Oregon Ducks Football: Why Receiver Is the Biggest Position Concern

Nathan LoweryCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2012

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Rahsaan Vaughn #10 of the Oregon Ducks in action against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It seems that ever since Darron Thomas declared for the NFL draft, the Oregon Ducks offense has been under non-stop scrutiny. Odd given that the unit that has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the past four seasons.

The quarterback—whoever wins the job—doesn't have enough experience.

There's not enough depth at running back.

Colt Lyerla was out of the first week of camp.

The offensive line is too small.

There are no receivers. The receiver position is, in fact, a concern for the Ducks, just not as much as the "experts" say.

There is no shortage of talent in the receiving corps this season. Josh Huff and Rashaan Vaughn return as does do-it-all monster De'Anthony Thomas. Expect these three to carry a group made up largely of redshirt freshmen and true freshmen.

Except for Thomas, however, Huff and Vaughn only managed 45 receptions for 612 yards of Oregon's 3,103 total receiving yards last season, and the two combined for only three receiving TDs last year.

Converted quarterback Daryle Hawkins has been receiving raves of praise during camp and Eric Dungy, son of former NFL player and head coach Tony Dungy, showed potential last season after catching a 22-yard touchdown against Nevada.

After that, the Ducks roster is littered with first-year players just oozing with potential.

Redshirt freshmen Devon Blackmon joins true freshmen Bralon Addison as athletic and versatile receivers with great top-end speed. Another do-it-all athlete, Addison has been receiving comparisons to Thomas.

Sophomore Colt Lyerla, who was notoriously late to camp for unexplained reasons, has the chance to be one of the nation's breakout players this year if he is in shape and can pick up the offense. If not, fellow Bleacher Report featured columnist Kay Jennings is very high on true freshmen Evan Baylis, who enrolled in spring.

Other receivers to keep your eye on is true freshmen Dwayne Stanford out of Columbus, Ohio and redshirt freshmen B.J. Kelly.

Stanford, standing at 6'3", gives the Ducks a much-needed downfield target, which helps his chances of seeing playing time as a freshmen.

While the receivers have a lot of potential and talent, the experience is a big concern, especially playing in Chip Kelly's high-tempo spread offense.