Monday we started looking at the Big 12 position rankings, starting with the quarterbacks but what about the guys they throw the ball to? When it comes to NFL caliber on the offensive side of the ball the Big 12 may be more stacked at this position than any other. In fact, the talent runs so deep that there isn't much separation (if any) of the top three units in the conference.
DISCLAIMER: This is probably your best opportunity to call me a homer but before you click send on that email you might just want to keep in mind that I am a homer.
1. Oklahoma - In 2009 the receiver position was a liability for the Sooners. Outside of Ryan Broyles the receivers were plagued by dropped balls and poor routes. In 2010 Broyles emerged as one of the most explosive receivers in the nation, Dejuan Miller was playing as good as he ever had as a Sooner before he was injured and Kenny Stills was a Freshman All-American. All three are back and will be valuable targets for Landry Jones along with tight end James Hanna who provided some electrifying moments at the end of the season.
2. Texas A&M - Jeff Fuller was a 1,000 receiver who averaged 14.8 yards per reception. He's a receiver who can catch anything that comes his way. Get the ball in his area and he'll bring it in. He'll team up with Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu to make a legitimate threat as one of the best trios in the conference.
3. Oklahoma State - If we're going to crown Landry Jones as the top passer in the conference by looking at his overall results then we have to do the same for Justin Blackmon. In 2010 he led the Big 12 in total receiving yards (1,782), yards per game (148.5) and receiving touchdowns (20). All of that earned him the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver. The Cowboys have a bit of a larger drop off to their second and third options than Oklahoma and A&M do but that's not to say the Pokes receivers are bad. Senior Josh Cooper averaged 10.8 yards per reception last year and Hubert Anyiam is looking to get back on track in 2010.
4. Missouri - The Tigers may not have an established deep threat at receiver but what they do have worked pretty well last season. T.J. Moe averaged 11.4 yards per catch last year and tallied 1,045 total receiving yards. Tight end Michael Egnew is one of the best in the conference and hauled in 90 receptions last season. Senior Jerrell Jackson caught fifty passes in 2010 for an average of 13.1 yards per catch.
5. Baylor - Kendall Wright was Robert Griffin's top target last season. He caught 78 passes for 952 yards and seven touchdowns. Wright was complimented by speedster Josh Gordon who averaged an eye popping 17 yards per reception.
6. Texas Tech - The Red Raiders are replacing their top two leading receivers from 2010 but have plenty of options left starting with juniors Alex Torres and Austin Zouzalik.
7. Texas - The loss of speedster Marquise Goodwin hurt the Longhorns in more ways than one. Not only will Texas miss the play making ability that his speed brings but also his experience. Sophomore Mike Davis showed flashes of his potential last season and there are a ton of expectations on redshirt freshman Darius White.
8. Iowa State - While the quarterback battle in Ames has yet to be settled its pretty clear that Senior Darius Reynolds is expected to be the top receiving target in 2011. He'll be complimented by Darius Darks and Josh Lenz.
9. Kansas - While the Jayhawks lack true star power from the receiver position Tim Biere could develop into one of the best tight ends in the Big 12.
10. Kansas State - Converted quarterback Chris Harper is the leading returning receiver for the Wildcats but KSI's game plan has to involve getting the ball to Tramaine Thompson in space.