Charlie’s College Football Positional Rankings: Wide Receivers

Charlie’s College Football Positional Rankings: Wide Receivers

by June 9, 2021 0 comments

After a season in which college football graduated star wide receivers like DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Ja’Marr Chase, some new talent is coming to the forefront. Most are from the schools we’d expect every year, but we have a nice bunch of smaller programs in the mix this year. Teams like Arkansas, Purdue, and Wake Forest aren’t the best programs in the world, but they sure bring some exciting players to the table, along with our Ohio States and Alabamas. This year’s wide receiver group is a really strong one, with a good amount of question marks in there as well. So, let’s get into them.

Be sure to check out all of Charlie’s College Football Positional Rankings.

1. Chris Olave– Ohio State

Let’s start by saying that Olave isn’t the biggest, nor is he the fastest. However, he blends all sorts of techniques and athleticism into his game. He was Justin Fields’ top target for Ohio State last year and he was essential to the Buckeyes’ run to the national championship game. Olave hauled in 50 balls last year for 729 yards and seven touchdowns. This was in a condensed season where he missed some time with COVID-19 as well. This year, Olave will look to be the main target for Ohio State’s new quarterback and dominate the Big-10 once again.

2. John Metchie– Alabama

Shadowed behind the Heisman winner Smith, Metchie really shined when he could. Metchie was Mac Jones’ third option, and he racked up some really nice stats. He had 916 yards on 55 receptions for six touchdowns. His average of 16.7 yards per catch put him inside the top-20 in the power five. Now, with Bryce Young taking over at quarterback and Waddle and Smith leaving, Metchie gets bumped up to the number one guy for the Crimson Tide and looks to walk in the footsteps of Smith’s Heisman year.

3. Treylon Burks– Arkansas

At 6’4”, 225 pounds, Burks is built like a tight end. However, he has a true 4.4 speed and is a human highlight reel. There are several plays from Burks that just wow you right away. His catch radius is massive, and his speed and leaping ability are absurd. Last season, Burks caught 51 passes for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. 200 of these yards came in a game against Missouri back in early December. He had 10 catches in this game and a touchdown to go along with this incredible yardage. Burks should breakout this year and certify himself as one of the best receivers in the country.

4. Ty Fryfogle– Indiana

Fryfogle is a really interesting player. Last season, he caught 37 balls for 721 yards and seven touchdowns. His production, however, was lower than in the past two years due to the shortened season. With the graduation of Whop Philyor, Fryfogle now gets a fantastic opportunity to excel. He will easily be Michael Penix Jr‘s top target and has the raw talent to really show out. Don’t be surprised at all if Fryfogle has over 1,000 yards this season and, statistically, is the best receiver in the Big-10. 

5. David Bell– Purdue

One of the most underrated players in the country, Bell has been incredible for Purdue. He’s a do it all type receiver with great hands and evasiveness. Bell mostly shined in the absence of Rondale Moore, but in six games last year, he averaged 104 yards per game and had eight touchdowns. With Moore gone, Bell has a chance to really step up his production and separate himself from the pack. If his year goes to plan, we could be seeing a competitor for the Biletnikoff Award in December. 

6. Garrett Wilson– Ohio State

In his, so far, young college season, Wilson has really made a name for himself at Ohio State. He and Olave make up the best receiving core in the country, and Wilson has all the talent in the world. He excels at making contested catches as he adjusts his body through the air, making highlight catch after highlight catch. Wilson has also shown that he is a lot more fluid on the field and has really taken his route running to the next level. Wilson will look to increase his production after a 723 yard and six touchdown season, but it will be hard. His impact will not be stuffing the stat sheet because of how stacked Ohio State’s wide receivers are, but it will be making the plays when needed and shining when he can. 

7. Justyn Ross– Clemson

After a neck injury that almost forced him to medically retire, Ross is back and looking for a big 2021 season. The former freshman standout has racked up over 1,800 yards in two seasons, along with 17 touchdowns. Ross has been instrumental in the two years he’s played for the Clemson offense, and Dabo Swinney and crew will be elated with his return. Ross mixes a very nice blend of athleticism and size into his game, allowing him to haul in any ball around him. This will be a great addition for young quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei and improves Clemson’s offense mightily. 

8. George Pickens– Georgia

This one all relies on health. Pickens tore his ACL at practice back in March, and his status for the upcoming season is all up in the air. If Pickens can play at some point, Georgia will get an instant boost to their offense. He’s not the fastest receiver in the world, but his frame allows him to haul in just about everything. In 22 career games, Pickens has only averaged 56 yards per game, but he has also caught 14 touchdown passes. There’s no doubt that Pickens is one of the premier receivers in the country, and if health did not play a factor, he would be much higher on this list.

9. Marvin Mims– Oklahoma

Mims is the next Oklahoma receiver in line for a potential All-American season. With the offseason departure of Charleston Rambo, Mims looks to shine in Lincoln Riley’s system. As a true freshman, Mims caught 37 balls for 610 yards and nine touchdowns. Mims’ average of 16.5 yards per catch landed him fifth in the Big-12 and got him on the second All-Big-12 team. With Spencer Rattler and most of the other Sooners returning this season, Mims will see a huge boost in production in what Oklahoma hopes to be the best offense in the nation.

10. Jaquarii Roberson– Wake Forest

Another super underrated player, Roberson, ranked sixth in college football with 926 yards last season. This came off of 62 catches, and he also reeled in eight touchdowns. Roberson has really smooth route running and a nice 6’1” frame that allows him to beat defenders off the line with his size. Playing at Wake Forest, Roberson will not have too much competition for receptions this year, especially with the departure of Sage Surratt. Overall, Roberson is a player who will, once again, fly under the radar but will lead the ACC statistically for the second year in a row.

Honorable Mentions

Jahan Dotson (Penn State), Kayshon Boutte (LSU), Drake London (USC), Wandale Robinson (Kentucky), Slade Bolden (Alabama)

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