A few weeks ago we began previewing position groups with the quarterback position, and last week we looked at running backs. This week, we are going to turn our focus to the wide receiver position. Some teams had major turnover at wide receiver, but it looks like there are still some very talented groups across the Mountain West. With that being said, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of the wide receiver position for each team in the Mountain West.
This is a really tough group to evaluate, but they improved significantly as the season progressed and Taylen Green became more confident throwing the ball. I expect Eric McCallister to have a breakout season, and Prince Strachan was a surprise in spring ball. If Austin Bolt and Zamnodre Merriweather can get healthy, this will be the deepest group in the conference. Veterans Stefan Cobbs, Billy Bowens, and Latrell Caples will likely be the listed starters, but the younger receivers will give them a run for their money.
Tory Horton and Justus Ross-Simmons might be the most talented duo on the roster. They will likely both be All-Conference receivers with how often Colorado State throws the ball around. Horton might even be a darkhorse pick for Conference Player of the Year. The Rams should have an exciting passing attack.
The Rainbow Warriors may not have the big name receivers that some schools do, but they are going to be running an offense that lends itself to big receiving numbers. I think we see a significant amount of growth from Hawaii’s offense and their wide receivers.
San Jose State
It will be interesting to see how former quarterback Nick Nash does at wide receiver. But with Chevan Cordeiro at the helm and Justin Lockhart as one of his weapons, I like the potential that this group has entering the 2023 season.
San Diego State
Losing Shavers is a major hit, but I think Brionne Penny will put up nice numbers. However, this group is largely unproven and the San Diego State passing attack was wildly inconsistent last year. The production at wide receiver may depend on how much growth Jalen Mayden shows this year.
Outside of Erik Brooks, there isn’t a lot of production returning, and the Bulldogs will be breaking in a new quarterback. I think this group will improve as the year goes on, but I expect some regression in the fall.
The Cowboys are a difficult group to evaluate. They don’t pass the ball well enough to have a highly ranked receiving corps. However, I feel like this group has a lot of upside, but they are very raw and need some time to develop.
The transfer portal has killed UNLV at the wide receiver position and most of their roster lacks significant playing time. However, I’m confident that Doug Brumfield’s skill set will get the most out of this group. I just don’t think there is enough talent in this group for them to perform at an elite level.
The Lobos might have a quarterback they are confident in for the first time in a long time, but this group has underperformed. Some of this is not their fault, but there isn’t enough production or upside to rate them otherwise.
The Wolf Pack have size and potential at the wide receiver position, but they need to prove they can be productive. The Wolf Pack passing attack was atrocious last year. It is hard to see this unit having enough growth to move out of the “Ugly” category.
Outside of Terrell Vaughn, most of the Aggie receiving corps is unproven. The loss of Justin McGriff and Brian Cobbs leave this group with major holes to fill. The Aggies do have some young receivers with solid size and speed. It will be interesting to see if they are ready for the spotlight.
It isn’t fair to evaluate this group. It will be interesting to see if the Falcons try to throw the ball a bit more with their new quarterback.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Who do you think has the best wide receivers in the Mountain West? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.