Saturday, August 17, 2013

BHB 2013 Postion Previews: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

The TE position has depth and quality starters, the WR position group has the biggest question marks of the entire offense.   Let's take a look at the projected starters for both groups:

Wide Receivers Starters:

Outside WR:  Jeremy Gallon
Slot WR:  Drew Dileo
Projected Opposite side WR:  Amara Darboh

Back ups:
Jeremy Jackson
Dennis Norfleet
Csont'e York
Jaron Dukes
Joe Reynolds
Jehu Chesson

TE Starters:

Starter:  Devin Funchess/AJ Williams

Khalid Hill
Jake Butt
Jordan Paskorz

We know what we have in Gallon and Dileo but we need more.   The "more" is the big question.  The Michigan coaches decided to redshirt Chesson and play Darboh (on special teams) last year.  The practice buzz on Darboh has been off the meter this summer and we know Gardner worked with all the WR's everyday.   If Michigan is going to be successful this year, we need a breakout year from that 3rd WR.  

Who is break out ready?  The best guess is Darboh and Norfleet.   Big Al really needs a tall WR in his offense and Amara's frame at 6'2 seems to be a good fit.  The "word is" he has great hands and catches everything.   Norfleet because it seems like he can break something big every time he touches the ball.   I would love for him to get some early success so he can really have a good year and be a threat in the Big Ten season.   I expect reverses and screens to Norfleet early in the season until he learns the position a bit better.

Who is going to get us some first downs?   These are the guys that are going to run the proper routes, get open and give Devin some easy throws to keep the chains moving: Jeremy Jackson and Joe Reynolds.  3J's = 1st downs and some much needed senior leadership for the younger guys.   They are Michigan's "possession receivers" and I hope they get about 25 catches each this year.

Redshirts?   Both of these guys need more practice time, a few more lunches and time in the weight room.  I don't expect either Csont'e York or Jaron Dukes to play this year.  

What you got kid? Yes you, Jehu!  He is going to get a shot sometime this year.  Can he be a game changer or does he need more time as a redshirt freshman?  Either way he is going to get a shot, lets see what he does with the opportunity.  He is a noted "speed guy" which could be a nice deep threat during the year.

Darboh's biggest contribution last year was on special teams where he recorded 5 tackles.  He didn't have any catches.  Reynolds had 3 total catches and Jackson had 4 catches.   We need production and a deep threat from this spot!  Can Darboh get deep and separate from DB's is one of those burning questions we need answered. 

Tight Ends

How many times did you yell at the game or at the TV to throw it to Funchess last year?   I think it was about a 100 times for me.   The guy is a walking miss match and I doubt there is a LB in the country that can cover him.   He has to be open right?   Well, he caught 15 balls last year and it should have been at least 30.  Most of those throws came from Denard and for some reason Devin didn't seem to look for him much.  Devin can be Devin's go to guy if he throws the ball to him.   I hope both of them not only shared a first name but did some bonding this off season.  If Funchess isn't a All Big Ten and a border-line All American this year something went very wrong. 

The only negative in his game, is that he wasn't much of a blocker which took him off the field on running downs.  It sounds like he has been working on that aspect of his game and might see a few more snaps this year.     

Speaking of blocking, the pass catching offensive lineman AJ Williams has slimed down to 265 from 282 and might be candidate of a few more passes then just a blocking TE.  Either way, it's nice to have a guy his size on the offensive line to get the RB's a few more yards. 

Surprises?:   I'm ready to go out on a limb and say that Jake Butt might be a candidate for freshman of the year in the Big Ten.  I think this kid has a high skill level and been in Ann Arbor since January.  He did spring ball and had plenty of time to work on his strength with Coach Wellman.  The guy is 6'6 and 237 pounds, he might be the perfect combination between Funchess and Williams.  Who on defensive is going to cover him?   Think about the possibility of a defense trying to cover both Butt and Funchess at the same time.  Are you going to put a 5'9 DB on either of those guys?  I think not!  

Redshirts: Khalid Hill due to depth chart and being a true freshman.

If Michigan is not getting the production they need from that 3rd WR look for more two TE formations.  Think of the offense Tom Brady has been running the last couple of years with the talented TE's he had.  I love the possible upside from this group, it's a clear advantage that Big AL will need to make sure shows up every Saturday. 

No comments: