Season in Review: Wide Receiver

Arizona had success at wide receiver last season, but also battled some inconsistency. Read on for a look at the position this past season and what it holds for the future.

Arizona was supposed to be extremely strong at wide receiver last season and while it did relatively well, there were some inconsistencies. The majority of the receivers are coming back and with some guys off of redshirts, there’s little reason to believe it won’t be a strength this upcoming season.

Cayleb Jones is easily the best of the bench and the ideal situation has Anu Solomon being able to find him more consistently.

On first look, Jones had a heck of a season, catching 73 passes for 1,019 yards and nine touchdowns. However, he also only hit the 100-yard mark four times and three of those were in the first four games.

Jones needs to be Solomon’s top target and that needs to happen each game. The offense is significantly better when he is on his game and able to stretch the secondary downfield.

Samjie Grant should also be a consistent option and the guy that gets the most targets behind Jones.

He finished with 45 catches for 718 yards, but will probably be known more what he did off the field at the end of the season.

Whether that is fair or not is irrelevant. The quickest way to get people to forget about those types of events is to have success and Grant is going to be asked to do even more than last season.

Austin Hill is gone and although he seemingly did not have a great season, Hill still finished third on the team with 635 yards and second with 49 catches.

So who replaces him?

The guess here is that Solomon will spread the ball out and you will see increased production from a few players.

For starters, it is about time Trey Griffey broke out. He battles inconsistency, but was able to get 405 yards last season. With more targets, it would make sense that he would be able to build on that total.

Also, Nate Phillips is a bit of a forgotten man. He missed five games due to injury and seems to be progressing just fine. Figuring he is able to get healthy, there should be some relatively high expectations for Phillips.

Davonte’ Neal would not have moved to defense if Arizona was not confident in its slot receivers. Tyrell Johnson is going to see an expanded role and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff utilizes his speed.

The staff also has Jonathan Haden if it decides to keep him at wide receiver and then Kaelin Deboskie and Tony Ellison coming off redshirts.

That’s not to mention David Richards, Shun Brown, Cedric Peterson, and a possible transfer.

As long as Arizona’s receivers can be more consistent, Solomon will have plenty of weapons at his disposal.

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