The 2016 recruiting class is very deep at receiver. The class has 57 prospects who were granted a five or four-star rating by 247Sports. By providing a quick overview of every single one of these players, we will have a better indication of where these players are at in their careers.
Some of these receivers are on pace to becoming high-end draft prospects and others are struggling to latch on to their teams. There are receivers on this list who are already transferring to other colleges. Researching the wide receiver landscape in college football now can provide an added edge in rookie drafts later.
Just in case you missed it, here are the reviews for the 2015 recruits:
2016 WIDE RECEIVER RECRUITS
1. DEMETRIS ROBERTSON, WR CAL – FIVE STAR
He broke out during his freshman season, catching 50 balls for 767 yards and seven touchdowns. A lower body injury derailed his sophomore season. Recently, he decided he’s going to transfer out of Cal and take his talents elsewhere. He will sit the 2018 season and right now we don’t have a clue where he’s going to transfer too.
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2. TYLER VAUGHNS, WR USC – FOUR STAR
Vaughns was second on the team in receiving with 57 catches for 809 yards and five touchdowns last year. He will be a key receiving threat for the Trojans for the next few years. The DLF staff currently has him ranked 14th in their wide receiver devy ranks.
3. TYRIE CLEVELAND, WR FLORIDA – FOUR STAR
He’s been slowed down by hamstring issues. Cleveland is a playmaker who can make things happen. Hopefully, he can play a full season this year so we can get a good look at what he can do.
4. A.J. BROWN, WR OLE MISS – FOUR STAR
Brown is one of the top prospects in devy and he’s also one of the best wide receivers in college football. He blew up last year, catching 75 passes for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns. There’s a good chance that he’ll be a first-round pick when he comes out for the draft.
5. DEVIN DUVERNAY, WR TEXAS – FOUR STAR
Quarterback play will dictate his production. He’s a speedy slot option for the Longhorns who averaged 20.6 yards-per-reception last year.
6. NATE CRAIG-MYERS, WR AUBURN – FOUR STAR
Craig-Myers hasn’t lived up to the hype. He needs to step up his game if he wants to increase his draft stock.
7. N’KEAL HARRY, WR ARIZONA STATE – FOUR STAR
DLF has him ranked as the top player to own in devy leagues and he’s well deserving. He’s a very talented wide receiver prospect and is expected to be a high-end draft prospect when he leaves the college game.
8. MICHAEL PITTMAN JR., USC – FOUR STAR
He’s a talented wide receiver who should be on the rise. According to PFF, Pittman had a 126.4 passer rating when targeted. At 6-foot-4 and 210-pounds, Pittman will be a tremendous threat against opposing defensive backs.
9. AUSTIN MACK, WR OHIO STATE – FOUR STAR
Mack is slotted as the team’s starting X receiver this year. He will definitely have a larger role in the offensive game plan and is a breakout candidate.
10. KYLE DAVIS, WR FLORIDA ATLANTIC – FOUR STAR
After being kicked off the team in October, Davis will be transferring from Auburn to Florida Atlantic and will more than likely sit out the 2018 season.
11. SAM BRUCE, WR MIAMI – FOUR STAR
Bruce was dismissed by the team after several violations of team rules. He’s an undersized receiver with a lot of speed. The odds of him making it to the league are next to none.
12. BINJIMEN VICTOR, WR OHIO STATE – FOUR STAR
At 6-foot-4 and 173-pounds, Victor has the height to beat defenders at the catch-point but lacks the mass to out muscle guys at the line of scrimmage. Adding some muscle to his frame wouldn’t hurt and the added strength would help him beat press coverage. He is expected to be one of the team’s go-to receivers this year.
13. THEO HOWARD, WR UCLA – FOUR STAR
He will benefit from Chip Kelly’s offense this year. Howard caught 56 balls in 2017 and that number should increase this year considering he’s one of the team’s top receiving threats.
14. TREN’DAVIAN DICKSON, WR HOUSTON – FOUR STAR
He decided to transfer from Baylor to Houston due to a sexual assault scandal he endured at Baylor. He never gained traction with Houston and is no longer with the team. Dickson had a lot of potential but he’s more than likely never going to see an NFL field.
15. DONNIE CORLEY, WR MICHIGAN STATE – FOUR STAR
In the summer of 2017, he was kicked off the team for being charged with criminal sexual conduct. He is now playing at the JUCO level. Unless he turns things around, he’s more than likely never going to be a highly sought-after asset in dynasty.
16. D.K. METCALF, WR OLE MISS – FOUR STAR
Metcalf currently ranks fourth in DLF’s consensus devy wide receiver ranks. He’s one of the best receivers in college football and should be one of the more prominent prospects when he comes out for the draft. He has the prototypical size of a true WR1 at the next level. Metcalf has spectacular ball-skills and he should be even more impressive this year.
17. KEITH GAVIN, WR FLORIDA STATE – FOUR STAR
He has the talent to become an important piece to FSU’s offense. Gavin will get the opportunity to play on the outside of the Seminole’s spread offense. If he can use his 6-foot-3 217-pound frame to dominate the red zone, then he could be a major riser by the end of the year.
