2015 Big 12 Position Rankings: Receivers


The Big 12 has become known as a fast-paced, offense-heavy league. With spread offenses like Baylor, TCU, and Texas Tech, receivers have an opportunity to put up some great numbers. With the exit of guys like Tyler Lockett, Kevin White, and Antwan Goodley, the underclassmen have some big shoes to fill.

Here is a ranking of how each school stands at the position of wide receiver, with the pass-catching abilities of their tight end accounted for.

#1 Baylor
There is little doubt that Baylor will have the most talented receiving corps in the conference next year. The question, however,  will be if they will have the best stats at the end of the year. As Bryce Petty leaves for the NFL Draft, Seth Russell will have to pick up the slack, which will be tough, even with guys like Corey Coleman and KD Cannon. Jay Lee is another guy who could make things easier for Seth, as he somehow quietly finished the season with 15.4-yards per catch and six touchdowns. Baylor also has some very promising incoming freshmen in Devontre Stricklin (6’3″, 180-pounds) and early enrollee Blake Lynch (6’3″, 195-pounds).

#2 Oklahoma
This may come as somewhat of a surprise, as the stats don’t necessarily reflect the talent level of its receivers. But much of that has to do with the offensive system and the level of quarterbacking, as opposed to the talent level of the returning wideouts. Sterling Shepard made the decision to stay at OU and earn his degree, while hoping to lead the Sooners to a return to the supremacy of yesteryear. While Shepard was without question, one of the best receivers in the conference last year, the x-factors will be JUCO transfer Dede Westbrook, and Redshirt Freshman Mark Andrews.

#3 TCU
While Trevone Boykin had a great year last year at QB, he had some help at receiver, too. TCU will return all but one of their top five receivers in terms of yards, but the gems of the 2015 season will unquestionably be Josh Doctson, Kolby Listenbee, and Deante’ Gray. Those three receivers return 23 touchdowns, and over 2,300-yards in a combined 37 games.

More from Texas Tech Football

#4 Iowa State
The loss of EJ Bibbs will certainly be felt in Ames. Over his last six games, Bibbs accounted for seven touchdowns and was a security blanket for Sam Richardson. Fortunately for the Cyclones, they get Quenton Bundrage back after a medical redshirt year, and still return their top two receivers from 2014 in D’Vario Montgomery and Allen Lazard. With two receivers at 6’5″ and another at 6’2″, there aren’t many teams in the conference that will be able to cover all of them. If they can get even the slightest amount of separation, look out for the Cyclones to have a top-tier trio of wide outs.

#5 Texas Tech
The middle third of the conference is somewhat indistinguishable in terms of receiver talent. Texas Tech loses only one senior in Bradley Marquez, although he is a tremendous leader, and does just about everything you want a college receiver to do. On the other hand, TTU has some outstanding diversity in the types of receivers Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury has at his disposal; everything from one of the most electrifying college football players in the open field (Jakeem Grant) to Dylan Cantrell, who is a monster on the sidelines and can go grab just about anything you throw at him. Devin Lauderdale will likely be the key receiver in the passing game next year, but don’t sleep on True Freshman JF Thomas either, who has great size and athletic ability.

#6 Oklahoma State
OSU benefited from a solid passing attack at times last year, and the only seniors they lost from last year that had any receptions were two running backs and a defensive lineman. It’s safe to say that the Cowboys will have a good bit of experience next year at the receiver position. The reason they come in at number six, is that while they have a good group of consistent receivers, they don’t have that go-to guy that commands a double team, nor do they have anybody with outstanding measurables. The big negatives that will hinder the OSU passing game are the loss of senior Desmond Roland, and the dismissal of Tyreek Hill for the alleged assault of his pregnant girlfriend. Hill was a great distraction to the defense in most of the games he played in and put up some big numbers as a true freshman.

#7 Texas
If you read my 2015 Big 12 QB Rankings, you could start to formulate a guess as to how the Texas passing game might look next year. As UT loses its top two receivers, its wide receiver position group is an absolute coin flip. Texas some guys like Dorian Leonard, Lorenzo Joe, and incoming Freshman John Burt with good physical tools; but at this point, nobody is proven. Coach Strong will likely be relying heavily on the running game in 2015, and may end up with receivers getting frequent man coverage. This year is shaping up to be feast or famine for the Texas offense.

#8 West Virginia
The Mountaineers lose two seniors who were fantastic in the 2014 season. Kevin White seemed to take over games at will, and Mario Alford was a great complimentary receiver. In the wake of their departure, West Virginia returns a total of five touchdowns, including one by a seldom-used tight end, Elijah Wellman. Skyler Howard will be looking to develop a go-to receiver in the offseason, and his biggest help may come in the form of true freshman Jovon Durante. But as they say, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

#9 Kansas State
The Wildcats return only two touchdown receptions from non-running backs, thanks to the departures of senior leaders, Tyler Lockett, Curry Sexton, and Zach Trujillo. Bill Snyder will have his work cut out for him on the offensive side of the ball with the departure of Jake Waters, as well. The Wildcats haven’t recruited particularly well in that area lately either, so stay tuned to see what “The Wizard” has in store in “The Little Apple.”

#10 Kansas
Oh, Kansas. How unenviable a position you are in this season. Their best pass-catcher, TE Jimmay Mundine has exhausted his eligibility and left for the NFL Draft. And after the season, Nigel King made the mind-boggling decision to try and get signed at the next level with his eye-popping one touchdown catch and 44.8-yards per game. Without anybody left in the cupboard, this will be a rough year for the Jayhawks.

Next: 2015 NFL Draft Coverage Schedule