Football position breakdown: Wide receivers

Third round. We'll discuss wide receivers in this edition of our University of Memphis football position breakdown. The Tigers are fairly deep at wide receiver, but here's what's hard to fathom: The best receiver on the roster — and the one that's shown the most potential throughout camp — might not even play this season.

From Marcus Rucker to Cam Baker, there's some legitimate experience on the receiver depth chart. There's also plenty of youth to go around, too, from guys like Ryan Byrd to Tyriq Patrick. If the receivers can be consistent and help newly-named starting quarterback Andy Summerlin, the season will probably go a lot smoother.

Today, we'll break down the projected No. 1, No. 2, and slot receivers.

PROJECTED DEPTH CHART 1. Keiwone Malone (if eligible). Malone transferred from Alabama earlier this summer to be closer to his ill grandmother. While Malone red shirted for the Tide last season, he was also suspended by Alabama coach Nick Saban for an undisclosed violation of team rules at the time of his transfer. Memphis has submitted paperwork to the NCAA in order to obtain a hardship waiver, but at this point Malone's immediate eligibility appears to be a long shot.

However, if the NCAA does grant Malone the waiver, he instantly becomes the Tigers' best receiver — if not player — on the team. With his quickness, he is a more-than-capable return man and slot receiver. He also has excellent hands and an explosive burst off the line of scrimmage. Malone would provide the Tigers with a downfield threat they haven't had in quite some time.

2. Marcus Rucker. Rucker, a junior, has been with the program for three years and has developed further each year. Although he sat out of training camp for a while with a knee injury, Rucker will most likely be the most reliable contributor for the Tigers' receiving corps. Last season, with an unpredictable rotation of quarterbacks, Rucker caught 41 balls for 704 yards and eight touchdowns. If Porter effectively settles on Summerlin this season, Rucker stands to have a breakout year.

3. Tannar Rehrer. Rehrer proved to be a sufficient possession receiver for the Tigers last season. He closed out the season third on the team in receptions with 23 for 284 yards. If Rehrer can again be a dependable target for the Tigers this year, things will open up down the field for freshmen like Patrick, Byrd, and Kevin Wright.


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