18. JAVON MCKINLEY, WR NOTRE DAME – FOUR STAR
He’s currently a second string wide receiver on a low volume passing offense. He needs to exceed expectations and break out soon if he wants to become a draftable prospect.
19. KEKOA CRAWFORD, WR MICHIGAN – FOUR STAR
Crawford just announced that he will be transferring from Michigan to play for another university that could provide him more opportunities for playing time. The Wolverines are currently stacked at wide receiver and transferring to a new school might be the best decision for Crawford’s future.
20. ELI STOVE, WR AUBURN – FOUR STAR
Stove tore his ACL this spring, but he’s expected to return to play this fall. He should play this year, but I’m not 100 percent sure how effective he will be. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of moving parts on Auburn’s offense, it’s going to be hard for him to standout if he’s still battling injuries during the beginning of the year.
21. STEPHEN SULLIVAN, WR LSU – FOUR STAR
At 6-foot-5 and 230-pounds, Sullivan has the size and catch radius to make scouts drool over him. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown. He will get more opportunities to showcase his abilities this year. However, LSU’s low volume passing offense could limit his upside.
22. FREDDIE SWAIN, WR FLORIDA – FOUR STAR
He will be on the field next year, but he won’t be one of the main leaders in targets. Swain is more of a role player on the team and his potential is limited.
23. QUARTNEY DAVIS, WR TEXAS A&M – FOUR STAR
Knee injuries have set him back a bit, but he still has time to make an impact for the Aggies. Jhamon Ausbon is the receiver to get on A&M’s roster and Davis has an uphill battle to climb before he sees a large market share of the targets.
24. DRAKE DAVIS, WR LSU – FOUR STAR
He’s a size-speed freak who can take the top off the defense. He’s currently running with the second-string offense and will need to earn his stripes before he carves out a larger role in the offense.
25. CHARLIE WOERNER, WR GEORGIA – FOUR STAR
Woerner now plays tight end. He has caught 14 passes in the last two years.
26. TREVON SIDNEY, WR USC – FOUR STAR
Sidney profiles as a slot receiver. However, there’s not going to be enough targets in the offense to make him star. Michael Pittman and Tyler Vaughns should command a large market share of the passing offense, leaving Sidney on the outside looking in.
27. AHMMON RICHARDS, WR MIAMI – FOUR STAR
DLF has him ranked as the sixth best devy receiver in college football. A knee injury caused him to miss a large portion of last season. He should be medically cleared to play this year and should build upon his impressive career.
28. JOSH IMATORBHEBHE, WR USC – FOUR STAR
Right now, he’s just a role player on the back end of USC’s roster. He will compete for a larger role in the offense in a year or two once he develops little more. Imatorbhebhe is a player to keep on your watch list.
29. CORNELL POWELL, WR CLEMSON – FOUR STAR
He will be promoted to second string this season, but freshman wide receiver Derion Kendrick could usurp his position in the near future. Powell will need to step up his game if he wants to be a key contributor to the offense.
30. JOSHUA HAMMOND, WR FLORIDA – FOUR STAR
The additions of Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson is are going to create more competition for Hammond. Look for him to play a limited role in the offense this year.
31. SIMI FEHOKO, WR STANFORD – FOUR STAR
This will be his first season with Stanford. He spent the last two years in Seoul, South Korea on an LDS mission trip. I imagine he will need to prove himself before the coaching staff will allow him to see the field.
32. CHASE CLAYPOOL, WR NOTRE DAME – FOUR STAR
He’s a big physical wide receiver who’s tough to cover at the catch point. Claypool will definitely see an increase in playing time this year. Miles Boykin is the wide receiver to watch in Notre Dame’s offense.
33. DILLON MITCHELL, WR OREGON – FOUR STAR
Mitchell will be one of the starting wide receivers for Oregon this year and will have one of the better quarterbacks in the nation throwing him the football. Last year, he caught 42 passes for 517 yards and four touchdowns.
34. TRE NIXON, WR UCF MISS – FOUR STAR
He signed his original letter of intent with Ole Miss, but after some time with the program, he decided to switch gears by transferring to UCF. Now it’s a wait-and-see game to see how he acclimates to his new offense.
35. JUSTIN LAYNE, WR MICHIGAN STATE – FOUR STAR
Layne switched positions from wide receiver to cornerback. Right now, he’s off the devy radar but there’s a very small chance that he could develop into an IDP asset in a few years.
36. DEE ANDERSON, WR LSU – FOUR STAR
After catching seven passes in the last two years, it looks like Anderson will get his chance to start for the Tigers. He’s a big, 6-foot-6, 223-pound wide receiver and should be a major red zone option for the team. LSU’s run-heavy offense will limit his potential output.
37. CLYDE CHRISS, WR TEXAS A&M – FOUR STAR
Chriss is still going to be a backup, but he should see more work on special teams. He’s just a redshirt sophomore and still has plenty of years to make an impact.
38. DIONDRE OVERTON, WR CLEMSON – FOUR STAR
A lot of people are predicting him to breakout this season. Tee Higgins is another popular option in this offense. Overton will be one of the team’s starting wide receivers come week one and he should see a sizeable target share this year.
