What we learned: Wide Receivers

Arizona has more than enough talent at wide receiver. Read on to see who is the most versatile, overlooked, and more.

We continue take a look at each position group coming out of spring ball and none may be as strong as what Arizona has at wide receiver.

Who is the most versatile receiver?

This could have probably been answered by watching just one practice. Arizona is going to find numerous ways to get Davonte Neal the ball, whether it is in his normal receiver position, as a running back, or through end arounds. That's not to say that other receivers can't do the same thing, because a guy like Samajie Grant probably can. However, what makes Neal so versatile is that he is one of the best players on the field every time he touches the ball. Yes, he needs to prove that in an actual game, but the reviews from practice have us believing.

Just how good is Cayleb Jones?

If you said you think Jones is one of the five best receivers in the Pac-12, we wouldn't argue. He is certainly one of the biggest and strongest, but Jones has deceptive speed as well. We would be shocked if he did not come in and make an immediate impact. From what we saw during the spring, Jones is strong enough to push his receiver off his route, but also athletic enough to go up and get it. Arizona probably does not have a better red zone threat than Jones, so you can safely assume he is going to get numerous jump balls in the end zone.

Are there enough balls to go around?

With the questions at running back, we think so. Figuring that Rich Rodriguez has confidence in his quarterbacks, we can see the offense moving back towards the pass. With the talent at wide receiver, it just makes sense. One of the most impressive aspects of the spring is that each receiver we talked to was excited to be surrounded by other great receivers. Sure, they probably are not going to go on record if it is the opposite, but these guys seemed genuine in their comments.

Rodriguez isn't stupid. He is going to do his best to make sure all of his receivers are happy and get their chance to make plays. Some are going to get the ball more than others, but our guess is that there are enough passes thrown to keep all of them happy.

Which receiver can move his way up?

David Richards is unique in that he is absolutely huge. In fact, he is so big that we questioned Rodriguez as to whether or not he could move to tight end, and the head coach felt he posed a big enough mismatch at receiver to stay there.

We don't expect Richards to make the move to being the top receiver on the team, but it certainly would not surprise us if he got more touches than people think, especially in scoring territory. If Richards can stay healthy, he is going to be a nightmare to cover on the outside.

Is there a receiver being overlooked?

Nate Phillips missed the entire spring one season after putting together one of the best freshman campaigns in the conference. With the addition of Jones and Neal to go along with a healthy Austin Hill, it is somewhat understandable that Phillips is getting overlooked.

However, keep in mind that he was very consistent last year and became one of Arizona's biggest play makers. There is absolutely no reason why he should be ignored or overlooked and figuring he gets healthy, our guess is that people are going to remember him early in summer ball.


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