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Oregon Football

Fall Camp Preview: Wide Receivers

October 7, 2020
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The wide receiver room – not all that long ago nearly devoid of elite playmakers -- has seen an influx of talent over the past couple of seasons. To be successful, the group needs to improve not only depth, but also add players who bring different skill sets to the table.

Johnny Johnson III (3), senior

The 6-0, 198-pounder from Chandler (Ariz.) took a huge step forward last season to become a go-to guy for Justin Herbert. He finished the year with 57 catches for 836 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Johnson progress was a welcome surprise after he struggled with drops his sophomore season. With Dillon Mitchell leaving, Oregon had a big hole at wideout, and no one was quite sure who would fill it.

In the end, Johnson elevated his game, and he figures to play a similar role this year. While he might not be a pure burner, he works the intermediate routes superbly and can create separation quickly off the line.

Johnson should be a big help to whichever quarterback replaces Herbert. Because he gets open quickly, he’ll provide easy, early opportunities and prevent a quarterback from having to take the time to make multiple reads.

In a full season, Johnson would’ve had a chance to join an elite club of Oregon receivers with 1,000 yards in a season. Still, he figures to be Oregon's top guy heading into camp.

Devon Williams (2), sophomore

The 6-5, 209-pound, freakishly athletic newcomer has been talked about as much as someone who’s been on the team for years. While he’s yet to take a snap in an Oregon uniform, expectations are already sky high for the USC transfer.

You understand the excitement when you turn on his tape, as he looks like a gazelle on the football field. He has long strides and is able to create separation at all levels of the field.

In short, Williams offers a skill set that hasn’t been seen in Eugene in many years.

I saw the Lancaster (Calif.) product practice a handful of times in the spring, and it's easy to see why so many fans are pumped to see him play. With Juwan Johnson graduated, Oregon has a opening outside, and Williams seems poised to take it.

Williams still must beat out multiple talented wideouts,some of whom have been in Eugene far longer. But if he’s able to do so, he could be in for a big debut season.

Mycah Pittman (4), sophomore

The 5-11, 198-pounder from Calabasas (Calif.) had an injury-plagued freshman campaign, but when he was healthy he showed out. Pittman racked up 18 catches for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns in just seven games; many think he could become a difference-maker out of the slot.

Pittman scored crucial touchdowns in the Washington and USC victories, so of course he became an instant fan favorite. He wasn’t a factor until October, then played in six straight games before breaking his arm against Arizona.

Pittman returned for the Rose Bowl, where he had 4 big-time catches for 30 yards.

Tyler Shough and Pittman have had great chemistry during practices, perhaps in part because last year they practiced together on the second team. If Shough is the Ducks' quarterback, that rapport could pay off in 2020.

Jaylon Redd is an established weapon in the slot, so Pittman is going to have to prove that he should be the starter. Either way, I expect his per-game numbers to skyrocket this season.

Jaylon Redd (30), senior

The 5-8, 183-pounder from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) can be a bit of an forgotten hero for Oregon. He tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns with 7, grabbed 50 catches for 465 yards -- and added 2 touchdowns on the ground in just 6 carries.

Redd doesn’t average nearly as many yards per catch as a guy like Johnson, but what he does bring is creativity. He’s a great “gadget” guy, capable of lining up anywhere and always a threat with the ball in his hands.

Under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, Redd could see specific plays drawn up to get him the ball in space. Whether he's a starter or not, I would expect him to finish in the top four in receiving numbers.

Josh Delgado (83), sophomore

The 5-11, 190-pounder from Carson (Calif.) ended up seeing time in nine games last season, finishing with 11 catches for 147 yards. While the true freshman didn’t make a massive contribution statistically, it's clear that he had the trust of his coaches.

One of the great debates over the off-season was about which young wideout would end up playing a bigger role, and Delgado's name kept coming up. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he wins the day with quickness and athleticism.

Delgado could push Williams and Johnson for more snaps on the outside. Although his role isn’t clear yet, he’s a guy I’m very excited to watch in camp.

Bryan Addison (80), sophomore

Another soph who could push for big minutes is this 6-5, 194-pounder from Gardena (Calif.). Addison played in 11 games and recorded 18 catches for 203 yards and 1 touchdown. Mario Cristobal has spoken highly of Addison, so obviously he has the confidence of the staff.

For such a tall receiver, Addison is also deceptively fast and able to create separation. He’s learned to rely on more than just his speed, which is why his role slowly increased as the season went on.

Addison has a ton of upside, and if he made the necessary improvements during the off-season he absolutely could be in line for a bigger role.

Daewood Davis (17), junior

The 6-2, 186-pounder from Hollywood (Fla.) already has switched positions several times -- forced by attrition to play defensive back -- but it seems like he’s finally arrived on offense. Last season, he appeared in nine games and grabbed 9 catches for 89 yards and 1 score.

Davis is an absolute burner. He didn’t get many chances last year to turn on the jets, but he could become an X-factor for Moorhead.

Davis in unlikely to grab 7 receptions a game, but just finding a way to get him a few touches could play dividends. When he lines up outside, defensive coordinators are forced to guard against the deep ball.

Davis could became a staple in this offense if he proves he’s able to be an effective deep ball threat. If he can’t, we might not see him consistently.

Jaron Waters (85), redshirt freshman

The 6-3, 190-pounder from Oxnard (Calif.) became an early fan favorite after he blew up late in the recruiting cycle and Oregon was able to secure his commitment. While he has flashed big-play upside, he wasn’t able to exhibit it on the field due to a foot injury that required surgery.

Healthy now, Waters has looked good in practices so far. It’ll be important for him to have a good fall camp to prove he can be the next guy up.

Lance Wilhoite (86), redshirt freshman

Like Waters, the 6-3, 180-pound speedster from Nashville (Tenn.) was injured most of last year, so it’s a challenge to evaluate him. However, just turn on his high school tape and you can see exactly what type of player he is.

Wilhoite is a speedy guy who has great ability to pick up yards after the catch. He uses his athleticism to make it difficult for defenders to tackle him in space.

This will be Wilhoite’s first fully healthy camp, so his is a name to watch out for in practice reports.

Isaah Crocker (88), sophomore

The 6-1, 180-pounder from Sacramento (Calif.) doesn’t have the speed of some of the younger guys, but guys like Johnny Johnson prove you don’t need top-end speed to be productive. Crocker is more of a possession receiver, and that's always a welcome addition to any depth chart.

Crocker faces an uphill battle for playing time, but every off-season one player elevates his game. Could that guy be Crocker in 2020?

Kris Hutson (14), freshman

The 5-11, 171-pounder from California powerhouse St. John Bosco is a shifty 4-star who could earn snaps right away. He’s really dynamic with the ball after the catch, and he uses his athleticism to create immediate separation.

Hutson could line up anywhere on the field. Even with all of these young guys battling to win a spot on the two-deep, Hutson should be right in the mix.

Tags: Football
 
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