LSU needs new weapons on the outside.
Dynamic receiving duo Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry have declared for the NFL draft, and rightfully so. Beckham Jr. and Landry both amassed over 1,000 yards and combined for 18 touchdowns in 2013.
But how will the Tigers replace their production?
LSU will first have to replace quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The Tigers will need to find reliable receivers fast to help ease the transition.
LSU does not return a wide receiver who caught more than one pass in any game this season.
Travin Dural is LSU's top returning wide receiver with seven catches, 145 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. Dural caught a game-winning 49-yard touchdown pass from Jennings against Arkansas.
But Dural would get smothered in coverage, rarely creating separation from defensive backs. Mettenberger squeezed in some spectacular passes to Dural in tight coverage. He ran free in his heroics against Arkansas, but that was because Landry drew in the coverage.
Junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie will return, too. But he finished the season with only one catch in garbage time.
John Diarse and Avery Peterson will also be added to the mix in 2014 after sitting out this season.
Diarse, who redshirted this season, does not have elite speed. LSU is banking on him becoming a physical possession receiver. Leslie and Peterson have enough speed to become game-breakers. Yet Leslie was a disappointment in 2013 and Peterson will be coming back from an ankle injury.
The Tigers will be hoping for one of these four returning receivers to break through next season. But none of them are sure bets.
Les Miles knows he needs more options to choose from.
Quinn has safety-burning speed and amazing ball skills. But the most impressive part of his game is his ability to get open when a play breaks down.
Quinn is a mobile quarterback's dream. When a quarterback eludes the rush and extends the play, a receiver must break off his original route and get open. Jennings and Harris have active legs, so Quinn should make some big plays with either of them behind center.
Quinn sounds as if he is a sure bet to sign with LSU on national signing day. Tigers fans wish they could say the same about Malachi Dupre, who has yet to commit to any school.
Dupre played in a run-oriented offense at John Curtis High School in New Orleans, where he won three consecutive state championships. He produced solid numbers despite having to share the wealth of touches with a talented team.
The 6'3'' receiver is not as fast as Quinn, yet his size sets him apart. They both have amazing ball skills and body control.
Dupre can blow by a defensive back. Yet even if there is little separation, he can still make a play on the ball thanks to his size and ability to snag the ball at its highest point. He has a similar frame and skill set to former LSU wideout Rueben Randle.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball Projection shows LSU as a significant leader for Dupre's services, but anything can happen on signing day. It would be a major setback for the Tigers if he decides to go elsewhere.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron knows there will be inexperience and growing pains at quarterback next season. The best way to ease the process is by having playmakers who can mask a quarterback's errors.
Landry and Beckham Jr. were so spectacular last season. They petrified secondaries, as it was an arduous task to keep them in check. LSU needs somebody to at least pose a serious threat on the outside to keep safeties honest.
LSU has no bonafide producers returning on the outside next season. The quartet of Dural, Diarse, Leslie and Peterson would be fine, yet the Tigers could use some fresh blood.
Quinn and Dupre could be the next great receiving duo in Baton Rouge, but both will need some time to develop. Beckham Jr. and Landry did not become stars overnight.
Nevertheless, playing time is up for grabs at receiver. LSU will desperately need some players to step up, even if they are freshmen.
Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.
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