With the amount of yearly roster turnover in college football, talent and depth at certain positions is constantly changing. Let's take the Ole Miss Rebels for example.
Last season, Ole Miss had three of the best wide receivers in the country in DK Metcalf, AJ Brown and Damarkus Lodge. All three of them are now in the NFL, leaving talented yet inexperienced players Braylon Sanders and Elijah Moore to lead their wide receiver corps. There is destined to be regression in that area for the Rebels.
When looking at the best wide receiver corps in college football, these rankings will only last for one season. Most of the following names on this list will be draft-eligible for 2020, so it also provides a nice snapshot at some potential NFL receivers next season.
Without any further delay, here are the best wide receiver corps in college football for the 2019 season.
Honorable Mentions: Washington State, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Minnesota
Main Contributors: Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Bru McCoy
USC's wide receiver corps include one player from each grade. Michael Pittman Jr. is the senior, and the 6'4 and 220 pounder broke out last season with 758 yards and 6 touchdowns. True junior Tyler Vaughns' production dipped a bit as a sophomore, but he's already at 115 receptions through two college seasons.
True sophomore Amon-Ra St. Brown has unique chemistry with quarterback J.T. Daniels, and posted 750 receiving yards as a freshman. Incoming freshman Bru McCoy is back at USC after briefly enrolling early at Texas, and the high school national player of the year should be able to make an immediate impact.
4. Ohio State
Ohio State lost Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon to the NFL, but somehow still find themselves on this list. Their depth at the position has developed well under wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, and that trend should continue this season.
KJ Hill is on track to break David Boston's school record for career receptions, and fellow rising seniors Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor have outstanding physical profiles. Now a true sophomore, Chris Olave will look to take on a larger role after finishing strongly last year with 3 touchdowns in his final two games. Five-star and #2 ranked wide receivers prospect (247 Sports and ESPN) Garrett Wilson provides upside beyond the top four returnees.
Main Contributors: Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Diondre Overton, Frank Ladson Jr.
"WRU" has a loaded wide receiver group once again, headlined by true sophomore Justyn Ross and true junior Tee Higgins. As a true freshman last season, Ross finished with 1,000 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. Higgins, who is draft-eligible for 2020, posted 12 touchdowns and has the potential of a Day 2 selection.
Beyond the top two, primary slot receiver Amari Rodgers actually outproduced upperclassmen Hunter Renfrow last season. Diondre Overton, another tree alongside of Ross and Higgins, pitched in 14 receptions last season and should be in line for more reps this year. Top 40 overall recruit Frank Ladson Jr. gives the Tigers talented depth.
The trio of Michigan junior wide receivers have had sky-high potential since stepping on campus, and this should be the season that they finally put it all together. Donovan Peoples-Jones is elusive as both a route runner and ball carrier, and his fluidity translates to his body control. Nico Collins has the ideal physical presence to pair with a smooth game and aggressive ball skills. Despite injuries during his first two years in Ann Arbor, Tarik Black may be the most naturally gifted of the three.
Early enrollee Mike Sainristil made noise as a potential starter during spring practices, and should take on a strong amount of slot reps. With new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis being a decorated wide receiver coach, and an extra year of playing with quarterback Shea Patterson, this group should thrive in 2019.
Alabama's wide receiver corps passed up Ole Miss' early last season, and have remained as the best group in the country since.
Biletnikoff winner Jerry Jeudy is a potential top 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and counterpart Henry Ruggs III is an even more dynamic athlete. I expect both of them to be first-round picks next April. The crazy part is that true sophomore Jaylen Waddle may be better than both. On just 57 targets during his freshman season, Waddle produced 45 receptions, 848 yards and 7 touchdowns. All three of Alabama's top targets have the potential to run 4.3s in the 40-yard dash while providing explosiveness as route runners.
Junior Devonta Smith is the best fourth receiving option in the country (and possibly ever), as the technically sound route runner could be a top 100 pick in the NFL Draft.