WRs: 2013 vs. 2014

Submitted by Tate on January 1st, 2014 at 12:26 PM

After reading the First Look: Offense 2014, I started thinking about the now freshman class of receivers compared to the incoming class.

(It's kinda fun to have some depth here!)

Since we really have seen nothing as far as playing time so far from the '13 class, and the '14 class seems to be much higher rated, I was just wondering what you all think we will see next year.

Who do you think gets more playing time?






Victor Valiant

January 1st, 2014 at 12:46 PM ^

I'm sure the reports of York making unreal catches, Dukes having improved his speed considerably and Jones being the second coming of Braylon Edwards will start trickling in right before the Spring Game. 

In all seriousness though, it is really impossible to tell how the 2013 class of WRs will turn out. Jones has a lot of ability, as has been reported. York and Dukes are possession guys from everything I've seen. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the guys turns into a Marquise Walker type sticky hands possession guy. Maybe not on that level, but something similar. I could see Jones turning into a player similar to Adrian Arrington. 


January 1st, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

I believe this is what you'll see next year:


I think Harris redshirts for a ton of reasons. One he was injured for a lot of his senior season. He could also afford to put on about 15 pounds. Also he is a deep threat and needs to polish his route running. With Funchess/Darboh/Chesson Michigan has deep threats. 

Now why do I think Canteen? Because he's played against some of the best high school competition and looked good doing it. He's also by far the best route runner out of any recruit from either class. He might be arguably the best route runner on the team. He also has the benefit of coming in early. Harris comes in early too, but he'll be more rehabbing. 

I also think Jones could see some time too in the slot. The other reason I think Canteen is because he's a slot guy. Jones and Canteen are probably the two best slot guys. So, I believe they both get playing time. Redshirt Harris and Moe Ways. 


January 1st, 2014 at 7:40 PM ^

Well to be fair he was never a 5 star on any site, even before being injured. Though I do agree that they usually don't; there are some circumstances that they do redshirt. He's probably behind Funchess/Darboh/Chesson/one of the redshirted guys/Canteen. 

However, if he comes in and can get healthy there's a shot he gains time. Michigan does need an elite down field threat. His recruiting pages say he has elite hands and speed, so he's got the two most important things needed for a deep threat. I would love to see him come in and earn playing time. I'm just not sure it'll happen because he'll need some strength. Otherwise, good cornerbacks will just jam him at the line and disrupt his routes. 


January 1st, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

I think Harris needs to add a lot of weight, but I hope he's the real deal.  Canteen may be the most ready, since he's enrolling early.  

To answer your question, I think Dukes,Jones,York, only because they've been around longer and hopefully have added the needed weight.


January 1st, 2014 at 12:52 PM ^

They're kind of sanwiched in there between two good sets of WRs: Darboah/Chesson in '12 and Harris/Canteen in '14. None of those '13 guys exactly bring any 'wow factor' and I haven't heard anything about them except that York was getting increasing hype toward the end of HS.

Honestly, wouldn't surprise me to see none of the '13 guys ever be significant contributors


January 1st, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

Actually, Jones probably has the best chance at being the starting slot guy next year. Duke is a possession receiver as many others have said. I do agree that he won't see a ton of time with all the tight ends and big receivers. With Darboh(6'2"), Funchess(6'5"), Butt(6'6"), and Bunting(6'7"), I don't really see a huge need for a possession receiver. 

Not to say he won't ever make a contribution, because I believe he will get some snaps. I just don't think he'll ever be a prominent guy. York I'm not very sure about because I didn't follow him a ton. Jones though is the real deal and like I said, should be the starting slot receiver next season. I think he'll eventually split time with Canteen, but he should contribute a pretty good amount. 

j.o.s.e maizenblue

January 1st, 2014 at 12:55 PM ^

IMO, Gardner has a better opportunity playing WR in the NFL than QB. Let the Morris era begin... As far as 2013 vs 2014, I agree that the group coming in has a higher ceiling and can see Harris and Darboh compete for some major playing time... 


January 1st, 2014 at 12:59 PM ^

I love what Morris did as much as the next guy but he is in no way ready to lead the team just yet. It would be a travesty to push Gardner to WR. He is our best player without a doubt and needs to play QB. The NFL can worry about what to do with his skills after, although I do think he can play QB at the next level. 


January 1st, 2014 at 1:54 PM ^

You do not start a QB to show recruits the style of play you want to run. You start a QB because he is best at his position. Morris looks to be good for the future, but Devin is a really good QB. He cut down on his turnovers as the season progressed, and can be very accurate when givin time. He could have a very good season next year and could be a great NFL QB.

j.o.s.e maizenblue

January 1st, 2014 at 4:17 PM ^

Im not 100% sold that Gardner is that much better... Dynamic? Absolutely. Overall skill better? Im not so sold.. Also, its pretty obvious Gardner was frustrated in himself and regressed every week. Frustration will not keep us competitive and its contagious (hence, comments from players after the BWW bowl game). All I'm saying is that if Morris has a year like Gardner did last year, it's going to benefit us more the following year than if Gardner as another year like he did. My point with the recruits is that the coaches need to show that they can develop and win games with the players they've recruited. I think a player like George Campbell needs to see that. 


