Joe Coughlin

Best B1G WR: Robinson vs. Abbrederis

Created on Jul. 09, 2013 3:26 PM EST

It may seem like an exercise in futility to debate the Big Ten’s best wide receiver (it's kind of like finding the healthiest breakfast burrito), but there’s some talent here — maybe even some NFL talent.

And that talent is spread out across the league; however, it needs to be to offset the top-heavy league by delivering some excitement elsewhere. The two players we’re discussing — Allen Robinson of Penn State and Jared Abbrederis of Wisconsin — do that.

But who’s the league’s top wideout?

The Case For Allen Robinson

Nittany Lions fans were disappointed when Justin Brown bolted from Penn State in the summer of 2012, but Allen Robinson stayed and was rewarded for his loyalty.

As a junior, the big target (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) caught 77 balls for 1,018 yards and 11 scores, leading the league in all three categories and was the only B1G receiver to top 1,000 yards.

Robinson has good body control and gets in great position to snag the rock. He runs sharp routes to create separation, and has breakaway speed. He’s what you want lining up on the outside.

With a new quarterback coming in, however, there may be some growing pains. By the end of the year, though, expect similar numbers.

The Case For Jared Abbrederis

Abbrederis has gone from walk-on to scout-team quarterback to a top playmaker in the Big Ten. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year thanks to 49 catches, 839 yards and five TDs. He was also featured in the run game and as a punt returner.

Abbrederis actually had more catches and scores as a junior, but that was with Russell Wilson at the helm of a more pass-happy offense. Last year, Abbrederis dealt with a quarterback carousel thanks to injuries, making his numbers that much more impressive.

The kid is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’s quick and agile, helping him find open space consistently. He’s got good size at 6-2/188 and is more physical than he looks. Abbrederis can muscle himself into good position and has great hands to reel in a catch.

The Winner: Robinson

When I said NFL talent, I meant Robinson. He’s the best in the Big Ten and one of the best in the country.

He’s big, strong, fast, long, quick, smart and dependable. As I said, you have a wide receiver like Robinson and your passing game is always a threat — making everything else (running the ball) easier. Penn State will need it — and Robinson. 

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