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We continue our preseason rankings of draft eligible players by position. Today we cover with the wide receivers.
1. Robert Woods – USC: Woods was a 1st team All-American and was #4 in the country with 111 receptions in 2011. He teams with quarterback Matt Barkley to give the Trojans the best QB-WR combination in the country. Woods is a junior, but if USC were to win the national championship, look for him to declare for the draft. Woods has good size, good speed and is probably the best route runner in college football today. He would be a top 10 pick if he declared for the draft.
2. Keenan Allen – Cal: Last year, as a sophomore, Allen had 98 catches for 1,343 yards and 6 TD. He should only get better this year. No returning player has more than 4 catches, so Allen will be targeted a lot. Allen is another junior that could declare for the 2013 draft and at 6’3” and 205 pounds, I’m sure plenty of NFL teams will be interested.
3. Tavon Austin – West Virginia: Austin is a 5’9” dynamo. He led the nation in all-purpose yards in 2011, with 2,574 yards. He is a weapon that the Mountaineers use in a lot of different ways. He was #2 in the Big East conference in receptions, but he is also a threat running the ball and returning kickoffs and punts. He is a threat to go all the way every time he touches the ball.
4. Marquess Wilson – Washington State: Marquess Wilson, meet Coach Leach. Wilson led the PAC-12 in receiving yards per game in 2011. Can you imagine what he can do in a Mike Leach offense? At 6’4” he creates mismatches with shorter defensive backs. It’s a given that senior quarterback Jeff Tuel will be looking for Wilson early and often.
5. Terrance Williams – Baylor: Williams teamed with RG3 and receiver Kendall Wright to give Baylor a passing attack that was impossible to defend in 2011. Williams will not have RG3 to get him the ball this year, but you can bet Coach Art Briles offense will still be potent and Williams will be the main target of quarterback Nick Florence. Williams was the Bears 2nd leading receiver with 59 catches last season and had 11 touchdowns. Since he is their top returning receiver, his catch totals should go up this season.
by Dwayne Wilton