Position Analysis: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Like last year, this offseason I will roll out a series of position reports to give you my analysis, expectations and hopefully point out something you did not know. The guys who catch the ball are going first.
WR -- Tony Gonzalez, SR, 5’9, 177lbs
WR --Kevin Challenger, JR, 5’11, 190lbs
TE -- Ryan Thompson, JR, 6’4, 254lbs
Other guys who should see time
WR -- Taylor Sele, SR, 6’0, 203lbs
WR -- Brandon Robinson, SOM, 5’11, 191lbs
WR -- Clarence Megwa, FR, 6’1, 205lbs
WR -- Rich Gunnell, FR, 5’11, 200lbs
TE -- Trey Koziol, SO, 6’5, 259lbs
TE -- Ryan Purvis, SO, 6’4, 261lbs
TE – Jon Loyte, SO, 6’6, 262lbs
TE -- Jordan McMichael, FR, 6’5, 237
BC lost 113 catches, 1, 384 yards and 10 touchdowns to graduating WRs and TEs. Fortunately there is plenty of production returning. None of these guys are playmakers like Blackmon, but I think Gonzo and Challenger represent that best set of hands we’ve had starting at wide receiver in a good five or six years. Neither are speedsters, but both have big play capability. In fact, Gonzo and Challenger should get credit for changing last season. Ryan rallied the team against Wake, but these two had some huge catches in the comeback. Both have my full confidence…and I think both will be an upgrade over the Blackmon/Lester combo.
The starting Tight End is much more of a guess. Ryan Thompson has the most experience of guys who played last year, but transfer Loyte and healthy Trey Koziol and the highly-touted true freshman Jordan McMichael will get chances to start. The Tight End position has been underperforming the past two seasons. In my mind if we can just get some good blocking and minimal drops things will be an upgrade. My guess is that Loyte will be the starter by the end of the year.
Based on their past success, Ryan’s arm and lack of size, I think you’ll see more deep balls this year and fewer crossing routes.
Any of these guys listed could end up leading the team in receptions. In fact if you look back at the past few years some of the top receivers were non-factors the year before (Blackmon in 2005 and Adams in 2001).
We are so boringly consistent that I can already guess how many receptions these guys will combine for: 210 receptions, 2000 yards and 19 touchdowns.