Oregon lacks experience at WR
Chip Kelly has a lot to figure out about his football team this year. Not only are Oregon going to have a new starting QB, but they need to find a legitimate play maker at WR. Jeff Maehl has not played with the Ducks for a full season now.
This last year, the Oregon Offense lacked a consistent weapon at the WR position.
Going into this year the Ducks have 15 WR’s listed on the official roster.
Only 3 are seniors
Justin Hoffman, Rashaan Vaugn, and Will Murphy are those 3. It’s more than apparent the Ducks are lacking that Senior leadership from this postition.
Justin Hoffman only had 10 receptions for 133 yards last year while starting in 6 games.
Will Murphy had 3 receptions for 37 yards, while appearing in 10 games.
Rashaan Vaughn, had 14 receptions for 184 yards. He started 4 games, appearing in 14. Vaughn was the top rated Junior college transfer and probably has the most potential out of the WR seniors. I expect Vaughn to be a big contributor in the offense this year.
The Ducks do have 5 Juniors on the roster
The problem is, I have only heard of two of them. Daryle Hawkins was converted from QB and will get some playing time. Last year he had some big drops and I question is hands.
Josh Huff who has been highly touted, yet often injured. If Huff can stay healthy this year I expect he will be a huge play maker. Will This be his big breakout year? We’ll See…
The other 3 Juniors are Ben Butterfield, who has a whopping 2 catches for 5 yards. Chad Delaney has ZERO catches. He was used in a few cases as a punt returner, 2 returns totaling 11 yards. Dane Ebanez has no statistics to speak of, has 4 recorded appearances. Maybe one of these players can contribute in some way, however that will probably be in special teams.
The sophmore and freshman ranks will produce some young talent. It is here that lies a talent that will step up and become the next weapon at WR. I am a huge proponent of playing young players early that equates to experience as an upperclassman.
The sophomore rank consists of three
Eric Dungy, the son of Tony Dungy, has shown some ability to play the position. I expect his playing time to increase this year. He played in 5 games with two receptions for 34 yards and 1 TD. Last year I expected to see Dungy get more playing time, but it didn’t happen.
Keanon Lowe, from Jesuit High School, rated a 4 star recruit by rivals.com. This guy has some potential but time will only tell. He played in 8 games, mainly on special teams. He probably has the highest ceiling out of the sophomores.
The third sophomore is Blake Stanton. Appeared in 4 games with no statistics to report.
Four Freshman will compete for some playing time
One of these four players may end up being a starter before the year is out.
Devon Blackmon, the #2 WR overall on the ESPN 150 and a four star recruit. He is from Fontana, Ca. Oregon continues to add speed, Blackmon was a champion hurdler in 2007/8.
Tacoi Sumler is another fast receiver. WR is this guys true position and has great hands. He really knows how to get up and go after a football at it’s highest point. In 2010 ESPN’s scout inc. clocked him at a 4.24 40 yards dash, the fastest in the nation!
B.J. Kelley, a three star recruit from rivals.com. He caught 51 passes for over 1,200 yards and had 17 td’s. Those are pretty good numbers, even for high school. Kelley made a pretty nice play in the spring game for Bennett scoring on a TD.
Miles Johnson has very little information available. Maybe he’s an ace up Chips sleeve, who knows!
As the Oregon football team grows in success, so will the teams recruiting class. This group of young Freshman is just the start.
Rivals.com has Oregon ranked 16th in the nation for overall recruiting class. This class signed three more WR with two of them being 4 stars.
I expect a huge battle for depth chart rankings during this summer camp workouts. My money would be on Rashaan Vaughn, Josh Huff, and Justin Hoffman being the go to guys with the most actual game experience. Devon Blackmon and Tacoi Sumler I am sure will have something to say about some playing time this year.
How the depth chart plays out will be a closely monitored battle. Don’t forget about Eric Dungy either.
I see a WR by committee until somebody shines and becomes a legit play maker.
With Kenjon Barner and De’ Anthony Thomas in the backfield, any defense can expect to get the ground and pound rushing attack as the Ducks will lead the conference in rushing once again.