Best in the Big Ten - Wide Receivers

A look at the expected top five wide receivers in the Big Ten with the 2014 season still months away.

1: Stefon Diggs - Maryland

Diggs did his usual thing to start last season, averaging over 17 yards a catch and hauling in five or more passes in five of Maryland's first seven games. He recorded 179 yards in Week Two versus Old Dominion and had eight catches against Wake Forest.

Unfortunately, injury cut Diggs' season short, as the Terrapins struggled on offense in his absence. With Diggs, Maryland was 5-2. Without: 2-5.

When healthy, Diggs is one of the most explosive players in the country (848 yards, six touchdowns as a freshman in 2012). He's a threat to catch or run the ball, and even though Maryland may be in for a tough first season in the Big Ten, look for Diggs to prove himself as one of the best playmakers in the conference.

2013 stats: 34 receptions, 587 yards (17.3 average per), three touchdowns

2: Kenny Bell - Nebraska

Is Bell a possession receiver or an explosive playmaker? Maybe he's a little bit of both. Bell averaged over 1y yards per catch and had eight touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012. He had two more catches, up to 52, in 2013, but his average fell to 11.1 and his touchdowns decreased to four.

Now a senior, Bell will be counted on to lead the way as the Huskers go-to receiver.

2013 stats: 52 receptions, 577 yards (11.1 average per), four touchdowns.

3: Devin Smith - Ohio State

Smith hauled in 44 catches last season despite a string of one-catch games (four) to end the regular season. Two catches for only five yards in the Orange Bowl was Smith's line in the final game of the season, pointing to the need to become more consistent in 2014.

Smith has the potential — he had eight touchdowns last season, six as a sophomore, four as a freshman. Adding yardage and more catches to his knack to the end zone could make him one of the best receivers in the Big Ten.

2013 stats: 44 receptions, 660 yards (15.0), eight touchdowns.

4: Shane Wynn - Indiana

Wynn went from 68 catches as a sophomore to 46 last season — but his touchdowns increased from six to 11. Will not having Cody Latimer opposite Wynn hurt or help his production? That remains to be seen.

Indiana's offense should always produce big numbers for receivers. Look for the 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior to be among the conference's leaders in catches.

2013 stats: 46 receptions, 633 yards (13.8 average per), 11 touchdowns.

5: Tony Lippett - Michigan State

Lippett's numbers last season were impressive, especially considering he had two games where he didn't make a single catch. The rising senior found his rhythm in mid-October, recording four or more catches in seven of the Spartans' final nine games.

With Connor Cook returning and a running game that should rank among the best in the Big, look for Lippett to enjoy a productive final season in East Lansing.

2013 stats: 44 receptions, 613 yards (13.9 average per), two touchdowns.


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