Wide Receiver Group Next Year

Submitted by Jtre1212 on January 4th, 2018 at 1:57 PM

2017 WR Stats

JR. Grant Perry: 25 catches 307 yards 1 TD (11 games)

FR. Donovan Peoples-Jones: 22 catches 277 yards 0 TD (13 games)

SO. Kekoa Crawford: 17 catches 243 yards 1 TD (11 games)

FR. Tarik Black: 11 catches 149 yards 1 TD (3 games)

SO. Eddie McDoom: 11 catches 81 yards 0 TD (12 games)

SO. Nate Schoenle: 4 catches 41 yards 0 TD (11 games)

FR. Nico Collins: 3 Catches 27 yards 0 TD (4 games)

FR. Oliver Martin: Redshirt

Our offense really took a step back this year due to bad QB play and our young wide receivers didnt help the situation at all. Next year everyone will be 1 year older and we'll actually have some experience at the position. 

Perry: Tailed off towards the end of the year, but will be back as our elder statesman slot man. Not sure why we didnt force feed him the ball more this season as he was the only guy who could consistenly get open. The offense should be opened up alot more next year so I expect to see more of the sophmore Grant Perry. 

Peoples-Jones: Started theyear off slow because he was behind Black and Crawford but injuries to both of those guys had him as our only WR for 3-4 games. Saw lots of improvement in his route running as the season went on. Was the #1 WR in the country out of hs for a reason. We should see a big jump in year 2 as a returning starter. 

Crawford: I may be a Crawford apologist but i think he can still be a solid receiver. He had some terrible luck this year (some his fault of course) but others are out of his control. Had 1 TD called back agianst Florida and another missed when he was wide open. Had another called back against MSU, and many other plays that were missed throught the season. His main problem is making contested catches. Hes got to start winning some of those 50/50 balls. Will at worst be the #3 outside guy next year as hes probaly the best blocker of the group. Will get his starting job back or be in the top 3. 

Black: Had 2 solid games in the 3 that he played. We really could have used him during the season but it is what it is. Should be fully healthy by spring ball. Has some catching up to do expericence wise but is def one of the most talented guys in this group. If the injury doesnt linger he will be a special player to watch. Will be somewhere in that starting group of 3. 

McDoom: The coaches need to be more creative in getting him the ball. He needs to have 2-3 touches every game, or at least send him on some deep routes. He'll never be a full time starter guy but as a specialist player he can be useful, just have to get him the ball in space. Maybe line him up in the backfield on 3rd downs and get him matched up with a LB or something. Will be the backup slot next year and gadget guy.

Collins: I wish he could have kept his redshirt but with how the season played out I see why he didnt. I thought he made some nice plays in the bowl game and showed off his athleticisim while high pointing the ball. Going to be in a tough spot next year as he's probably going to be #4 on the depth for outside receiver but hes too talented to not get on the field. Reserve wideout next year with possibly some red zone plays. 

Schoenle: Made a few nice plays but was mostly used as a blocker. Don't see anything changing next year. Reserve WR.

Martin: Got his redshirt this year. With Perry and Mcdoom back he probably wont see too much time next year. Maybe about the amount of time that Nico got this year. But in 2019 as a redshirt sophmore the slot position should be his for the next 3 years.

Freshman WR: Any freshman that we bring in will unless something crazy happens get an automatic redshirt. 

The future looks bright for our WR group. Add that in with the TE's that we have and whoever the QB is next year will have plenty of options to throw to. 

Comments

butuka21

January 4th, 2018 at 3:44 PM ^

Having a QB would help.  The Qb play was awful, the play calling with the exception of the Ohio game I thought was consistantly bad.  The situational play calling was bad.  hopefully Shea is eligible or I believe next year will be a mirror image of this year but probably worse since the schedule is harder.  Just being honest.  I don't see anything special in Peters that maybe other people do.  He looks like a solid backup QB for a big program.  It's only a short sample size but the bowl game didn't help my perception of him.  I do believe the Wide recieving core will be better next year, or you will see a jump in production.  A lot of young guys out there, and I thought Black was there best receiver out of all of them so having him back healthy will be a plus.  

old98blue

January 4th, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

Black is special the others will come along we need someone to step up a QB to get them the ball. The Black loss was big at the time but as time went on I don't think it made a difference because we wouldn't have been able to get the ball to him anyway

kaz

January 4th, 2018 at 2:07 PM ^

I see our core receivers being DPJ and Black and then Collins.

I don't agree with your optimism on Crawford.  Granted there were a couple bad breaks for him, but when the ball was thrown accurately he just dropped so many balls.  I don't see him ever being anything but a hit or miss receiver.

Grant, McDoom, Schoenle will contribute.

My prediction is Martin will start slow and become more and more of a reliable target as the year goes on

Jtre1212

January 4th, 2018 at 2:20 PM ^

The main reason I disagree is that wide receivers take time to develop. I think us as fans tend to think guys should just come in and be great but thats not usually the case. This was his first year starting as a true sophmore. For example Jehu Chesson's redshirt sophmore year he had 14 catches for 154 yards...2 years later he was an NFL draft pick. Def not saying crawford will be that but lets not write people off until at least their 3rd season. If he doesnt produce next year he will certainly be passed by all the guys in the class behind him. 

kaz

January 4th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

I agree it's not ideal, but you didn't list options.

There's Grant ... and ... and ... and ...

