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A Look at the Oregon Football Depth Chart: Wide Receiver

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If Oregon wants to win a fourth consecutive conference title, its going to need to see a lot more of this from Daryle Hawkins next season.
If Oregon wants to win a fourth consecutive conference title, its going to need to see a lot more of this from Daryle Hawkins next season.


Overview:

This was the most inconsistent unit on Oregon's team last season, and its nothing but question marks headed into the next. Josh Huff returns has a starter, but he has never shown to be a #1 type guy. DeAnthony Thomas will also see some time there, though it is unknown how much. Justin Hoffman's career is likely done due to concussions. After Huff and Thomas, its a mix of guys who were inconsistent last season and unable to hold down a permanent spot (Daryle Hawkins, Rahsaan Vaughn, Will Murphy, Eric Dungy, and Keanon Lowe), redshirts who have never seen the field (Devon Blackmon, Tacoi Sumler, and BJ Kelley), and incoming freshman who won't be in until fall (Dwayne Stanford, Chance Allen).

Questions:

Everything. Even the known quantities have question marks (will Huff be punished for his DUI incident? How much receiver will DAT play?) But the fact is that, even if those two guys played the vast majority of WR snaps this season, you still need three other guys who can play and produce. And given that they all had the opportunity last season but failed to do so, its a cause for concern.

While legitimate information from spring practice is little, the names that keep popping up are Vaughn, Hawkins, and Blake Stanton. Vaughn and Hawkins aren't a huge surprise, and both had their moments last season, but struggled catching the ball. If they can solve that problem, they are both big, fast receivers who can cause huge matchup problems for opposing defenses. As for Stanton, I have no idea if his performance holds, but Chip Kelly certainly has no problem playing walk-ons a lot of snaps, as Hoffman and Murphy did last season. The other guys were all very highly touted coming in, so we can't dismiss them as possiblities either.

Prediction:

Everything is a guess at this point, but Vaughn and Hawkins really did show the most promise last season. They also have legitimate size that could cause a big problem for defenses. If they keep up the performance that they are reportedly having this spring, they'll get every opportunity to seize those spots. But you have to figure that given Oregon's schedule, most of the candidates will get some run in the first three games, giving opportunity for the cream to rise to the top. Looking at the talent on hand, you have to think that this unit will be much better than last season, because with another year of experience, it becomes more likely that the talent wins out. And it better, because while its one thing to be a one-dimensional offense, its quite another being that without LaMichael James.