll be among the most productive groups in America with the return of the top four wide receivers. Robert Johnson, Joel Filani, and Jarrett Hicks are all going to be on All-Big 12 teams and a few All-America squads. There's speed, talent, and size with enough options to go around for two good receiving corps. Each of the top receivers will have a fair share of 100-yard games.

3. Hawaii
This isn't just an ultra-productive, ultra-experienced group, it's full of great talent led by super sophomores Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen. They weren't heavily recruited by any of the big names, but they proved last year that they should've been. Chad Mock and Ross Dickerson are explosive receivers who'll see their share of big games with all the attention paid to Bess and Grice-Mullen. There's more than enough depth to go around helped by the return of Jason Rivers back after missing last year.

4. Florida State
The receiving corps is loaded with size, speed, talent, and now, experience. Chris Davis is a nice veteran to serve as a go-to target, while Greg Carr and De'Cody Fagg are big, lightning fast deep receiver who'll led Drew Weatherford bomb away. Joslin Shaw is a rising playmaker after converting from running back, and track star Kenny O'Neal will bring even more speed. The concern, at least early on, will be at tight end needing true freshmen Brandon Warren and Caz Piurowski to push Charlie Graham.

5. Virginia Tech
The potential is there for this to be the best receiving corps in the ACC if everyone starts to play up to their capabilities. A shocking group as freshmen in 2004, they had a good, but inconsistent 2005. Now there's no excuse to not blow up with big passing quarterbacks fighting it out to take over for Marcus Vick and two years of experience to rely on. Eddie Royal and Josh Hyman are decent-sized speed receivers, and David Clowney and Josh Morgan are big speed receivers. The big concern is replacing sticky-handed tight end Jeff King with two redshirt freshmen.

6. LSU
There's too much NFL talent here to be merely average. The loss of world-class sprinter Xavier Carter to the pro track ranks take away some speed, but he didn't do much on the field. Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis, Early Doucet and Brandon LaFell all have next-level skills with size and too much speed for 99% of the college secondaries. They also have experience enough to grow into a special unit. The Tigers have decent tight ends in Keith Zinger and Mit Cole, but they have to be involved in the passing game.

7. Iowa State
With or without Jon Davis, this will be one of the Big 12's best receiving corps. Todd Blythe is a premier deep threat who's almost unstoppable around the goal line, while Austin Flynn has been fantastic making the switch from quarterback to receiver. Davis is the steady possession receiver in the group, but he tore his Achilles tendon this spring and is iffy for the start of the season. On the plus side, speedy R.J. Sumrall appears ready to fill in and add even more pop to the position. The tight ends have the potential to be excellent with Ben Berkema and Walter Nickel each fantastic receivers.

8. Notre Dame
Is Jeff Samardzija really that good? Can Rhema McKnight make a successful return from a knee injury? Can any of the unproven backups step up and help fill the void left by Maurice Stovall? Can John Carlson and Marcus Freeman combine to do what Anthony Fasano did at tight end? For such a talented group of receivers, there are an awful lot of questions. Ohio State's talented secondary showed that Samardzija can be taken out of a gameplan, while McKnight has yet to live up to his immense potential despite leading the team in receptions for two years. Even so, this will be one of the nation's most productive receiving corps thanks to the system and Brady Quinn.

9. Washington State
While it's not the USC receiving corps, it's not far off. Jason Hill's decision to return for his senior season gives the Cougars an All-America caliber weapon to work with, while the academic troubles of Michael Bumpus appear to be over providing a solid number two man. If Chris Jordan can be consistent, there might not be any stopping the Cougar passing game. Talented JUCO transfers boost up the depth at both receiver and tight end.

10. Tennessee
Let's try this again. Was the receiving corps bad because the quarterbacks didn't produce, or was it the other way around, or was it a combination of the two? There's size, speed, and experience to burn with Jayson Swain, Robert Meachem and Bret Smith all NFL-caliber targets. Now they have to play up to their talent level and do a better, more consistent job. New, hard-nosed receiver coach Trooper Taylor will see that things shape up. The rating is based on talent level.

11 Florida   SEC
12 Ohio State Big Ten
13 Penn State Big Ten
14 Texas   Big 12 
15 Purdue Big Ten
16 Arizona State Pac 10
17 Indiana Big Ten
18 Louisville  Big East
19 Clemson ACC
20 Miami   ACC
21 Michigan Big Ten
22 California Pac 10
23 Oklahoma Big 12 
24 Nebraska Big 12 
25 Missouri Big 12 
26 South Carolina SEC
27 Colorado   Big 12 
28 Michigan State Big Ten
29 Auburn SEC
30 Virginia ACC
31 Alabama SEC
32 Georgia Tech ACC
33 Oregon Pac 10
34 East Carolina CUSA
35 Fresno State WAC
36 Southern Miss  CUSA
37 Houston CUSA
38 Boise State WAC
39 Maryland ACC
40 Oregon State  Pac 10
41 UCLA Pac 10
42 NC State ACC
43 BYU M-West
44 Texas A&M Big 12 
45 Utah   M-West
46 Oklahoma State Big 12 
48 TCU M-West
49 Arizona   Pac 10
50 Nevada WAC
51 Kansas State Big 12 
52 Pitt Big East
53 Baylor Big 12 
54 South Florida Big East
55 Stanford Pac 10
56 Iowa   Big Ten
57 Louisiana Tech WAC
58 Utah State WAC
59 Colorado State M-West
60 Boston College  ACC
61 Georgia SEC
62 West Virginia Big East
63 Rutgers Big East
64 Toledo MAC
65 Eastern Michigan MAC
66 North Carolina ACC
67 Minnesota Big Ten
68 Washington Pac 10
69 Northwestern Big Ten
70 Memphis CUSA
71 Vanderbilt SEC
72 Wisconsin Big Ten
73 Central Michigan  MAC
74 Bowling Green MAC
75 Syracuse Big East
76 Mississippi State SEC
77 Cincinnati Big East
78 Arkansas   SEC
79 Illinois Big Ten
80 Marshall CUSA
81 UNLV M-West
82 Wake Forest ACC
83 Tulane CUSA
84 Wyoming  M-West
85 Kansas Big 12 
86 San Diego State M-West
87 Connecticut Big East
88 Kentucky SEC
89 Kent State MAC
90 Duke ACC
91 Miami Univ. MAC
93 Northern Illinois MAC
95 Tulsa CUSA
96 New Mexico M-West
97 Ball State MAC
98 Akron MAC
99 Western Michigan MAC
100 Mississippi   SEC
102 Idaho WAC
103 Army Ind
104 MTSU Sun Belt
105 Troy Sun Belt
106 New Mexico State WAC
107 San Jose State WAC
108 North Texas Sun Belt
109 Ohio MAC
110 Navy Ind
111 Rice CUSA
112 Arkansas State Sun Belt
113 FIU Sun Belt
114 Temple Ind
115 Florida Atlantic Sun Belt
116 UL Lafayette Sun Belt
117 UL Monroe Sun Belt
118 Air Force M-West
119 Buffalo MAC