LSU Tigers Wide Receivers Evaluation
The 2016 season for the LSU Tigers wide receivers corps was solid overall. Junior Malachi Dupre was the team’s top receiver, followed by D.J. Chark and Travin Dural. The receivers were targeted plenty of times in all 12 of the team’s games last season. Quarterback Danny Etling threw the majority of the passes, since Brandon Harris was benched two games into the season. LSU went through a ton of changes last season, especially on the coaching staff. After Les Miles was fired, Ed Orgeron took over and led the Tigers the rest of the way.
The Tigers return a deep receiving corps for 2017, led by Dupre. One thing that the team has to do next season is target the open receiver and hit that man in stride on long routes. The offense lacked that last season, and with a new offensive scheme to work with, these receivers can be dangerous in 2017.
LSU Wide Receivers Evaluation
Dupre was the team’s leading receiver in 2016, as he racked up 593 yards on 41 receptions and three touchdowns. Though his reception-to-touchdown ratio wasn’t all that high, Dupre is expected to be the Tigers’ leading receiver again next season. The senior will be playing his final season in Baton Rouge. Many around the LSU program are expecting Dupre to have a breakout season.
Chark finished 2016 with the second-most reception yards on the team. He racked up 466 yards on 26 receptions and three touchdowns. Though he isn’t targeted a lot, Chark can be a dangerous guy when the ball is in his hands.
Dural was third on the squad with 280 yards on 28 receptions and one touchdown all season. Though he only brought in one score, Dural is still one of the top receivers that the Tigers have. He can also be a threat when the ball is thrown to him, as we have all seen in previous seasons. Dural is leaving for the NFL, which leaves a big hole in the Tigers’ receiving corps. One of the backups will have to step up and be the next great wideout for the Tigers.
Smith is a guy who hasn’t seen a lot of playing time with the Tigers because of the talent ahead of him. But in 2017, he will have his chance to shine. With Dural now gone, that opens the door for Smith to step up and show why the team recruited him. Smith hauled in 184 yards on 10 receptions last season and one touchdown. Expect more from Smith this season as the Tigers prepare for 2017 to be their season.
Though the receivers didn’t pile up a ton of yards and touchdowns, they were still very effective in the offense. When they are open and in stride, LSU’s quarterback will hit them and find the endzone. With that said, I give the receivers a grade of B+. Not an A, but slightly below, with one exception. That being the lack of touchdowns/yardage the guys had for 2016. Expect the Tigers’ receivers to be more effective in 2017 and find the endzone a lot more as the new offensive scheme is unveiled.