With Melquise Stovall leaving the program, how comfortable are you with the WR depth? Who potentially could make that next jump up in terms of production?
Piotr Le: Stovall—in my opinion—is a great slot option with his agility and speed, as well as a slippery ball carrier with the ball in his hands. I think Jeremiah Hawkins can provide the similar level of athleticism from the slot, but the lack of reliable speed depth was palpable with Demetris Robertson out of the rotation.
Overall, I think Taariq Johnson will be a huge contributor to the team with him taking over Jordan Veasy’s role as a big WR. Vic Wharton III missed the spring practice; however, two kids, a full course load (he walked this May), and his experience at Cal and Tennessee mean that he probably was allowed to miss Spring Camp with the understanding that he will come back to Fall Camp without missing a beat. Add the return of DRob and the emergence of Kanawai Noa I think we have a solid two deep in 3 WR/1 RB/1 TE sets if we add Duncan (4* WR) and the return of Ray Hudson. However, I have a bad feeling that we’re another DRob injury away from not being able to go deep on passing plays.
boomtho: Losing Stovall is unfortunate, but I actually feel OK with the WR depth. My personal view is that WR top-end talent and depth is a relatively less important contributor to top-flight college football offenses—versus the OL and QB play, which are much more fundamental. On top of that, we have a number of guys who have flashed really solid potential and/or contributed heavily already—D-Rob, Noa, and Vic—and I expect bigger things from Taariq Johnson and Jordan Duncan as well.
thedozen: Stovall was possibly the team’s best wide receiver outside of the top three, but WR does seem to be a position of strength for the Bears. Stovall’s departure could mean good things for players like Taariq Johnson, Jeremiah Hawkins, and Greyson Bankhead who were ostensibly beneath him on the depth chart.
Rob Hwang: For me it’s pretty simple, this system is built around multiple WRs being able to run multiple routes from multiple positions. That’s a mouthful. So some youngster is going to step up (Hi Taariq!), but in terms of body type, the perfect fit would be Jeremiah Hawkins. He fits the mold of being able to make guys miss after the catch—and would be a weapon using his speed from the slot.