It’s time to continue the spring preview of the Missouri Tigers, and today we will focus on the wide receivers. The Tigers didn’t have any receivers that put up big numbers last year, but they do return three of their top four receivers from 2012, including the former No. 1 ranked recruit in the nation, Dorial Green-Beckham.
Green-Beckham is currently listed as the No. 2 receiver at the X position going into spring practice, but I expect 2013 to be a breakout season for the sophomore wide out. Green-Beckham struggled in the early going of his freshman season, but started to breakout at the end of the season.
Through the first 7 games last year, Green-Beckham only had 7 receptions for 128 yards and 1 touchdown. He also was suspended for one game after being arrested for possession of marijuana.
During the second half of the season he started to become a bigger threat in the offense, and started to show signs of why he was so highly rated. Green-Beckham had 21 receptions for 267 yards and 4 touchdowns in the last 5 games of 2012.
With his combination of size, speed, and good hands, there are no limitations on how good he can be. I fully expect Green-Beckham to breakout in 2013, and it’s a must if Mizzou wants to get back to competing for division titles. The Tigers had a 1,000 yard receiver each season from 2007 to 2010 and that’s when their offense was at it’s best. Of course it helps when you have Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert throwing to you, but if Mizzou is going to be better in 2013, then they are going to have to get Green-Beckham more involved. He’s a special talent and it’s time to start using him like one, much like they did with Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander.
The top returning wide receiver from 2012 is Marcus Lucas. Lucas led Missouri with 46 catches and 509 yards. He’s another big target on the outside, and is currently listed ahead of Green-Beckham on the depth chart.
Lucas has improved in each of his three seasons while at Mizzou and with his speed he provides another deep threat for the Tiger offense.
L’Damian Washington is another tall, athletic receiver for Mizzou. Washington is listed as the No. 1 receiver at the Z position, and like Lucas, Washington’s numbers have improved every single season with Mizzou.
Bud Sasser might be the forgotten man out of all of the receivers even though he’s listed as a starter entering the 2013 season. The junior only had 10 receptions in 2012, but he averaged 23.1 yards per reception and had 1 touchdown.
Jimmie Hunt is another receiver who should add depth to the position in 2013. Hunt had 11 receptions for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.
It might be the homer in me, but I think the Tigers could have an explosive offense again if they can find a quarterback that can consistently get the ball to his receivers. This is a very tall and athletic group of receivers, and they can provide a lot of match-up issues against opposing defenses.
If you were Gary Pinkel, would you try pass the ball more in 2013 to get the receivers more involved in the offense or do you think more focus on the running game is the way to go?