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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: Wide Receivers Preview

Some Mountain West schools lost elite talent, but there are still some NFL caliber receivers to keep an eye on

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Fresno State at San Jose State Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Recruiting season is nearly behind us, and spring football is just weeks away. We are going to spend the next couple months previewing position units in the Mountain West. Please remember that with the extra COVID year there is some uncertainty on each roster heading into spring football. With that being said, let’s take a look at how each team currently sits at the wide receiver position.

The Good

Fresno State

Jalen Cropper and Josh Kelly will be two of the top receivers in the conference and should put up some crazy numbers with Jake Haener returning. I expect this offense to be elite and their talented wide receiver corps will play a big part in their success.

San Jose State

I like what the Spartans did to address the wide receiver position this offseason. The addition of Nevada transfer Elijah Cooks should pay immediate dividends. I also saw some young talent emerge late in the season. With Chevan Cordeiro at the helm, I think this passing attack will look more like the 2020 version of San Jose State.

Colorado State

This team is stacked at wide receiver. Not only do they bring back Dante Wright and Ty McCullouch, they also add Melquan Stovall and Tory Horton in the transfer portal. On paper, this team has the best wide receiver group in the Mountain division.

The Bad

Utah State

The Aggies haven’t updated their roster as of this writing. But we do know that Thompkins, Nathan, and Scarver are gone. Bringing back McGriff is a huge lift, but this group will have a lot to prove heading into the 2022 season. However, the Aggies coaching staff has proved that they can fill holes in a hurry. It wouldn’t shock me to see this group be really good in 2022.

Boise State

I am probably going to catch a lot of flack for this, but Khalil Shakir and Octavius Evans leave some big shoes to fill. I think Stefan Cobbs will be a solid number one receiver if he can stay healthy. I also think Eric McAllister and Zamondre Merriweather are future stars. This group should finish the 2022 in the “good” category, but they aren’t there yet.

San Diego State

I like Jesse Matthews a lot and think he has the potential to be an all-conference receiver if the Aztecs can be consistent through the air. After Matthews, there just isn’t enough proven talent for me to feel confident in this group.


I think the Rebels have a really good chance to surprise people through the air. They have been hampered with a revolving door of quarterbacks and wide receiver play has suffered because of it. It wouldn’t shock me to see Kyle Williams emerge as one of the better wide receivers in the conference by the end of the season. But for now, I need to see more production from this group before I feel comfortable putting them in the “good” category.

The Ugly


The Wolf Pack lost pretty much all of their wide receiver production to the NFL or the transfer portal. Young and unproven talent will have to emerge for this team to succeed. It will be interesting to see how much this team airs it out.


I am confident that Timmy Chang will find receivers that can make plays, he developed some great wide receivers while coaching the position at Nevada. But these things take time and the massive roster turnover has put this team in a deep hole.


Losing Isaiah Neyor was a major hit to this team. They worked hard to find a diamond in the rough on the recruiting road, and after having success in 2021 Neyor decided to test his skills at the Power 5 level. This team does not have much returning production at wide receiver and uncertainty at the quarterback position does not help.

New Mexico

This team has struggled through the air for a long time. It is really hard to analyze what kind of talent they have at wide receiver. But the passing game has been a wild ride for this team and recruiting the wide receiver position has suffered as a result.

Not Rated

Air Force

Sorry, there is no way to accurately analyze this group. I would love to know what Air Force fans think about this group that is coming back. Do you think there is any chance that the Falcons will air it out more in 2022?

That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Who do you think has the top group of wide receivers in the Mountain West? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.