Big 12 Football: Power Ranking the Receivers

Christopher BrownContributor ISeptember 10, 2010

Power Ranking the Big 12 Receivers

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    For the Big 12, running backs stole the show in week one. Daniel Thomas, Kendall Hunter, and DeMarco Murray all went over 200 yards, and only Taylor Potts and Jerrod Johnson rank in the nation's top 15 in passing yards.

    Some say 2010 is a down-and-out year for Big 12 receivers, which is why I've decided to list who I think stands as the league's best.

    Some exceeded expectations in week one, and others failed to deliver. All in all, here are the top ten Big 12 receivers heading into the second week.

No. 10: Malcolm Williams

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    William steps in as the number one option at wide receiver this season, and will be relied upon heavily if Texas wants to open up the running game.

    He was solid against Rice, catching four passes for 77 yards, including a 47 yard deep ball from Garrett Gilbert. he didn't reach the end zone, but should have plenty of opportunities to do it this season, assuming Gilbert lives up to his expectations.

    Texas' offensive woes need to be addressed in a hurry, and Brown needs to somebody that steps up and emerges as a leader.

    If he can be a solid number one option capable of making big plays, The Longhorns will be a whole lot better off.

No. 9: Jerrell Jackson, Missouri

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    Mizzou had their troubles during week one, and Blaine Gabbert struggled to find holes in the defense during the first half of the game.

    Missouri had, and still has high hopes for Jackson for the 2010 season. Even with the less-than-stellar performance during week one, Jackson could still be able to amass 1,000 yards receiving in Gary Pinkel's aerial assault.

    He, along with the rest of the Missouri offense, will come around soon enough, and should make an extremely formidable opponent for Nebraska when that match up rolls around.

    Jackson had 37 receptions for 458 yards in 2009. He'll need to improve on those numbers this season if the Tigers want to make it to a Big 12 championship.

No. 8: Kendall Wright, Baylor

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    Wright emerged as Baylor's leading receiver as a true freshman last year, and is picked by some as an all-conference pick once the season ends.

    He pulled in 66 receptions for 740 yards in 2009, making him the best playmaker for the Bears during Robert Griffin's absence.

    Griffin is back, and only needs a little bit of help to win big games. At his best, Wright is more than a little bit, and should become the other half of an outstanding quarterback-receiver duo. If he doesn't, Baylor will suffer the same fate that it did in 2008.

    He was used sparingly in Baylor's rout of Sam Houston State, but will definitely have his number called once conference play rolls around.

No. 7: Lyle Leong, Texas Tech

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    Leong was the most impressive Big 12 receiver during week one, and represents just a fraction of Texas Tech's talented receiving core.

    He collected 11 passes for 142 yards and three touchdowns, helping his quarterback and former high school teammate Taylor Potts pick apart SMU's secondary. He's been quietly successful during his time for Tech, putting up 571 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2009.

    If week one was any indication, Leong should be a standout by the season's end.

    Given the depth at receiver, the Red Raiders don't necessarily need Leong to be a superstar, but it sure wouldn't hurt.

No. 6: Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas AM

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    One of the top freshman of 2009, Nwachukwu posted 40 receptions for 706 yards and six touchdowns, averaging nearly 18 yards per reception.

    He has big play potential, and will be the Aggies' go-to-guy on third and long this season. Much of his success has to be credited to Jerrod Johnson, but if you watched him last year, you know that Nwachukwu is capable of making huge plays regardless of who's under center.

    He was used sparingly against Texas State, catching only two balls for 11 yards, but will most likely top 1,000 yards this season.

    He's just another big time athlete on offense for the Aggies, and will be a huge target for Johnson as he tries to prove A&M's worth in the Big 12.

No. 5: Alex Torres, Texas Tech

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    Torres emerged as the leading receiver for the Red Raiders last season, catching 67 balls for 806 yards and six touchdowns while attempting to replace two-time Biletnikoff winner Michael Crabtree.

    A former walk-on, Torres surprised the Big 12 when he became the go-to receiver just a season ago, and will be keyed on by every defense that lines up with him. Like Leong, Torres is just another link in the chain for Texas Tech, and won't be pressured to but up 150 yards every night.

    A back injury kept Torres off the field against SMU, but he should be back soon enough according to Tommy Tuberville.

    Despite the injury, he'll still have a chance at reaching the 1,000 yard mark this season, especially now that quarterback Taylor Potts has found his new rhythm.

No. 4: Scotty McKnight, Colorado

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    McKnight has been the most consistent offensive performer for the Buffaloes, posting at least 500 yards receiving in every season since his freshman year. His best season came last year, when he caught 76 passes for 900 yards and six touchdowns.

    Clearly, he'll need to do a lot if Colorado wants to reach a bowl this season.

    The Buffs took a big step forward in week one, beating Colorado State 24-3. McKnight certainly played a big part, catching six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.

    He's flown under the radar throughout the past three years, but McKnight has a solid chance of earning first team all-conference honors this season.

    If he's able to do so, Colorado might be bowl-bound for the first time since 2007.

No. 3: Niles Paul, Nebraska

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    In Nebraska's dream season, Paul will be relied upon heavily to help move the offense and give a cushion for the team's stellar defense.

    Having just turned 21, he's one of college football's youngest seniors, and should finish the season as a first team all-conference pick. Freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez should boost Paul's chances considerably, as he threw Paul every pass he caught on Saturday.

    He had five receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown, averaging 18 yards per reception. He certainly helped energize the Huskers' offense, which should be a common occurrance this season.

    Paul has the tools necessary to be the best receiver in the Big 12. If he's able to improve on his numbers from last season, Nebraska will be in great shape.

No. 2: Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M

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    Not many receivers have been surrounded by the kind of buzz that Fuller has.

    After amassing 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons, he's a big reason why the Aggies are labeled as the dark horse in the Big 12 south. The 6'4 junior has big play potential and a knack for making the tough catch, which will be much needed for A&M this season.

    He showcased his ability to get into the end zone in the team's first game, being on receiving end of two touchdown passes from quarterback Jerrod Johnson.

    Aside from Johnson himself, Fuller is the Aggies' best play maker, and will be a key component to their ultra-talented offense all season long.

No. 1: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

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    Despite Oklahoma's rocky start, Broyles didn't fail to impress, catching nine balls for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

    He's the undisputed top receiver in the conference this season, and may very well finish as an AP all-American. The electrifying junior is the best player on the offensive side ball for Bob Stoops, and will be a huge part of Oklahoma's success once conference play begins.

    He's virtually unstoppable in the open field, and should add over 1,000 yards to his already impressive 1,800 career yards as a Sooner over the past two years.

    All in all, he's a big reason why some people pick the Sooners to win a national championship in 2010.