I can't see Grant taking the bulk of throws as a slot receiver.  I did list him a a contributor.  But as I keep pointing out, we barely had 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.  There are repurcussions to that

CalifExile

January 4th, 2018 at 2:34 PM ^

+1 for getting it exactly right on Crawford. His numbers would look a lot better if the TDs weren't called back and he's the best blocker. There are so many options now that it's ridiculous (fun) to predict who will start and where, but Crawford as the starting possession receiver is as likely as anyone else. Jason Avant 2.0.

UMxWolverines

January 4th, 2018 at 2:51 PM ^

I agree mostly, but as a 5 star top ten player in the country that should mean DPJ should have been able to come in and make an immediate impact. I'm not saying he should have had 40 catches, but he wasn't good. Especially compared to Rison from MSU.

Goggles Paisano

January 4th, 2018 at 4:29 PM ^

I also think that since DPJ didn't have anyone opposite him (a true #1 to take the best cover corner and maybe even safety help) to take the pressure off, that impaired his ability to put up better numbers.  It seemed like he was the only WR on the field for much of the 2nd half of the season.  Couple that with the QB play and his numbers were what they were.  

garde

January 7th, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

And Rison likely had his dad teaching him techinique since he was a kid.

DPJ might be off the charts athletically, but I wasn't overly impressed. Doesn't mean he wont develop into an All-American, but I see a guy who has trouble making separation, doesn't go up to win the ball (not physical enough), and needs to get better at route running. All of those should improve over the nextt couple years.

In the first few games of the season before his injury, Black looked liked a MUCH more polished frosh than DPJ. He looked the part of a 5 star recruit and not DPJ. Also, we NEED to get a better punt returner. He just NEVER looked comfortable back there. 

Chiwolve

January 4th, 2018 at 2:54 PM ^

Chesson had legitimate top-end speed (was a track star in HS). In terms of route-running, polish, and even hands -- he never fully developed in the way that most elite WRs do, but the top-end speed made up for that. Also, you don't need to run the absolute perfect route when DBs are turning their hips early because they are afraid you will blow by them. Finally, Crawford is an OK blocker for WR -- Chesson was elite.

In summary,Crawford has the same flaws in his game (perhaps worse) as Chesson did, without the redeeming qualities to make up for it. I hope to be proven wrong, but I'm much more optimistic about the future for DPJ and Black

BroadneckBlue21

January 4th, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

Crawford just needed to be reliable, which he was not. He dropped most passes, didn’t fight for balls, didn’t reach for passes, gave up position, and did not have much route running skill. I think Chesson and Darboh were better in their first year, despite also having inconsistencies. I wonder how he started so many games; he must be a great practice player.

I hope he improves on all of his issues, but he had a year on the freshmen and was not far ahead of them. I would count on all four of this year’ freshmen to be part of the rotation.

I’d like to see Martin and McDoom be given first dibs with Amber Thomas at PR duties: explosive and agile shorter guys. DPJ needs to concentrate on just WR.

gpsimms not to…

January 4th, 2018 at 3:48 PM ^

Not so much that I'm really optimistic about him, but instead that I think he's shown more than DPJ. I know DPJ has the recruiting profile and all that, but his numbers this year are terrible, and they include a fair amount of drops as well. (Caveat: all receiver's numbers are terrible, because QB play has been bad, as everyone knows.)

Anyway, here are their advanced stats. As I said, none are good.  But DPJ's are *particularly* bad, and Crawford's are definitely better.

 

Giving up on getting the formatting right.  Here is a direct link to the page: https://www.footballstudyhall.com/pages/2017-michigan-advanced-statistical-profile

smwilliams

January 4th, 2018 at 6:59 PM ^

Man, I forgot about FSH. There's a ton of interesting stuff that sort of backs up what our eyes have been telling us.

Offensive line is great at run blocking and terrible in pass protection. Defense's only issue was giving up "big plays" in both phases. 

Higdon and Evans were both fairly good. The WRs were not at all except for Black in a limited amount of targets.

That said, IIRC Bill C has said that one of the biggest predictions of team success is returning receiving yardage. I'd expect the group to get a lot better in 2018.

Blau

January 4th, 2018 at 9:56 PM ^

There was more than enough scouting material and camp accolades to prove it. Frankly I don't think he was targeted enough downfield and when he was, the ball never reached him. Maybe the costly mistakes and just being a freshman receiver made him seem smaller than he is?

conradb42

January 4th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

Agree except for McDoom and Schoenle. McDoom is bad. 

Schoele is fine but will likely just be too far down the list. DPJ, Black, Collins, Martin, Perry then the TE with McKeon, Gentry, and Eubanks. And if we cross our fingers Evans will get a few targets a game. I think Schoenle is just left out.

kaz

January 4th, 2018 at 2:27 PM ^

I agree they aren't going to be major players, but McDoom has been a gadget receiver and has had a lot of successes on reverses and the like.

Schoenle has been a blocking receiver.

I just listed them both as "contributors."  Did you actually disagree with that?  That would basically mean they aren't going to get any meaningful snaps

kaz

January 4th, 2018 at 2:36 PM ^

... McDoom is a speedy guy, I still like the reverses he's capable of running.  It was a lot harder to do that this year with no passing game, but if we can get any kind of passing game and get the other teams off the LOS, it would be nice to throw that at them once in a while.

And Schlonle is a good blocking receiver and he makes some nice possession catches.

I'm with you that I don't see their roles growing, but I'm not necessarily averse to continuing to use them for what they already do well

Blau

January 4th, 2018 at 10:01 PM ^

as an end-around speedster and that eventually took him away as a receiving threat. Not sure if he'll ever get the chance to be more than a screen pass or quick-slot receiver. Also if our class from last year pan out, do we really need him to be more than that?