It’s that time again! The summer months are upon us and our favorite way to pass the time is by speculating on how specific positions will shape up in the Big 12. The Heartland Sports writers give their take on a specific position, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.
|Heartland Sports Consensus Receiver/Tight End Rankings|
|1. Oklahoma State||29|
|6. Texas Tech||15|
|7. Kansas State||11|
|8. Iowa State||10|
|9. West Virginia||9|
1. Oklahoma State | Returning the likes of Tylan Wallace bodes well for a program breaking in a new quarterback. However, Dillon Stoner’s role likely increases in the upcoming season. The two compiled over 2,000 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns and will give defenders fits all year long. It’s hard to bet against this core of an always talented group.
2. Oklahoma | Possessing the best tight end in the conference in Grant Calcatarra and an all-purpose player like Ceedee Lamb, the Sooners look to be explosive once again in nearly every situation. Bringing in top tier talent during the recruiting, the rest of the expected contributors remain largely unproven.
3. Texas | Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay anchor this unit as the season quickly approaches. Attempting to absorb the void left by the top receiver, the duo possess the talent to compete. However, the rest of the equation has been marked by a question mark as the running backs collected the remainder of the receptions.
5. Texas Tech
7. Iowa State
8. West Virginia
9. Kansas State | Struggling on the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats top three receivers failed to eclipsed the 1,500 yard mark combined. In a league of high-flying offenses, that’s not a good sign. Someone must step up and present themselves as a consistent go-to target.
10. Kansas | Unable to bring in top notch talent, the disparity between the top and the Jayhawks quickly makes itself known. Until the pool of talent increases, KU sits at the bottom.
1. Oklahoma State | Call me a homer, but the Cowboys have been extremely talented at receiver for a while, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Tylan Wallace is a pre-season All-American for a lot of people, and with the ridiculous numbers that he put up last season as a sophomore, he has a good chance to end up there. Add in fellow junior Dillon Stoner, and the Cowboys have some solid targets for newcomer Spencer Sanders to choose from.
2. Oklahoma | I put the Sooners at no. 2, but really they could be 1B. CeeDee Lamb could end up being the best receiver in the conference—maybe the country. With Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Lamb will be the primary target for Jalen Hurts. Don’t forget about tight end Grant Calcaterra. He can haul in passes with the best of the big boys.
3. TCU | The Horned Frogs could be some weird version of a dark horse to win the Big 12 this year (maybe), but if that is to happen, it will be in large part due to Jalen Reagor. Reagor is arguably a top 10 receiver in the country, and he will be key to TCU putting together a successful season.
6. Texas Tech
7. Iowa State
8. West Virginia
9. Kansas State | The Wildcats finished dead last in the conference last year in pass yards, and I don’t expect them to do much more of that this season, but who knows, maybe they will prove me wrong.
10. Kansas | Poor Jayhawks. They rarely seem to break out of the bottom slot in any type of Big 12 football rankings, and their receiver corp is no different.
1. Oklahoma | I get the case for Oklahoma State at No. 1…I really do. However, to place the Pokes here would be to ignore the depth that Oklahoma has with pass catchers. Like OSU, the Sooners will boast one of the top pass catchers in the Big 12 with CeeDee Lamb. They also have the best tight end in the conference in Grant Calcaterra, an up and coming speedster in Charleston Rambo, and the most talented freshman receiving class in the country.
2. Oklahoma State | Tylan Wallace will compete to be the top receiver in the conference. Dillon Stoner and Landon Wolf are talented but also a drop-off from Oklahoma’s second and third options. The wild card here is how former quarterback Jelani Woods makes the conversion to tight end.
3. Texas | The Longhorns will miss Lil’Jordan Humphrey in 2019 but the question is, how much? Collin Johnson is a problem for defenders at 6-6, and Devin Duvernay will be one of the faster receivers in the Big 12. Getting solid production from freshman Jake Smith could push the Texas offense to heights unseen in the Tom Herman era.
4. Kansas State
7. Texas Tech
8. West Virginia
9. Iowa State | The biggest loss at the receiver position in 2019 belongs to Iowa State who lost Hakeem Butler to the NFL. His 22.0 yards-per-catch average was the most by any player in the country with 35 catches or more.
Hope is alive in Ames though as Tarique Milton and Deshaunte Jones will now have the opportunity to showcase their ability as Brock Purdy’s top targets. Also, don’t sleep on tight end Charlie Kolar either.
10. Kansas | Les Miles is rebuilding the Jayhawk football program and 2019 will be the first steps of the foundation. It’ll take time but fans should expect to see progress in the little things. Miles will try to pair two JUCO transfers, in Ezra Naylor II and Andrew Parchment, with Daylon Charlot to get his passing game functional under quarterback Thomas MacVittie.
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