Washington State

Pac-12 Wide Receiver Unit Rankings

2015 Pac-12 Wide Receiver Unit Rankings

Which teams have the best receivers going into the season? The Pac-12 wide receiver unit rankings from top to bottom …

1. Oregon

A year ago, the receivers were unproven and learning on the fly. Entering 2015, no one in the Pac-12 has a better rotation. The youth that comprised the corps last fall is a year older, and about to be bolstered by the return of budding star Bralon Addison from an ACL injury. Byron Marshall, Darren Carrington, Devon Allen and Dwayne Stanford all averaged more than 13 yards a catch, and jackrabbit Charles Nelson will get touches even if he focuses on defense. If TE Pharaoh Brown returns from a serious knee injury, it’ll be an unexpected bonus.

Unit Ranking: 9

2. Cal

Defending QB Jared Goff is tough. Stopping him when he returns all but one of last year’s top eight pass-catchers will be borderline impossible. The Bear receivers will be an eclectic mix of size, speed and experience headed by acrobatic Kenny Lawler, underrated Stephen Anderson and steady Bryce Treggs. That Goff has pitched to these guys for two full seasons provides a unique advantage against opposing defensive backs.

Unit Ranking: 8.5

3. Arizona

The ‘Cats caught a huge break when Cayleb Jones chose to return to school, because he’s already close to being NFL-ready. And even after the graduation of Austin Hill, Arizona will again be very deep in the receiving corps. Only two of the 10 players who caught at least a dozen balls were seniors, and Samajie Grant and Trey Griffey are only at the midway point of promising careers.

Unit Ranking: 8

4. USC

In the next-man-in world of USC pass-catchers, JuJu Smith is poised to succeed Nelson Agholor as Cody Kessler’s preferred target. But who replaces Smith to help give the Trojans diversity in the passing game? There are plenty of exciting possibilities, as is always the case on this campus. Proven options, though, are scarce. Adoree’ Jackson can moonlight on offense, but Kessler needs steady output from the likes of Darreus Rogers, Steven Mitchell, JUCO transfer Isaac Whitney and the untested tight ends.

Unit Ranking: 8

5. Washington State

As is often the case when Mike Leach is on campus, there are no shortages of experienced receivers in Pullman. Even after losing Vince Mayle and Isiah Myers to graduation, Dom Williams and River Cracraft are two of four returning Cougars who caught at least 25 balls in 2014. And dynamic Gabe Marks, who led the program in receiving in 2013, is back after sitting out all of last year.

Unit Ranking: 8


The core is in good shape with veterans Jordan Payton, Thomas Duarte and Devin Fuller. Still, the Bruins are looking for more pop from a receiving corps that failed to sizzle even when Brett Hundley was in the huddle. Payton is the undisputed front man, though the staff hopes that young Jordan Lasley, Mossi Johnson and Alex Van Dyke will blossom into contributors this fall.

Unit Ranking: 7.5

7. Stanford

Although there might not be a Ty Montgomery on the roster, there are a lot of capable hands with which Kevin Hogan can connect this fall. Devon Cajuste becomes the new No. 1, as he begins his march toward the 2016 NFL Draft. And Michael Rector has the speed to occasionally channel Montgomery. It’s the Austin Hooper-led tight ends that give the Cardinal an edge on many Pac-12 programs.

Unit Ranking: 7.5

8. Oregon State

The only thing that might hamstring the Beaver receivers this year is quarterback inconsistency. Otherwise, this unit should be sneaky-good now that everyone is healthy and more seasoned. Victor Bolden is set to become a poor-man’s Brandin Cooks, underrated Richard Mullaney is back to full strength and Jordan Villamin and Hunter Jarmon are beginning to peak following solid rookie years.

Unit Ranking: 7.5

9. Arizona State

ASU needs help in the passing game, so sure-handed RB D.J. Foster shifted to the slot. It’s a step in the right direction, but who offsets the loss of star Jaelen Strong on the outside? Cameron Smith was supposed to start, but he’s done for the year with a knee injury. Ellis Jefferson, UCLA transfer Devin Lucien and even true freshman Terrell Chatman will be counted on to exploit the perimeter of defenses.

Unit Ranking: 7.5

10. Colorado

The foundation was set when 106-catch veteran Nelson Spruce elected to return for his senior season. But to rise in the Pac-12 rankings, the Buffaloes need their young receivers to take some pressure off No. 22. If Bryce Bobo and Shay Fields can make opposing defenses pay for slanting the field toward Spruce, the entire offense, especially QB Sefo Liufau, will benefit.

Unit Ranking: 7.5

11. Washington

The Huskies are not without talent in the passing game. But losing game-breaker John Ross to a season-long injury is tough to overcome. Jaydon Mickens will need to pick up even more of the slack, while guiding young receivers Dante Pettis and Brayden Lenius. Washington will continue to make good use of its tight ends, as Joshua Perkins vies for more exposure and touches.

Unit Ranking: 7

12. Utah

The receivers will likely be Utah’s weakest unit on offense, if not the entire team. The graduations of Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay create a power outage on the outside. Kenneth Scott is a sound possession receiver, Tim Patrick is back from a leg injury and Bubba Poole has moved from running back to slot receiver. But none will take the top off defenses. Fingers are crossed that touted Gavilan (Calif.) College transfer Deniko Carter qualifies.

Unit Ranking: 6.5