39. DARIAN OWENS, WR MARSHALL – FOUR STAR
Owens committed to UCLA but didn’t have the grades to enroll there, so he had to play JUCO ball before he got the chance to play for an FBS school again. He got the chance to play for Marshall in 2017 but left the team before the season started.
40. COLLIN JOHNSON, WR TEXAS – FOUR STAR
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Dallas Cowboys drafting Johnson in the first-round of his most recent 2019 mock draft. At 6-foot-6 and 220-pounds, he has the size to be a true WR1 at the next level. If he has a good season this year he will definitely be one of the top talents in next year’s draft.
41. BRYAN EDWARDS, WR SOUTH CAROLINA – FOUR STAR
DLF has Edwards ranked third in their devy wide receiver ranks. At 6-foot-3 and 215-pound he looks the part of an NFL caliber WR1. He’s a big bodied receiver who is strong at the catch point and he’s also very good at making plays downfield. I look forward to watching him play this year, and I’m curious to see what improvements he made to his game.
42. T.J. CHASE, WR CLEMSON – FOUR STAR
After catching five passes for 35 yards last year, the coaching is expecting him to take a step forward this year. There is a lot of competition for targets in the offense and a step forward for Chase might be 20 receptions. He still has three years of eligibility to carve a role in the offense. Just because he’s not a key contributor this year doesn’t mean he won’t be in the next few years.
43. TRISHTON JACKSON, WR SYRACUSE – FOUR STAR
Jackson started his career at Michigan State, but he recently decided to transfer to Syracuse. He will sit out the 2018 season and restart his career with the Orange the following year.
44. MYKEL JONES, WR OKLAHOMA – FOUR STAR
He caught 16 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown last year. Jones underwent a shoulder surgery this off-season to clear up some issues. Depending on his recovery, he should be available come week one this year.
45. CAMERSON CHAMBERS, WR MICHIGAN STATE – FOUR STAR
Chambers is expected to see time as a backup this year. There’s not much promise here, but anything can happen.
46. RILEY RIDLEY, WR GEORGIA – FOUR STAR
He’s the younger brother of first-round draft pick Calvin Ridley. His best game came against Alabama in the College Football Playoffs where he caught six passes for 82-yards. Ridley’s role in the offense should expand this season and he should step forward as a key contributor to the offense.
47. DIONTE MULLINS, WR MIAMI – FOUR STAR
After catching just four passes last year, he will be transferring to Alabama State where he should get more playing time.
48. STEVEN SMOTHERS, WR WEST VIRGINIA – FOUR STAR
He’s no longer with the team and will be trying his hand at the JUCO level this fall.
49. TINO ELLIS, WR MARYLAND – FOUR STAR
Ellis switched positions and is now playing cornerback for the Terrapins.
50. DYMOND LEE, WR UCLA – FOUR STAR
Lee started his college career playing quarterback, but he’s now going to switch positions and play wide receiver. The competition at wide receiver is wide open for taking and Lee could possibly become a key part of the offense as soon as this year. It’s hard to make any predictions on how this team will look under Chip Kelly this year which means anything can happen.
51. COURTNEY LARK, WR HOUSTON – FOUR STAR
He’s expected to play a big role in Houston’s offense this year. If he can step up his game and exceed expectations, then he could gain some traction by the end of the season.
52. DEZ FITZPATRICK, WR LOUISVILLE – FOUR STAR
He caught nine touchdown passes last year, the most ever in Louisville history for a freshman wide receiver. Fitzpatrick is a very talented prospect and he should have a very promising career at Louisville. I look for his stock to increase in value by the start of next season.
53. BRAD HAWKINS, WR MICHIGAN – FOUR STAR
Hawkins’ journey with the Wolverines started off on the wrong foot. He was enrolled in two high schools before signing his letter of intent with Michigan. One of the schools was late getting his transcripts submitted to the NCAA, because of this he had to transfer to Suffield Academy. He returned to Michigan in 2017. Once he returned to Ann Arbor, Hawkins switched to the defensive side of the ball where he will be playing “Viper” a hybrid safety-linebacker position for the Wolverines.
54. DARNELL SALOMON, USF – FOUR STAR
There should be some extra targets to go around in the offense this year after the departure of the team’s leading receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Salomon is expected to take over as the team’s WR1. He has the potential to be a riser by the end of the year.
55. ISAIAH GRAHAM, WR TCU – FOUR STAR
After catching eight passes for 84 yards for TCU, Graham will be transferring to Louisiana Tech. He will miss the 2018 season and will have two years of eligibility once he suits up for the Bull Dogs in 2019
56. AUDIE OMOTOSHO, WR UCLA – FOUR STAR
He missed all of last season with an MCL injury. He’s finally healthy and will look to contribute to the team this year.
57. T.J. VASHER, WR TEXAS TECH – FOUR STAR
Due to Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell exiting toward the NFL stage, 70 percent of the receiving production is gone from last season. This opens the door for Vasher and other receivers on the depth chart to stake their claim as a key contributor to the offense.