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                                           MIZZOU FOOTBALL 2016 POSITION PREVIEW: RECEIVER

 

 

"Wide open competition" has been the buzzword around the Missouri Football Program this year.   There's probably not another position group on the team where the competition has been more wide open than at wide receiver.  It'll be interesting to see how long, and how intensely, that wide open competition continues.

I've previously written that I didn't think the Tigers were playing their best players at each position on offense a year ago.    Wide receiver was included in that failure on the part of the coaching staff.    With a position coach this year who has a history of not playing the best receivers, it's hoped that the head coach and offensive coordinator will be exercising extensive oversight at this position in an effort to insure that the best players do play.

Missouri returns their two leading pass-catchers from a year ago, as well as a total of six wide receivers who caught at least 2 passes last season.   In addition, the Tigers have added another experienced receiver in grad transfer Chris Black.

It's Coach Heupel's intent that the offense play at a fast pace.    He'd like for the Missouri offense to run a play about every 15 seconds.   If they're going to play at that tempo, depth will be important at the receiver positions, especially on the outside.

Here's kind of what I think the Depth Chart might look like at wide receiver to begin Fall Camp:
 

1 (X) WR 

2   Nate Brown  6’3”  205  (J) OR
84 Emanuel Hall  6’3”  200 (So)
17 DeSean Blair  6’3”  190  (So)
28 Steven Spadarotto  6’2”  185  (RSF)
24 Brendan Martini  6’2’  190  (J)


2-3 (H-Y) WR 

1  Chris Black  6’0”  192  (GS) OR
12 Johnathon Johnson  5’10”  175  (RSF)
14 Ray Wingo  5’11”  180  (So) OR
85 Richaud Floyd  5’11”  185  (RSF)
41 Eric Laurent  6’2”  215  (S)
19 Oke Akushe  5’10”  185  (J)
9  Dimetrios Mason   5’11”  172  (F)


4 (Z) WR 

15 Keyon Dilosa  6’3”  200  (So)
6   J'Mon Moore  6’3”  190  (J) OR
8   Justin Smith  6’7”  200   (RSF)
18 Dominic Collins  6’2”  175  (J)
26 Jake Brents  6’3”  205  (S)  

To further break down the depth at receiver, consider that the slot position, listed above as 2-3 (H-Y) WR, can be two positions, two players from among that grouping on the field at the same time.    Probably the most common example of this is the utilization of a formation that includes 4 wide receivers.   But as far as the competition for playing time, the slot is really just treated as one position.      Certainly, the top 2-3 slot receivers would be expected to take most of the in-game snaps, although I think we could easily see as many as 5 different slot receivers take in-game snaps.

In conjunction with the above Depth Chart at the 2-3 (H-Y) WR position, that breakdown is significant in that I have Ray Wingo and Richaud Floyd beginning Fall Camp even on the Depth Chart for that third spot.    In addition, Eric Laurent has played every wide receiver position, and can just as easily line up on the outside.

For the purpose of establishing depth, and a playing rotation, I think the two outside receiver positions are combined into one competition.  Most of the outside receivers have at one time or another played or practiced at both spots, that being left outside (1-X) or right outside (4-Z).   

 

Obviously, with playing up-tempo, there will be in-game snaps for multiple outside receivers.    At this point, I doubt that the coaches have decided on a specific number of outside receivers for their playing rotation.   That will be something that will be determined, hopefully by the performance of the players, as time goes along.     Certainly, the top 4 outside receivers would probably be taking the large majority of the snaps, although I think it's likely we will see a 5thor even a 6th or 7th outside receiver take some in-game snaps.

Combining the two outside receiver spots into a single competition yields a depth that might look something like this: 

2   Nate Brown  6’3”  205  (J) OR
15 Keyon Dilosa  6’3”  200  (So) OR
84 Emanuel Hall  6’3”  200 (So)
6   J'Mon Moore  6’3”  190  (J)  OR
8   Justin Smith  6’7”  200   (RSF)
17 DeSean Blair  6’3”  190  (So)
18 Dominic Collins  6’2”  175  (J)
26 Jake Brents  6’3”  205  (S) 
24 Brendan Martini  6’2’  190  (J)
28 Steven Spadarotto  6’2”  185  (RSF)


The competition for playing time is typically very positive for the development of the players.   Ultimately, some will rise, and some will fall, within the Depth Chart.   The result will be an improved receiving corps, which of course is the overall objective. 

Two outside receivers whom I think might climb the Depth Chart early during Fall Camp are Justin Smith and Dominic Collins.

On the inside, I think Richaud Floyd might challenge for a more significant role. 

One thing is for certain about the wide-receiver position.   Not only will it be interesting to observe the close competitions for playing time, it will also be interesting to see if the best players are the ones who end up playing.   It may be into mid-to-late-September before we get a real good idea of what the playing rotation at wide-receiver is going to look like?

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