UA-59049186-1 Michigan Team 137 Preview: Wide Receiver - Good if it Goes

Michigan Team 137 Preview: Wide Receiver

Back from last year (a noble click embiggens this chart)


Projected starters: Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh

Could make an impact: Grant Perry, Moe Ways, Drake Harris, Kekoa Crawford

Watch out for next year: Harris, Crawford, Eddie McDoom, Ahmir Mitchell, Nate Johnson

In last year’s preview, I said Amara Darboh should be a fine #2 receiving option, but that there wasn’t a clear #1 guy on the roster. Over the course of the season, that #1 guy emerged in Jehu Chesson. After a breakout 2015, redshirt senior Chesson is back for his final season. Chesson has plenty of speed, plenty of size at 6’3, and last year, he really sharpened his receiving skills. The height of his season came in the bowl game, where he put a move on future 1st-round pick Vernon Hargreaves that Hargreaves still hasn’t caught up to.

Redshirt senior Amara Darboh was very good in his own right in 2015. Darboh may not have the speed Chesson does, but he runs good routes and is rather sure-handed. A 6’2 frame doesn’t hurt him, either. Zach Shaw has said that Darboh has become Michigan’s #1 receiver, which, if true, would be awesome and would mean Michigan would have one of the better tandems in the conference and probably the country.

Sophomore Grant Perry should play a decent amount in the slot. Perry came in with plenty of promise and had some hype around him going into the season. Once he got on the field, things didn’t go so well. Early on, Perry looked very much like a freshman. He didn’t grade out positively until the ninth game of the year, against Rutgers. The good news is that from that point on, all his grades were positive including a bowl game performance that provided plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into this season.

Redshirt sophomore Moe Ways was generally okay in limited time last year. In 2015, the 6’3 Ways showed himself to be an asset as a blocker in the run game. This year, I’m hoping to see more from him as a pass catcher, as he’ll likely need to be a big part of the offense in 2017.

Redshirt sophomore Drake Harris showed a few flashes of the guy Michigan fans hoped he’d be when he came to Ann Arbor. A very good athlete with plenty of size at 6’4, Harris never really got to display the talent that made Wolverines fans so excited about him due to nagging hamstring injuries. Though he’s finally healthy, he’s still got some work to do to truly get near his ceiling. As with Ways, I hope to see him on the field more this year as the Wolverines will need to count on him going forward.

Freshman Kekoa Crawford could see the field a bit this year, as he appears to be the most college-ready of Michigan’s receiver commits from the class of 2016. Crawford’s got good speed and route running skills. His hands need a bit of work.

Freshman Eddie McDoom comes to Ann Arbor with an awesome name and a high ceiling. He’s not the fastest guy in the world, but runs good routes and possesses good ball skills. I’m guessing he’ll redshirt, but I don’t think it’s completely out of the question that he sees the field in 2016.

Freshman Ahmir Mitchell has plenty of athleticism, but is a bit raw as a receiver. He enrolled early, so it’s not impossible that he sees the field right away, but my guess is he’ll still need enough polishing that a redshirt’s a better option.

Freshman Nate Johnson has major upside, but should take a redshirt if bowl game Grant Perry is here to stay.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312


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