Preview 2010 - Big Ten Receiver Rankings
Indiana WR Tandon Doss
Preview 2010 - Ranking the Top Big Ten Wide Receivers
Preview 2010 - Big Ten
The Top Receivers
- Big Ten Skill Position Rankings
1. Keith Smith, Sr. Purdue
Smith started out his career at safety after playing quarterback in high school. Now he'll be one of the nation's top wide receivers after making the switch just two years ago. The 6-2, 226-pound senior followed up a 49-catch season with an All-America-caliber campaign making 91 grabs for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns with four games (Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State) with 11 or more catches. He's big, tough, and just fast enough to hit the occasional home run, and while he doesn't have top-end, NFL wheels, topping out at around 4.6, he should be productive enough to get a paycheck at the next level.
2. DeVier Posey, Jr. Ohio State
The next in the lineage of NFL receivers from Ohio State is Posey, a 6-2, 213-pound junior who has all the tools to be a No. 1 target at the next level once he becomes more consistent and once he refines his technique. With 6-2, 213-pound size, great athleticism (with a 33-inch vertical), and blazing speed (running the 200 in 21.5), he has the raw tools, and he has the smarts and the drive to become a star. While his blocking leaves something to be desired for a player of his size, everything else is in place. He had a good 2009 regular season, and then he showed just how good he could be with eight catches for 101 yards and a score in the Rose Bowl to finish with 60 grabs for 828 yards and eight scores on the year. He also threw a 39-yard touchdown pass against New Mexico State.
3. Tandon Doss, Jr. Indiana
After a promising true freshman season, making 14 grabs, Doss turned into the team's top target catching 77 passes for 962 yards and five touchdowns averaging 12.5 yards per catch. At 6-3 and 195 pounds he has excellent size and game-breaking ability, but while he's not a speedster he can stretch the field. More than anything else, it's his job to be a consistent No. 1 target, which he was last year catching five passes or more in every game but the season-finale four-catch, 51-yard day against Purdue.
4. Nick Toon, Jr. Wisconsin
Toon lived up to his family name (he's the son of former UW great and New York Jet, Al Toon) leading the team with 54 catches for 805 yards and four touchdowns averaging 14.9 yards per grab. At 6-3 and 211 pounds, he has great size and good enough deep speed to be a dangerous home run hitter, and he's also consistent making three catches or more in every game but the bowl win over Miami (he made two catches for 26 yards). While he might not be the talent his dad was, he's the go-to playmaker who should be an all-star after getting honorable mention consideration.
5. Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Sr. Iowa
Johnson-Koulianos went from the doghouse to the top receiver job leading the way with 45 catches for 750 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 16.7 yards per catch. While the 6-1, 200-pound senior is a deep threat, he doesn't do all the little things right, isn't consistent, and he doesn't always come up with the routine plays. The negatives aren't all that bad and they're easily fixable; he's a next-level talent who manages to blow up enough to be considered the team's No. 1 receiver. Now he has to be more of a well-rounded target and he has to be more of a scoring threat.
6. Derek Moye, Jr. Penn State
While it's a bit of a stretch to call Moye a true No. 1 target, he led the team with 48 catches for 785 yards and six touchdowns averaging 16.4 yards per grab. The tools and the talent are there with 6-5, 198-pound size and sub-4.4, Pennsylvania state champion speed with deep ball tracking skills and the hands to make the midrange catch across the middle. The former running back will always be a bit thin, but he handles himself well and turned out to be more polished than expected.
7. Damarlo Belcher, Jr. Indiana
Belcher grew into a rock-steady No. 2 target with five catches or more in eight games finishing second on the team with 61 grabs for 770 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch, and with 6-5, 215-pound size, he has the potential to be a dangerous receiver with the upside to be unstoppable around the goal line. He's a matchup nightmare for smaller defensive backs.
8. Roy Roundtree, Soph. Michigan
Able to play in the slot or on the outside, Roundtree is one of the team's most versatile and dangerous targets. After making just two catches in the first eight games, he exploded over the final four outings with ten catches for 126 yards and a touchdown against Purdue and nine grabs for 116 yards against Ohio State. He might have only finished with 32 catches for 434 yards and three scores, but that was good enough to lead the team. A thin 6-0 and 169 pounds, he's not a physical receiver, and he's not a blazer, but he's a well-rounded player who can make all the catches and run all the routes inside or out.
9. Marvin McNutt, Jr. Iowa
McNutt went from being a dangerous quarterback option to a scary receiver with 6-4, 215-pound size and excellent speed. A natural playmaker, he averaged 19.8 yards per catch making 34 grabs for 674 yards and eight touchdowns including the seven-yarder in the final seconds to beat Michigan State. He scores six times in the final six games, and while he might not be the pure deep threat that Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is, he could turn out to be the team's best receiver.
10. Da'Jon McKnight, Jr. Minnesota
When Eric Decker went down, the 6-3, 208-pound McKnight stepped up catching 17 passes for 311 yards over the last five games averaging 18.3 yards per grab. After spending most of his high school career on the defensive side, he's just now growing into a more polished playmaker and he should develop into a dangerous all-around receiver. The skills are there, and now he needs the passes to come his way.
11. Keith Nichol, Jr. Michigan State
It has been an interesting career for Nichol, and he's only a junior. A superstar quarterback recruit, he broke Michigan State's heart by choosing Oklahoma at the last possible second, but he quickly fell behind Sam Bradford and others in the pecking order and wasn't going to see the light of day. He transferred to MSU and was a factor early on last year with 195 yards and two scores with two interceptions against Wisconsin (although most of those yards came on one huge garbage time play) and 179 yards against Illinois, and he showed off his running ability as a far more mobile option than Kirk Cousins. But Cousins took over the job and the rotation stopped, and the 6-3, 202-pound Nichol needed to find a spot. Moved to receiver for the bowl game, he caught two passes for 11 yards, and now he's a full-blown wideout working at the outside X position with surprising deep speed and natural hands.
12. Dane Sanzenbacher, Sr. Ohio State
Facing single coverage with all the attention paid to the other Buckeye weapons, Sanzenbacher was able to flourish averaging 15.8 yards per grab making 36 catches for 570 yards and six touchdowns in a steady season. At 5-11 and 180 pounds he's not all that big, but he's a sharp route runner and he always produces when he gets the ball. While not a deep blazer, he's shifty enough to make things happen in the open field, and he's trusted on key plays to keep the chains moving.