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The Cal Wide Receivers And Tight Ends For 2014

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Who is going to be catching the ball for Cal in 2014???

Thearon W. Henderson

TwistNHook:  So, what are people's thoughts on the WR/TEs going into 2014.  This is actually a position of strenght, but losing Rodgers is going to hurt for sure.

boomtho: This is the position group I'm most excited about next year. We appear to ridiculously deep at WR, with Treggs, Harper, Lawler, Harris, and Davis all legitimate threats to stretch the field and make plays (and that doesn't even account for Hudson, Powe, and Brown who have all shown flashes). Assuming the Bear Raid gets into its groove this year, this depth could prove very helpful as we ramp up the tempo. Franklin and Dykes are actually going to have some tough decisions when determining who gets on the field. One thing that could make the difference is how the WRs play in the run game. By virtue of not really playing TE's, the WR's are going to be crucial to the success of the run game. I am definitely not knowledgeable enough to know who our best run blocking WR's are, but hopefully they are also our best pass catchers!

Avinash Kunnath: Richard Rodgers was such a maddeningly inconsistent player at Cal. He had great athletic talent, would have one spectacular play here and there, and would just have games where he'd be totally absent from the proceedings. So I don't know if we'll really miss him, considering we went 4-20 with him as our starting tight end. He'll do better with Aaron Rodgers because Aaron Rodgers, but he was not a good match with Zach Maynard or the Bear Raid.

The Bear Raid doesn't really need tight ends as much as they need solid blocking wideouts who can seal the perimeter for the outside wideouts on screens and space the field a la Oregon. Stephen Anderson seems to be pencilled in and Bryce Treggs is a pro who can work in any spot on the field, so we should see more consistency at those positions this season.

The issue with Cal is getting that gamebreaking player who can stretch the field vertically. We had plenty of threats last season but none of them really made the secondary worry about getting burned deep. Is that why Trevor Davis is likely going to start this season? Can he be the one that soften things up and makes Goff's job easier by blazing deep? Can Kenny Lawler move up from a promising redshirt season and be just as dangerous on the other side? This will decide how dangerous Cal can become offensively--getting those deep plays that lead to quick scores. It was a huge reason Cal could almost never seem to break 20-30 points in any given game.

Nick Kranz: Avi brings up a key point. I don't think Cal is lacking at all in players capable of getting open and catching a pass - they probably have more guys who can do that than they do spots in the starting lineup for wideouts.
But how much better will they be as blockers this year? The blocking ability of Oregon's receivers in space always impresses and enrages me, and it's a critical component to their offense. I didn't see too much of that last year. The offense needs to develop the ability to turn 5 yard routes into 10-15 yard gains.

Nam Le: Don't forget that some of that blocking effectiveness is compounded by the pace they're able to consistently work at -- it's a lot easier to block guys out there when they're tired, which we don't always manage. A lot of the offense's issues last season were inseparable from -- or at least all influential on -- each other, in that regard.

Avinash Kunnath: Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper are almost always on the field because of their blocking (Treggs has been particularly good at holding up on his blocks in the past).   Stephen Anderson joined them last season--he is probably our best pure WR blocker and I imagine will be featured a lot as the primary blocker on quick WR screens.

Now obviously, with no TEs on the roster, we're not going to have any bruisers out there. It'd be ideal to have a Johnny Mundt type who is a total mismatch that can beat LBs deep and is too big for secondary guys to handle, especially when there are questions about our ability to throw deep.  Does the Bear Raid need a tight end, or do you see someone stepping up as our new deep threat? 

Vlad Belo: As far as ability to get open and catch the football, I like the WR group that we have.  Harper and Treggs are the mainstays and the safety blankets whom Jared Goff likes to go to.  But I am impressed with the talent we have in the rest of the group, particularly Kenny Lawler and Maurice Harris.  And I have always been a fan of Darius Powe.

Catching the ball is the least of our worries with these guys. As the others have mentioned above, we didn't have consistency in downfield blocking.  Blocking is a lot about attitude and want-to, which makes it no surprise that Treggs and Harper are probably two of our best blockers.  If we are going to do some damage with our short passing and screen game, we are going to need to have or receivers do a better job of blocking downfield.