Preseason breakdown: Wide Receivers
Part III of the previews. This time I turn my attention to the wide receivers.
Consensus heading into the season
“If a tree falls in the woods…” Because there are serious concerns if BC will even throw the ball this year, no one is really talking about our WRs. It’s unfortunate that much like last year, BC will have a deep and talented WR group that won’t really have a chance to show their stuff.
Backups and Hopefuls
Colin Larmond, Jr.
Since many of the names on the roster above committed during the pass-happy Steve Logan-Matt Ryan era, there were some rumblings of discontent and transfers. Fortunately all the guys with upside and talent remained.
The Real Question
We are hearing that Tranq’s schemes are a hybrid of his philosophies, a bit of Logan leftovers and a few adjustments for the talent on the field. That is all well and good when it comes to play design and play calling. The question on my mind is what are the WRs going to be instructed to do once the play breaksdown. Starting with the Paul Peterson days, BC QBs and WRs started becoming much more aggressive and consistent about heading downfield on broken plays. Logan and Ryan went deep with even more regularity. This only made sense since we had smart QBs and decent lines that could provide extra protection. This aggressiveness led to numerous big plays. We didn’t see it as much last year as Crane-Davis were more inclined to run and also lacked the downfield accuracy. I hope to see a few bombs away moments this year because I think our guys have the capability to turn them into TDs.
My bold prediction
This has less to do with the regular season and more to do with next spring but I think Rich Gunnell will be drafted next year. While that might not seem like a big deal, do you realize Kelvin Martin was the last BC wide receiver taken with an NFL draft pick? That was 1987! Now consider all the offensive talent we’ve had since then and the thousands of passes completed yet none of those guys were considered elite talents. Gunnell will hopefully change that as he’s got a good combination of size, speed and hands.
What keeps me up at night
That we ignore this group. Think back to last year against NC State. Crane put up big numbers but much of the credit was due to the WRs who made big plays and pulled in tons of balls. We almost stole the Music City Bowl when Larmond burned the Vandy DBs late in the game. There is talent here. But if we hunker down and only throw 15 times in a game, we’ll let a great pool of guys waste away. Even if the QBs are shaky we need to air it out. In part to keep the opponents’ D honest and in part because we have some playmakers.
Perhaps I am being gushing too much about a group of returning players that only caught 94 balls collectively last year. I guess rewatching the ACC Championship Game was a reminder that their productivity was less about talent and more about play calling and QB play. I think they should be able to fill any hole left by Brandon Robinson. I also think the continued maturity and development of Larmond and Momah could pay huge dividends this year.