LSU Wide Receivers Breakdown
The LSU Tigers will need to fill the void left by Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. at the receiver position this season. With Landry and Beckham Jr. both gone to the NFL, LSU has only one receiver returning who made at least one catch last season.
Travin Dural is the only player on this year's roster who made a catch last season with seven receptions. That means a lot of young players are going to have to step up and hit the ground running when they step on campus.
With that being said, let's take a look at the receivers who will make the most impacts for LSU this season.
1. Travin Dural
Dural has the most experience of the receivers on the roster so he will be leaned upon heavily in the passing game. Even though he only had a handful of catches last season, Dural showed his skill during LSU's spring game and stuck out as the No. 1 receiver on the depth chart.
He will not burn a lot of defensive backs because he lacks breakaway speed, but he is agile and is a smooth route runner who can catch the ball in heavy traffic. Dural has also shown some hops in spring practice. During the spring game, he proved that he can outjump corners to make grabs in the end zone and down the sideline.
Dural will be a big factor in the passing game so expect him to get a plethora of targets all over the field. He is easily No. 1. on the depth chart.
2. Malachi Dupre
The 5-star prospect out of John Curtis High School in New Orleans is a freak. He stands 6-3 and weighs 190 pounds with a ridiculous vertical leap. He is the definition of a red zone threat.
The best part about Dupre is that he has elite speed and soft hands. He is a great route runner, but that is often overshadowed by his play-making ability. Dupre is an elite talent who can spread out a defense and is a nightmare for defensive backs in the red zone. He is going to make a ton of plays and score a lot.
His only knock is going to be getting his route tree down. Once he does, he will be the first option at receiver as a lock at the two-spot on the depth chart.
3. Trey Quinn
Quinn will be the go-to guy in this group of receivers. He is your textbook "third-and-short, let's throw an inside slant to pick up the first" type of receiver and will be Brandon Harris' safety net. Quinn is not the first receiver who comes to your mind when you think about LSU's top 2014 wide receiver commit due to Dupre, but he will stand out once the season starts.
Quinn is 6-0 and weighs 200 pounds, making him a boulder at wide receiver. The former 4-star commit holds the national high school record for career receiving yards with 6,556 yards. The kid can flat-out catch and will be fed the ball more than anyone else on the roster.
He is Landry-esque when it comes to his ability to catch the football, but his ability to run after he catches is what separates him from the others. Quinn will be the No. 3 receiver on the depth chart, but will see a lot of playing time.
Leslie and Quinn are battling it out at the three-spot on the depth chart, but with Quinn's inside threat, I think it makes more sense to have Quinn as the third option. However, Leslie is a great secret weapon to spread the field and make plays.
Leslie is a speed demon with the ball in his hands and has the ability to separate from smaller, faster corners to get into open space. The only problem with him is his size. The 6-4, 175-pound senior is a tall receiver, but is a bit lanky. If he can gain some muscle and not get pushed around at the line of scrimmage by some of the more physical corners, he will be a big help when Dupre and Dural are being blanketed.
In open space he can be a hassle to cover, but his lanky stature and ability to get pressed on the line knock him down a bit. He will be used to spread the field and scare defenses at the four-spot on the depth chart.
The fifth weapon on this team is a bit of a toss-up due to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's preference. He has been quoted as saying that the tight end will be incorporated into the passing game more this season so players like Desean Smith, Travis Dickson and Dillon Gordon could be utilized a bit more than seasons past.
He could also add more burners to spread out the defense and get his other weapons open. Players that fit that mold are Avery Peterson and D.J. Chark, who both have serious speed and are athletic. Chark was exceptional in the return game at the high school level so he could be used on special teams as well.
The most likely option for the No. 5 receiver is an overall weapon like John Diarse or Tony Upchurch. Diarse is a 6-0, 200-pound receiver who has the ability to get behind defensive backs, but can also bang with linebackers inside. Upchurch is special because he is capable of playing at the flex as a tight end or out wide as a receiver. It will be interesting to see where Cameron utilizes him the most.
A lot of people were worried about this LSU receiving corps once Landry and Beckham Jr. left, but I can tell you that the group stepping up this fall is going to be exciting. There is a lot of diverse talent at the position, so I know that Cameron is going to have a field day in exploring his options.