College Football News Preview 2022 preseason unit rankings, looking at the top ten Wide Receiver, Tight End situations and rankings by conference.
Great quarterbacks make good receivers better, offensive schemes matter, and talent, of course, beats everything else. Teams are doing a better job of figuring out how to make all three of those things happen.
It’s not just about having one great receiver anymore – although, that might be enough depending on the style of play. Teams need lots of options, a good No. 3 target, and having an elite tight end is gold.
You’d think the college game would turn tight end into a glamour position considering all the stars in the NFL cranking up the production several levels, but it’s just not happening quite yet – which is one of the teams on this list is so high.
The wide receiver and tight end unit rankings are about depth charts and options along with the talent, and the ten best on this list are all in for huge seasons.
CFN Preview 2022 Preseason College Football Unit Rankings: Wide Receivers, Tight Ends
Welcome to the transfer portal era. Drake London is off to the NFL, and Bru McCoy left for Tennessee, but the corps might be even more talented getting Mario Williams from Oklahoma, Brenden Rice from Colorado, Terrell Bynum from Washington, and 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison from Pitt. Those parts go along with three of the top four receivers from last year – Tahj Washington, Gary Bryant, and Kyle Ford – along with tight end Malcolm Epps.
Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are about to rip up the NFL, and Ohio State still has one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the country. Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the best receiver in last year’s bunch catching 95 passes for 1,606 yards and nine scores, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming are about to rise up and rock with their bigger roles, and Cade Stover is about to be a 20+ catch tight end.
There might not be any nationally known stars, but this group is about to power up one of the best passing games in college football. Dontayvion Wicks is a devastating home run hitter averaging over 21 yards per catch with nine touchdowns last year, all-around key cog Keytaon Thompson led the team with 77 catches, and Billy Kemp IV is a No. 1-caliber mid-range target who caught 75 passes.
It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Georgia might have one of the most promising tight end rooms in the history of college football. Brock Bowers led the team with 56 catches, Arik Gilbert is one of the most talented players in the country who just needs to put it all together, and Darnell Washington is a big pass catcher who can hit. All three are terrific NFL prospects – now the receiving corp has to catch up. Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell are experienced, but losing Jermaine Burton – the team’s best receiver – to Alabama hurts.
The Longhorns were already great at receiver, and then they added Isaiah Neyor from Wyoming, Agiye Hall from Alabama, and Tarique Milton from Iowa State to deepen the corps. Xavier Worthy is an NFL target, leading the team with 62 catches averaging almost 16 yards per catch last season, and No. 2 target Jordan Whittington is back, too.
The fantastic passing game got even more help with Bru McCoy a big-time talent from USC coming in. Leading receiver Cedric Tillman returns after catching 64 passes for 1,081 yards and 12 scores, Jalen Hyatt will grow into more of a role, and there’s good depth.
Josh Downs has all the tools to be deep in the hunt for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver. He caught 101 passes for 1,335 yards and eight scores last season, but he’s not alone with Antoine Green a big target who averaged over 19 yards per catch. The tight end combination of Kamari Morales and Bryson Nesbit might be the best in the ACC, and the latest recruiting class is full of new options for the receiving corps.
The recruiting for the receiving corps has been terrific under head coach Mike Locksley, and now all the building will pay off. Rakim Jarrett led the team with 62 catches, Dontay Demus is an NFL-level deep threat averaging over 18 yards per catch, and there’s more help coming in with Jacob Copeland transferring in from Florida.
It would’ve been nice if big-time deep threat Jalen Nailor was back, but the Spartans caught a break with leading target Jayden Reed returning for another year. He scan stretch the field, Tre Mosley is a dangerous No. 2 target, and getting fantastic tight end Daniel Barker to transfer over from Illinois will be a big boost for the attack.
10 Wake Forest
The high-powered Demon Deacon offense lost 71-catch playmaker Jaquarii Roberson, but they return loaded with three of the top four wide receivers along with tight end Blake Whiteheart. AT Perry is an All-American-caliber No. 1 target, and sophomores Taylor Morin and Ke’Shawn Williams know what they’re doing.