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Oklahoma Sooners Football | Who Steps Up to Replace Sterling Shepard (and Durron Neal)?

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners lost a ton at wide receiver after last season in Sterling Shepard and to a lesser extent Durron Neal

While I don't think you can ever just plug in a player(s) and fill the void left by Neal and Shepard (my pick for NFL rookie of the year if he stays healthy), the Sooners will be attempting to do just that.

Shepard had 86 receptions for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. Then when you factor in the quiet production of Durron Neal (44 catches for 559 yards), you are looking at total of 130 receptions for 1,847 yards and 14 TD's that the Sooners will be looking to replace.

Here are a few players that MUST step up and become an even greater part of the Sooners offense this season. If they don't, it will be a long, long year in Norman.

The Obvious Choice

Ultimately THE guy this year has to be Dede Westbrook. Westbrook finished last season with 46 receptions for 743 yards and 4 touchdowns. I don't in any way believe that it's crazy to say that Westbrook needs to at least duplicate those number (if not flirt with a 1000 yard season) for the Sooners to be successful.

The Seemingly Forgotten Man Last Year

For all the hype (and rightfully so) about Mark Andrews had just 19 catches for 318 yards although he did have 7 TD receptions. This number HAS to increase. It might be a stretch to say he should come close to Jermaine Gresham numbers (66 receptions for 950 yards and 14 TD's), but I will definitely be disappointed if Andrews doesn't catch at least 40 passes.

The Newcomers

Someone out of the group of AD Miller, Jeffery Mead, and Dahu Green needs to provide something. My bet is on AD Miller. This group will hopefully have 25 receptions between them.

The Grandpa

Graduate transfer Geno Lewis will play at role at some point. Considering he already has his degree we will simply refer to him as grandpa. I believe Lewis will have 15-20 receptions this season.

Joe Mixon

Mixon quietly had 28 receptions last season and should have every chance to improve upon that this season. He is quite possibly the Sooners most dangerous and explosive player on offense. You simply must get him the ball in a number of different ways.