CBS Sports sees wide receiver as a potential problem for the Oklahoma Sooners
Spring ball did a lot to provide optimism about the direction of the Oklahoma Sooners in Year 2 under Brent Venables. The defense looks improved through transfer portal additions and recruiting acquisitions.
If there’s an area of concern, it may be on the offensive side of the ball, where the offensive line has dealt with injuries. While that’s certainly an issue, Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports believes it’s the wide receiver position that may be the biggest issue for Oklahoma coming out of spring ball.
In his piece titled “Big 12 Overreactions,” Jeyarajah had this to say:
The Sooners don’t have receivers: Offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby’s system is built around using dominant wide receivers to spread the field and create opportunities. After the departures of Marvin Mims, Brayden Willis and Theo Wease, Oklahoma doesn’t have the receivers to run the system well. Jalil Farooq and Drake Stoops are the only returning receivers on the roster with more than 100 yards receiving last season, and the duo combined for just 11.3 yards per catch. No one obvious stepped up and stole a role in spring camp. Even if the defense improves, the offense isn’t explosive enough to compete for the Big 12 unless a major addition is on the way. – Jeyarajah, CBS Sports
Outside wide receiver opposite Jalil Farooq is certainly a question mark. Farooq looks to be in line for a big-time opportunity due to his ability to win at all levels of the passing game.
Slot wide receiver looks to be in great shape with Drake Stoops, Gavin Freeman and newcomer Brenen Thompson. However, Oklahoma lacks a true downfield weapon to replace Marvin Mims.
There are some intriguing options: Andrel Anthony, Thompson, Jayden Gibson, Nic Anderson, LV Bunkley-Shelton and J.J. Hester. As Jeyarajah mentions, nobody made a significant run at the starting spot vacated by Mims.
Oklahoma hasn’t been shy about adding wide receivers in the transfer portal this offseason. It has already brought in a pair of potential weapons, Anthony and Thompson, and has a chance to add more production, Colorado transfer WR Jordyn Tyson.
Tyson has the big-play ability the Sooners are missing on the outside, and he produced as a true freshman for the Buffaloes with 22 receptions, 470 yards, and four touchdowns. He broke out in a big way over the final three games of the season for Colorado with 13 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 26.5 yards per reception.
Oklahoma wide receivers coach Emmett Jones and offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby have time to resolve the question surrounding the wide receiver group. There are options. It’s simply a matter of seeing which of those players rises to the occasion and seizes a role ahead of the 2023 college football season.
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