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Best wide receiver tandems in college football

  • By Mike Huguenin, Bryan Fischer and Chase Goodbread NFL.com
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Nick Wass / Associated Press
Indications are that Stefon Diggs should be ready for the season following a broken leg suffered in 2013.

This is the second in a series looking at the best positional tandems in college football in each conference, taking into account both college production and pro potential. Today it is the best pair of wide receivers.

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ACC

Louisville: DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers. There is a noticeable lack of proven No. 2 receivers in the ACC this season, but Rogers looks best-positioned to make the move from No. 3 to No. 2. Parker (6-foot-3, 208 pounds), a senior, should thrive in new coach Bobby Petrino's offense; (Parker is a great athlete), and a huge weapon in the red zone because of his size and leaping ability. Rogers (5-10, 181), also a senior, has caught 131 passes, with nine TDs, in the past three seasons, catching 41, 46 and 44 passes. In this offense, catching 60-plus passes should be expected of him this fall.

Last time an ACC wide receiver duo was selected in the same draft: It happened in May, when Clemson had Sammy Watkins go in the first round and Martavis Bryant in the fourth round.

Big 12

Baylor: Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood. You could almost pick anybody on the Bears' fall camp roster at the receiver position to team up with Goodley (5-foot-10, 220 pounds) and Baylor still would have one of the best duos in the conference. That's a testament to how good the depth is in Waco at the position (which includes incoming five-star freshman K.D. Cannon, who Art Briles has raved about) and also how good the team's No. 1 player at the position is. Norwood (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) is an excellent complement in the slot, though, and is coming off an All-Big 12 season in which he really took off once Tevin Reese got hurt. Either way, it's not a bad year at all to be able to throw to these two like Bryce Petty can.


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Last time a Big 12 wide receiver duo was selected in the same draft:This question was made for the Big 12, as both Oklahoma and West Virginia put a pair of wideouts in the NFL in 2013. The Sooners had Kenny Stills taken in the fifth round by the New Orleans Saints and the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Justin Brown in the sixth round in the same draft. The Mountaineers had their 2013 duo drafted by the same team actually, as the St. Louis Rams took Tavon Austin (eighth overall) and Stedman Bailey (third round) to help out former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

Big Ten

Maryland: Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Weirdly, both suffered broken legs in the Terps' seventh game last season, and the passing attack -- not exactly a scintillating one anyway -- suffered without them. They are back this season, and Terps coach Randy Edsall specifically mentioned Diggs as being ready to go during Monday's Big Ten Media Day festivities. Diggs (6-0, 190), a junior, is electrifying with the ball in his hands: as a receiver, on returns and on jet sweeps. He can get deep, and he also can take a slant route and turn it into a 60-yard gain. The well-traveled Long (6-0, 185) -- he signed with West Virginia out of high school but never played a down, moved on to New Mexico, then to Iowa Western CC before ending up at Maryland -- is a solid No. 2 guy behind Diggs. Long, a senior, has good speed and can be a deep threat.

Last time a Big Ten wide receiver duo was selected in the same draft: Michigan State had two wide receivers taken in the 2012 draft -- fourth-rounder Keshawn Martin and sixth-rounder B.J. Cunningham.

Pac-12

Stanford: Ty Montgomery and Devon Cajuste. There are a number of deep receiving corps in the Pac-12 this year (notably at Arizona, California and Washington State), but finding that one-two punch in the league is a bit tougher than you'd imagine. The Cardinal, however, should boast the best duo in the league heading into the season with Montgomery (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) battling USC's Nelson Agholor to be the top draft prospect among the wideouts this year. Don't sleep on Cajuste (6-foot-4, 229 pounds), though. He's a converted tight end with a great blend of speed, great hands and a big body, making him a mismatch for opposing defenses. By the end of the year we could certainly see a different duo end up in this spot, but Kevin Hogan's top pass-catchers land here for now.

Last time a Pac-12 wide receiver duo was selected in the same draft: Not surprisingly, it was USC that did it back in 2011 when Ronald Johnson was taken in the sixth round by the San Francisco 49ers and David Ausberry was picked a round later by the Oakland Raiders. With the latter moving to tight end for the Raiders, one could also mention that California had DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins taken together in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Kansas State Wildcats wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) catches a pass for a touchdown while being defended by Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Cortez Johnson (22) during the first half at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
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SEC

Alabama: Amari Cooper and DeAndrew White. Some might put forth an argument for Cooper and Alabama's Christion Jones as the SEC's top tandem, but White was far more impactful last year, averaging 16.7 yards per catch to Jones' 9.7. Cooper looks to rebound from a frustrating sophomore season in which he overcame nagging injuries well enough to appear in 12 games, but not well enough to avoid a dip in production. Cooper had 45 catches for 736 yards, but didn't look nearly as explosive as he did as a 1,000-yard freshman sensation in 2012. A return to form for Cooper and a healthy year for White, who has fought injuries of his own throughout his career, will spell trouble for SEC secondaries.

Last time an SEC wide receiver duo was selected in the same draft: LSU's Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry were both gone early in this year's NFL draft, Beckham to the New York Giants with the No. 12 overall pick and Landry to the Miami Dolphins in the late second round (No. 63). LSU's James Wright made it a trio as a seventh-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Other conferences

AAC: Houston (Deontay Greenberry and Daniel Spencer).

Conference USA: Marshall (Tommy Shuler and Craig Wilkins).

MAC: Northern Illinois (Da'Ron Brown and Tommylee Lewis). We originally had Bowling Green here, but news broke Wednesday that Falcons WR Chris Gallon was injured and would miss the season; thus, the change to NIU was made.

MWC: Boise State (Matt Miller and Shane Williams-Rhodes).

Sun Belt: South Alabama (TE Wes Saxton and Shavarez Smith).

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