The Pac-12 Wide Receivers Rankings

Jul. 2 -- The Pac-12 is absolutely loaded at wide receiver and is arguably deeper than any league in the college game. Who's the top dog in this conference? The Pac-12 is led by Cayleb Jones from Arizona, Nelson Spruce from Colorado, Jordan Payton from UCLA and Juju Smith from USC. There are others in this league that should have incredible 2015 seasons...

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This week I am taking a look at the wide receiver position in the Power Five Conferences. The Pac-12 is absolutely loaded at this position. In fact, it may be the deepest group of wide receivers of any conference in college football.

Headlining this position in the Pac-12 is Cayleb Jones from Arizona. This former Texas Longhorn sat out the 2013 season and exploded on the scene for the Wildcats last year. He has size and sneaky speedy. Jones can body defenders and is terrific in the air. Colorado’s Nelson Spruce checks in at No. 2. He’s coming off an extraordinary 2014, where he caught 106 passes for 1200 yards and 12 scores.

The city of Los Angeles is home to the next pair of wide receivers in USC’s Juju Smith and UCLA’s Jordan Payton. Smith was one of the game’s top true freshmen one year ago while Payton is coming off one of the best ever wide receivers seasons for the Bruins.

Sonny Dykes and Cal are loaded for bare this coming season, especially at wide receiver. They place two players on this list in slot Bryce Treggs and outside receiver Kenny Lawler. Mike Leach and the Cougars also have a pair in this group in Gabe Marks and River Cracraft. Victor Bolden is coming off a 72-catch season for the Beavers. Oregon State will need another huge season from him. Of course you can’t have a list like this without a Duck. Devon Allen gets the call for Oregon here. He should be ready to go for fall camp after tearing his ACL in the Rose Bowl against FSU.

To read more on the top ten wide receivers in the Pac 12 check out the feature below.

1) Cayleb Jones (Arizona)

Jones is coming off a giant 2014 season, catching 73 passes for 1,019 yards and nine touchdowns. This red-shirt junior from Austin originally signed with Texas before transferring to Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats. This turned out to be a great move for this 6-foot-3, 215-pound wide receiver. Going into the 2015, he’s the top dog at this deep and talented position from top to bottom in the Pac-12. Arizona has the making of an outstanding offense this fall behind quarterback Anu Solomon and a terrific run game. Jones is the Wildcat go-to-guy. He can get behind the secondary, body defenders and is terrific in the air.

2) Nelson Spruce (Colorado)

Spruce is the leading returning wide receiver in the Pac-12 in receptions, yards and scores. Last year he caught 106 passes for 1,198 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Buffaloes. Those are extraordinary single season numbers, especially considering there’s simply not that much talent around him, though quarterback Sefo Liufau is developing nicely. Spruce, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, has been productive since he started playing as a red-shirt freshman in 2012. He caught 44 passes that season and 55 a year later. Spruce had a great off-season and is ready for another big season ahead for Colorado.

3) Juju Smith (USC)

With Nelson Agholor now in the NFL, Juju Smith becomes the go-to-guy at USC. Based on what he did as a true freshman last year one would think that Smith and the Trojans will be just fine. Smith, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, started a dozen games in 2014, catching 54 passes for 724 yards and five touchdowns. With the experienced and talented Cody Kessler still the triggerman for Southern Cal, Smith’s production should sky rocket this fall. Smith is so versatile, athletic and talented that there was much pre-spring discussion of moving him to defense at safety, where the Trojans are thin. But Smith is sticking to offense and is ready to be the No. 1 target for Kessler and the USC offense. In the meantime, the Trojans need to find a solid No. 2 to take some pressure of Smith.

4) Jordan Payton (UCLA)

Payton returns for his senior season at UCLA after posting one of the best years in Bruins history at the wide receiver position. The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder from Santa Monica hauled in 67 passes for 954 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s clearly the guy for Jim Mora and UCLA and will be counted on heavily this fall as the Bruins break in their talented five-star quarterback Josh Rosen. Payton is a tough, physical wide receiver with terrific hands.

5) Bryce Treggs (Cal)

The Bears will have a very potent offensive attack this fall as they have some serious talent at the skilled positions and one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Jared Goff. Cal is loaded in the passing game, placing two wide receivers on this list. The first is Treggs. He’s the active school leader in receptions (150) and yards (1,550) and has eight career touchdowns. This former St. Bosco Prep star is now a senior with a ton of experience after 27 starts and 33 games played in three seasons. Treggs stars at the H-receiver spot for the Bears, working from the inside. He’s a terrific route runner that’s very dependable for Tony Franklin and the Cal offense.

6) Gabe Marks (Washington State)

Marks will be primed and ready to go for the fall. This fourth year wide receiver red-shirted in 2014. He’s coming off a really good spring practice session and could emerge as the guy for Mike Leach and the Washington State offense. In 2013, Marks hauled in 74 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. Marks, 6-foot-0, 181-pounds, is a big time competitor who loves to challenge defenders. He’s back for the Cougars and is bigger and stronger and ready to help this program light up the scoreboard this season. I realize that he didn’t play last season but he will show the college football world that he deserves to be on this list.

7) Kenny Lawler (Cal)

At 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, Lawyer is a bigger outside target for the super Cal passing attack. He had a big sophomore season in 2014, catching 54 passes for 701 yards and nine touchdowns. Over two playing seasons, Lawler has 14 touchdowns in 10 starts. He has made some spectacular catches in his short time with Cal. Lawler finished the 2014 strong and then really had a terrific off-season getting ready for this fall. He’s bigger, stronger and faster than ever. That’s scary considering the talent at this position on this team because the Bears are loaded at wide receiver.

8) Devon Allen (Oregon)

Devon Allen is one of the game’s fastest players. He’s already one of the nation’s fastest hurdlers. Allen tore his ACL during their Rose Bowl win over FSU. Allen was very limited during spring football and missed the track season but it’s assumed he will be all system’s go for Oregon by fall camp. This red-shirt sophomore had a really good season in 2014, catching 41 passes for 684 yards. He also led the Ducks with seven touchdown receptions. If healthy, Allen should be one of Oregon’s most explosive players once again this season.

9) Victor Bolden (Oregon State)

The Beavers lost a lot, including head coach Mike Riley and quarterback Sean Mannion. So it’s a new regime at Oregon State under coach Gary Andersen. One veteran back is junior wide receiver Victor Bolden. He’s coming off a breakout 2014 season where he caught 72 passes for 798 yards and two touchdowns. Bolden’s coming off a big spring, including a big spring game where he caught five passes for 99 yards and a score from true freshman starting quarterback Seth Collins. Bolden is a versatile talent that’s good with the ball in his hands.

10) River Cracraft (Washington State)

Cracraft, 6-foot-0, 199-pounds, has had a very productive first two seasons for Mike Leach and Washington State. Over that time he has caught 112 passes for 1,385 yards. He’s also scored 11 touchdowns. Now he becomes the veteran of Leach’s pass happy offense. This is a very dependable wideout with terrific hands. Cracraft and teammate Gabe Marks will be one of the top wide receiver tandems in the country.

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