The Most Talented Receiving Corps in Ducks History

Dwayne Stanford 23, Washington, 14, KC

Since the early days of Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon, the wide receiver has been given a big role. Though Kelly has moved on to the NFL, the now head coach Mark Helfrich and offensive coordinator Scott Frost have put a lot of effort into recruiting the best talent at the position, so over time we will see great results.

Dwayne Stanford smelling the roses.

Craig Strobeck

Dwayne Stanford smelling the roses.

On August 18, GoDucks.com Editor-in-Chief Rob Moseley released an article entitled, “Stanford has Been Oregon’s Rock at Catching the Rock,” highlighting the incredible first week of practice that Dwayne “Too Tall” Stanford had.

Accentuated by his ability to perform in every area on offense — from blocking to catching the ball — Stanford stood out amongst a group of talented receivers. But is Stanford even the best receiver that the Ducks have to offer this year?

In this same article, Moseley quoted Stanford saying, “I just knew we had a lot of guys coming back, a lot of receivers. I wanted to be one of those guys that the coaches felt like they had to get the ball to.” Stanford’s outstanding first week of practice is great from a fan’s perspective, but he was right when he said a lot of guys are coming back.

Keanon Lowe - the next Duck flying with the Eagles.

Kevin Cline

Keanon Lowe — the next Duck flying with the Eagles.

With no disrespect to Keanon Lowe, who recently accepted a coaching position with Kelly’s Eagles, as reported by Andrew Grief of OregonLive.com, the Ducks are returning their best receivers from last season. Despite the aforementioned Lowe and TE Pharoah Brown, who is likely to miss the entire 2015/2016 season to finish the recovery from a serious leg injury, the Ducks get back every receiver who caught a TD last season — 33 touchdowns to be exact.

To be returning talent like that is scary, and that’s speaking from an opposing coach’s perspective.

Landscape of the Oregon Ducks Offense

We all know that Thomas Tyner is out for the entire 2015/2016 season after undergoing shoulder surgery last week. And if I, or anyone else on the planet, knew who would be starting at quarterback for the Ducks this season, that would have been reported already. So there are a few question marks heading into this season on offense, but it’s nothing that I would label a massive cause for concern. On the other hand, what might be a cause for concern is the Ducks’ coaching staff figuring out how to use all of the talent on offense that they will have at their disposal.

Will Devon Allen be better then he was before he tore his ACL?

Kevin Cline

Will Devon Allen be better than he was before he tore his ACL?

When I look at the receiving corps for the Ducks, I don’t see any holes. When I look at the receiving corps for the Ducks, I don’t see one aspect of offense from a coaching perspective that they lack.

When I look at the receiving corps for the Ducks, I do see world class speed in Devon Allen; I see ultimate longevity in longtime stud Byron Marshall; and I see ridiculous playmaking ability in Bralon Addison.

And now, you might be wondering about the rest of the guys. “Too Tall” Stanford graces the earth while looking down at everyone from a different stratosphere (he is 6-foot-5), so the Ducks have absurd height on the outside.

Darren Carrington, Jr. adds to the number of playmakers that this team has with his 14 catches, 291 yards, and 3 TD’s in back-to-back games against Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship Game and Florida State in the Rose Bowl.  Moreover, Charles Nelson, who might be starting out the year at defensive back for the Ducks, will be of use on offense anytime Helfrich and Frost say so.

When I think about all the information that was just relayed above, I see no holes anywhere. And yes, I already stated that I see no holes with this receiving corps, but I really don’t. There is nothing that these guys can’t do, and more importantly, there is nothing that these guys don’t already have covered. Even if something happens during the season, the “Next Man Up” philosophy that the Ducks hold true to day-in and day-out will prove its worth yet again. But before I go on, I might have forgotten to mention 4-star WR recruits Malik Lovette and Alex Ofodile, two studs who figure to factor in in a big way this season as true freshmen WR’s.

No Mariota? No Problem!