January 1st, 2014 at 4:43 PM ^

Never judge a QB that receives no protection. Gardner regressed, as did his protection. If you put him on Notre Dame's or OSU's offense, he'd probably be a Heisman candidate. DG had no protection, no run game, and an inept play caller most of the year. His running ability (or the threat of his running ability) was our biggest asset this year. We probably only win 4 games without #98.


January 1st, 2014 at 7:00 PM ^

"Also, its pretty obvious Gardner was frustrated in himself and regressed every week."

No, it's not obvious. That's retarded. The guy threw 10 picks in the first 6 games. He threw 1 pick in the last 6 games. Furthermore, his record-setting performances against Indiana and Ohio State came in the second half of the season. The last time you saw him on the field, he was tearing up OSU on a broken foot. How is that regression? I don't know what newspapers, blogs, etc. you're paying attention to, but stop.

j.o.s.e maizenblue

January 1st, 2014 at 9:48 PM ^

I think you're being a little dramatic... Gardner came out to play against ohio and I'm not going to discredit his numbers against Indiana, but look up the numbers Purdue put up against them, I believe it was pretty close to 500 yds passing in that game as well. The interceptions dropped, but do you want to explain the fumbles and yards for loss that continued to get worse and cost us games (btw, 2-4 was our record in the final 6 games). Your boisterous comments on the topic, lead me to believe you feel that Gardner is a lot better of a player than Morris, but all I'am saying is that I dont think their is. A lot will change between now and next season, but if they are almost equal going in I would rather see the younger player develop and gel with the other players, which happens to be young.


January 2nd, 2014 at 11:19 AM ^

You're entitled to your opinion about who should play and why. Just don't base it on things you call "facts" that aren't actually facts. I don't care about Purdue. What do they have to do with anything? Does the fact that Purdue did well mean Devin Gardner regressed? I'm not being dramatic. Your statement was dumb. Don't make dumb statements, and I won't have to point out the silly points of your argument(s).


January 2nd, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

"The guy threw 10 picks in the first 6 games. He threw 1 pick in the last 6 games."


The guy got sacked 2x as often the last 6 games, averaged less passing touchdowns the last 6 games, and averaged 1/10th the yards per carry the last 6 games... and his qaurterback rating was pretty much a wash.


Seems to me he just traded interceptions for holding the ball and taking a sack.


Average game 1st 6:

14/24 (58.9%)

213 yards passing

1.8 TD

1.7 INT

143.5 Rating

1.7 sacks

13 Carries, 73 yards (5.6YPC)

1 Rushing TD


Average game 2nd 6:

20/33 (61.3%)

281 yards passing

1.7 TD

0.2 INT

148.0 Rating

4.2 sacks

14 carries, 7.3 yards (0.52YPC)

0.8 Rushing TD.


1st half Devin is (per game) - 286 yards total offense, 2.83TD, 1.67INT

2nd half Devin is (per game) - 288 yards total offense, 2.5TD, 0.17 INT


January 2nd, 2014 at 11:58 AM ^

So his statistics (except sacks, which are largely a function of the OL) were stagnant or improved between when Michigan played the likes of CMU/Akron/UConn....to when he played a bunch of Big Ten defenses.

Somehow I don't see how that's "regression." If I have 150 rushing yards against Eastern Michigan but only 90 against Alabama, that doesn't automatically mean I'm a worse player.


January 2nd, 2014 at 4:33 PM ^

"So his statistics (except sacks, which are largely a function of the OL) were stagnant or improved"



Worse -

Sacks. Yards per rush attempt.  Rushing TDs.


Stagnant -

Completion %, Passing TD, QB Rating


Better -



His statistics were largely stagnant, with the few cases where he improved offset by getting worse in other areas.


"Michigan played the likes of CMU/Akron/UConn....to when he played a bunch of Big Ten defenses."


Average DFEI rank of 1st 6 opponents: #60

Average DFEI rank of 2nd 6 opponents: #44


Not really a huge difference.





January 2nd, 2014 at 7:33 AM ^

Perhaps, and I hope so. Yes he did well but my point is, there is no factual basis for thinking the gap between Gardner and Morris is a narrow one. I think he is capable of being a bigtime QB, but he was not asked to do much Saturday night. 


January 1st, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

You mean the RS SR QB who twice set single game passing yard records during his first full year as a starter with a terrible OL should play WR? And the true sophomore QB who had a decent performance due to a limited/easy playbook should play QB?

snarling wolverine

January 2nd, 2014 at 12:17 AM ^

I think Gardner is the starter next year, but why do we need to downplay/ridicule Morris's performance?  I thought he showed a lot for a freshman - he was decisive, got rid of the ball quickly, pretty accurate and showed some good mobility.  I'd still rather start Gardner, but I feel very good about the QB position for next year and would have confidence in Shane if he's out there for whatever reason.



January 1st, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

For Michigan's sake, Drake Harris needs to be on the field out of all of those guys.


We already have guys that can do what Ways/York/Jones can do, Harris is the one with big-play ability. Its easy to forget b/c he didn't play this year, but the highlights of him making circus catches in traffic was AJ Green-esque. He doesn't have the size yet (nor is he 6'4 like he's been listed), but enrolling early should help him transition quicker.


Freddie in the slot could probably be an upgrade too. We'll see.