Power Ranking Top 25 College Football Wide Receivers 2016 Season
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We’ve ranked the top quarterbacks and running backs in college football, it’s now time to take a look at the wide receivers. This position is extremely deep, as it features big playmakers, speedsters and talented upperclassmen who probably could have gone to the NFL already.
Here are the top 25 wide receivers in college football for the 2016 season.
USA TODAY Sports
1. JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC - JuJu Smith-Schuster finished fourth in college football last season with 1,454 receiving yards and moved the chains on 57 of his 89 receptions. USC having an elite wide receiver seems to be the norm these days.
2. Calvin Ridley, Alabama - As a freshman, Calvin Ridley had over 1,000 receiving yards on 89 receptions. Now that he’s experienced and the main option for the Tide’s offense, Ridley is truly just getting started.
3. James Washington, Oklahoma State - Only 14 of James Washington’s 53 receptions failed to pick up a first down, and he had two or more touchdowns in three of his final six games. Washington makes the Oklahoma State offense go.
4. KD Cannon, Baylor - In two seasons at Baylor, KD Cannon has over 100 receptions, nearly 1,900 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Few stretch the field the way Cannon does.
5. Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech - Isaiah Ford had at least one touchdown reception in six of his last eight games and had 227 receiving yards in the bowl game against Tulsa. Ford deserves more national attention.
6. Corey Davis, Western Michigan - Corey Davis was fifth in the country last season with 1,436 receiving yards and has 27 touchdowns in his last two seasons combined. Davis makes the Broncos a team to keep an eye on this season.
7. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M - Christian Kirk had 21 receptions of 15 or more receiving yards last year. Kirk is one of the biggest playmakers in the SEC, and he’s just entering his sophomore season.
8. Mike Williams, Clemson - Mike Williams would be higher if he wasn’t returning from a neck injury last season that forced him to play just one game. In 2014, Williams averaged more than 18 yards per catch and had six touchdowns.
9. Jehu Chesson, Michigan - Jehu Chesson had six touchdown receptions in his final four games and enters his senior season as the playmaker Michigan needed on the outside. Chesson is due for a true breakout season.
10. Gabe Marks, Washington State - Gabe Marks has just under 2,000 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns in his last two years. Pass happy offense or not, Marks is the real deal at WR and makes the Cougars a threat in the Pac-12.
11. Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State - Thomas Sperbeck was sixth last season with 1,412 receiving yards and had 16 receptions of 25 or more yards. Keep in mind Sperbeck did this with questionable play at quarterback.
12. Chris Godwin, Penn State - Chris Godwin had 1,101 receiving yards on 69 receptions and could be even more of a factor if Penn State’s offensive line allows its quarterback to flourish.
13. Shelton Gibson, West Virginia - Shelton Gibson moved the chains on 27 of his 37 receptions and had 887 receiving yards despite not catching a single pass in two games. Gibson is the playmaker West Virginia's offense needs to be successful.
14. Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky - Taywan Taylor was third last year in college football with 1,467 receiving yards and was second with 17 touchdowns. Taylor is nice to have considering QB Brandon Doughty is no longer around.
15. Richie James, Middle Tennessee - As a freshman, Richie James had at least six receptions in every game and was tied for second in the country with 108 catches. James is a nightmare position receiver who puts pressure on opposing defenses.
16. Fred Ross, Mississippi State - Fred Ross has nearly 1,500 receiving yards in his last two seasons and is also a threat on special teams. Ross may give Mississippi State his best season yet as he enters his senior year.
17. Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska - Jordan Westerkamp has been one of the more consistent receivers in the Big Ten the last three years and has 56 career receptions of 15 or more yards. Westerkamp has the ability to takeover a game.
18. Travis Rudolph, Florida State - Travis Rudolph enters his junior year as the main guy for Florida State and looks to build on his 200-receiving yards performance he had in the bowl game against Houston.
19. Malachi Dupre, LSU - LSU isn’t known for its passing game much, but Malachi Dupre is an extremely talented wide receiver who had 10 of his 43 receptions produce 25 or more yards. Dupre could be a monster if Brandon Harris improves his consistency at quarterback.
20. Zay Jones, East Carolina - Zay or Isaiah, he still has 241 receptions and more than 2,500 receiving yards in three seasons for the Pirates. Jones is one of the more surehanded receivers in college football.
21. Stacy Coley, Miami - Stacy Coley missed three games due to injury and still finished sixth in the ACC with an average of 62.6 receiving yards per game. When healthy, Coley is a difference maker who puts pressure on the back end.
22. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana - 50 percent of Simmie Cobbs’ 60 receptions produced 15 or more receiving yards and he had no less than 84 yards in his last four games. Cobbs gives the Hoosiers some serious spark offensively.
23. Ryan Switzer, North Carolina - Ryan Switzer has 147 receptions, 1,791 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons with North Carolina. You get the feeling Switzer is going to have his best year yet for the Tar Heels.
24. Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech - Trent Taylor was fifth last season with 99 receptions and has 16 receptions the last two seasons of 25 or more yards. The Bulldogs will remain dangerous offensively.
25. Keevan Lucas, Tulsa - Keevan Lucas was averaging a little over 100 receiving yards per game before he hurt his knee. Remember, Lucas racked up 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns back in 2014. Guess what? He’s back.