Now, I say this while walking on eggshells, so forgive me if I am being a little too blunt. I love Marcus Mariota as much as that three-year-old who cried while eating cereal in front of his dad when he realized Mariota was not coming back, but I am a realist, and I always try to be a realist. Mariota is gone, making $millions$ in the NFL, and I wish him nothing but the best. From Eugene, we have what has been called a “A Two-Duck Race” between Eastern Washington University transfer Vernon Adams, Jr. and longtime Mariota backup Jeff Lockie.

He's back.

Craig Strobeck

He’s back.

Without Mariota, things will be much different. But my main purpose for putting this piece together was to enlighten fans about the absurd talent that this team has. Whether it’s Lockie or Adams, or some guy who has never played football before, this offense — with the way it is engineered — is one that almost anyone can succeed in.

The offensive line looks solid with Notre Dame transfer center Matt Hegarty and returning left tackle Tyler Johnstone, who has been practicing very well after missing all of last season with knee injuries. And in my biased opinion, Royce Freeman is the second-best running back in the country behind Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott. Having Freeman back with all the valuable experience he gained last year as a true freshman will be nothing short of amazing.

While some things may be unknown heading into this season, the amount of talent certainly is not. And while I thank Kelly for all the wonderful things he did for this program, he never put together a receiving corps like this one. As if the Ducks needed help soaring, they have a plethora of big-play wide receivers to help them do just that.

BOLD CLAIM WARNING: This is the best receiving corps in Ducks history.

Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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Jason Selby

Jason Selby

Jason is a Junior at the University of Oregon, currently double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Jason has been an avid sports fan for his entire life, growing up playing Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Over the last year, Jason has found his love for sports reporting, and enjoys creating pieces that use his love and knowledge for sports to portray his message. In his spare time, Jason enjoys obsessing over Ducks sports, Scuba Diving around the world, and listening to music. Tweet at Jason…. @1seltank. He loves talking sports with other avid sports fans.

  • barry clements

    you neglected to mention Kirk Merritt who would likely find himself starting on over half of PAC12 schools as a true freshman.

    • Jason Selby

      Barry, trust me I was thinking of Kirk Merritt the entire time while writing this article. While I definitely think he will factor into the offense in a big way, and I have written that he will factor into the offense in a big way in previous articles of mine, I think it will be more from RB, especially with the loss of Thomas Tyner. But I totally agree with you in that he could be one of the most talented Freshmen in the entire Pac 12 right now. But Merritt’s versatility definitely means he could play WR as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. As always, thanks for the read, and GO DUCKS

  • BigBallzChipper

    Did you forget Jalen Brown? He was going to contribute last year before going down with injury.

    • Jason Selby

      No, I just didn’t include him. He could have been an honorable mention, but coming off the injury, it’ll be hard to tell where he is put into the lineup. Remember that this article is looking at the receiving corps as it stands right now. Things can definitely change once the season starts, and I’m pretty sure they will. But thanks for the read, and as always, GO DUCKS

  • MAITAIDUCK

    Carrington was actually proving to be one of the best before the TEST. Actually we now have 2 starting QB’s so if 1 gets injured the other will perform like nothing changed. We really haven’t had this luxary since Bellotti wanted the spread offense. Also all of us DUCK fans will be pleasantly surprised with our Defense this Fall. This all if they stay relatively healthy a chance to get right back to the playoff.

    • Jason Selby

      I couldn’t agree more. I feel comfortable with either guy – Vernon has his strengths and athleticism, while Lockie can make up for all of that with his knowledge of the system. Carrington will be a stud this year, but he’ll have to perform really well because there are a lot of guys on this roster looking for passes this year. And to your point about the defense, I think it will be solid this year. We have a stellar defensive line, very experienced group of linebackers who will definitely play better then they did last year, and some questions at DB. But like Rob Moseley said this morning on his weekly roundup, “This team lost talent, but it’s not like the early years of the Ducks program. They have talent coming from everywhere so it’s not a matter of ‘if’ someone will step up, it’s a matter of ‘who’ exactly will step up.” Thanks for the read