August 20, 2009

Preseason wide receiver power rankings


We continue our preseason power rankings at each position with the wide receivers.

You can check out our post-spring practice power rankings here. We will update the power rankings each week during the regular season and release the final rankings for the season after the BCS title game.

The rating of a player and coach can fluctuate each week during the season depending on how they fared the previous week, but the power rankings measure overall career performances as well as their most recent results.


1. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State (6-2/215, Jr.)
: He is coming off a monster season - 87 catches for 1,480 yards. He was second nationally with 19 touchdown receptions, third nationally with 113.9 receiving yards per game, third nationally at 17.9 yards per punt return and second nationally with 9.7 points per game.

2. Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas (6-3/202, Jr.)
: Briscoe caught 92 passes for 1,407 yards and 15 touchdowns last season to set school records in the latter two categories. Briscoe also set school records for most 100-yard games in a season (seven), consecutive 100-yard games (four) and receiving yards in a game (269, against Oklahoma). He has 22 career TD receptions.

3. Damian Williams, USC (6-1/195, Jr.)
: He caught 58 passes for 869 yards (15 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns in his first season with the Trojans. Williams has good size, great hands, runs good routes and knows how to get open.

4. Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati (6-1/190, Sr.)
: He is Cincinnati's most dangerous weapon. He had 81 catches for 1,276 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Gilyard had seven 100-yard games, including against Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. He also returned two kickoffs for scores.

5. Julio Jones, Alabama (6-4/210, Soph.)
: Jones set just about every Alabama freshman receiving record last season by catching 58 passes for 924 yards and four touchdowns. Jones closed the season with 600 more receiving yards than anyone else on Alabama's roster.

6. A.J. Green, Georgia (6-4/207, Soph.)
: As a true freshman last season, Green led the SEC with 963 receiving yards - the third-highest single-season total in school history. Green, who had 56 receptions, also tied for the league lead with eight receiving TDs.

7. Arrelious Benn, Illinois (6-2/220, Jr.)
: His size/speed combo makes him dangerous. He is coming off a 67-catch season, for 1,055 yards but just three TDs. Benn is eighth in school history in catches (121) and seventh in receiving yards (1,731).

8. Golden Tate, Notre Dame (5-11/195, Jr.)
: Tate had 58 receptions last season, for 1,080 yards and 10 TDs. His career average of 18.9 yards per catch reflects his ability to score from just about anywhere on the field.

9. Brandon LaFell, LSU (6-3/209, Sr.)
: LaFell made the jump from complementary receiver to go-to guy last season, when he had 63 catches for 929 yards and eight touchdowns. Given LSU's quarterbacks last season, those numbers are even better than they appear.

10. Jordan Shipley, Texas (6-0/190, Sr.)
: He has battled injuries throughout his career but still has emerged as a big-play threat as a receiver and kick returner. Last season, Shipley had 89 catches for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns.

11. DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss (6-6/228, Soph.)
: Brown arrived amid a lot of hype and lived up to it last season, with 67 catches for 1,117 yards (16.7 ypc) and 12 touchdowns. He has great size and good speed.

12. Eric Decker, Minnesota (6-2/215, Sr.)
: Decker has 177 career receptions - two off the school record - for 2,361 yards and 19 touchdowns. He had 84 catches last season, and 90 is a legitimate goal this season.

13. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (6-3/215, Soph.)
: Floyd may have been as good as any freshman receiver in the nation last season, when he caught 48 passes for 719 yards and seven touchdowns to set school freshman records in all three categories. He missed two full games and most of a third with a knee injury.

14. Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss (5-8/165, Sr.)
: McCluster ranked among the SEC's top 10 in rushing yards, receiving yards, receptions and all-purpose yards last season. He has exceptional quickness and good speed.

15. T.Y. Hilton, Florida International (5-9/168, Soph.)
: Hilton may play for a small program, but he is electrifying with the ball in his hands. He was No. 3 in the nation in all-purpose yardage last season (180.3 ypg), when he scored four ways (kickoff return, punt return, run, pass reception); he also tossed a TD pass. He averaged 24.7 yards on 41 catches last season.

16. Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan (6-5/215, Sr.)
: Anderson enters the season with more receptions (226) and receiving yards (2,864) than any other active receiver in the Football Bowl Subdivision. He has a catch in 40 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the nation. He had 63 catches for 865 yards and six TDs last season and has 153 catches and 16 TDs in the past two seasons combined.

17. Detron Lewis, Texas Tech (6-0/205, Jr.)
: Lewis, who turns 20 today, is a good bet to lead the nation in receptions. He had 76 last season (for 913 yards and three TDs) as a complement to Michael Crabtree. With Crabtree gone, a 110-catch season is a legit goal.

18. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma (5-11/178, Soph.)
: Broyles was the Sooners' No. 3 wide receiver last season, when he had 46 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns. He's expected to be the go-to wide receiver for quarterback Sam Bradford this season, so those numbers should grow dramatically. Broyles also is a top-notch punt returner.

19. Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo (6-0/187, Sr.)
: Roosevelt was recruited as a quarterback but has become a star catching the ball, not throwing it. He set single-season school records for receptions (104), receiving yards (1,402) and receiving touchdowns (13) last season, when he was eighth in the nation in receiving yards per game (100.1).

20. Rashaun Greer, Colorado State (6-1/202, Sr.)
: He didn't catch a pass in his first two seasons, then burst on the scene last season. Greer had 63 catches for 1,114 yards and three TDs, and he was 10th nationally in yards per catch at 17.7. He has good size, is physical and can run.

(Rankings by staffers Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.)

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