Which school is WRU? These five programs can stake a claim
Which team is WRU? Many times, this is determined based on history. But we thought it would be interesting to base it off of current NFL rosters. Below are the teams that were the best candidates, along with Farrell's verdict.
The case: Clemson has two receivers on the Los Angeles Chargers and one each in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Houston, Tampa Bay, New York and Kansas City. That is an incredible haul, and it does not look to stop anytime soon since the Tigers are once again loaded at receiver and continue to sign five-stars.
Paul Strelow, TigerIllustrated.com: “Clemson has been unrivaled in churning out prolific and high-profile receivers for the NFL this decade, and that has translated into the continued acquisition of recruits such as Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross and new commitment Frank Ladson.
"But what’s equally impressive is its efficiency rate in harvesting the bulk of the guys on the depth chart. Martavis Bryant, Adam Humphries and Jaron Brown were valuable role players who have exceeded expectations in the pros, and that speaks favorably to Clemson’s ability to develop receivers into ready-made NFL products. In another year, former walk-on Hunter Renfrow could well add his name to that list, while Higgins, a former five-star, looks primed for a breakout season on the college football scene.”
The case: For a team that has not been an offensive juggernaut in recent years, LSU continues to pump out exceptional receivers. Beckham is one of the best in the NFL and Landry just signed a five-year, $75-million contract with the Cleveland Browns. D.J. Chark has had an impressive offseason and could be one of the top receivers drafted later this month.
Mike Scarborough, TigerBait.com: "Fans of college football probably wouldn't associate stellar wide receivers with LSU on a continual basis due to usually run-oriented offenses, but the Tigers have churned out NFL guys almost annually this century. Beckham Jr. and Landry certainly stand out, but there's been a continual LSU wide receiver presence on NFL rosters for years."
The case: Smith-Schuster was one of the biggest surprises in the NFL last season as a rookie with the Steelers. Agholor helped Philadelphia win the Super Bowl. Woods and Lee have been solid contributors in the league. And USC could be loading up even more in the coming years. Tyler Vaughns could emerge as an even more special player this season, and incoming freshman Amon-Ra St. Brown is arguably the best California receiver in the last decade.
Adam Maya, TrojanSports.com: “USC has experienced a renaissance of sorts at the wideout position. The school has long featured excellent receivers, but its latest crop is producing in the NFL, much like in the 1990s, when Curtis Conway, Johnnie Morton and Keyshawn Johnson made waves on Sundays after All-American careers at USC. A fascinating subplot involving JuJu, Agholor, Woods and Lee - each of whom is under 27 - is which one will end up being the best pro.”
The case: Jones is arguably the best receiver in the league, and the former five-star is a five-time Pro Bowl selection. New Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden recently said Cooper reminds him of a young Tim Brown, and after a disappointing 2017 season Cooper could have a breakout season in Oakland’s new offense. The first receiver expected to be drafted later this month is Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, who caught 224 passes in three years in Tuscaloosa.
Tony Tsoukalas, BamaInsider.com: “Don’t look now, but Alabama is beginning to develop more and more NFL receivers. Jones is one of the league’s best wideouts, and Cooper looks poised to join him at that elite level in the near future. Ridley, a projected first-round pick, is sure to further boost Alabama’s NFL resume at receiver as well.”
The case: Nine former Ohio State players are receivers in the NFL, and that’s an impressive number considering two of them - Miller and Pryor - had been quarterbacks. No other Big Ten team is even on the top 5 list, so the Buckeyes continue to pump out skill players to the NFL and it has a snowball effect in recruiting. Last cycle, Ohio State landed three of the top four players in the state, including 6-foot-5 WR Blue Smith.
Marc Givler, BuckeyeGrove.com: “Ohio State's argument here is in the depth of receivers that it has produced in recent years. Thomas is a budding star for the Saints and Ginn Jr. seems to get better with age. Behind them, you have a stable of younger receivers around the league and the re-emergence of Posey, who was arguably the best receiver in the CFL, strengthens the pool of former Buckeyes in the NFL.”
FARRELL'S VERDICT: CLEMSON
This is a tough call, and it could be the toughest of any position because LSU and Alabama have great 1-2 punches. But I’m going with the depth of Clemson, because the Tigers have so many guys who have made big impacts in the NFL. Clemson has churned out first-rounders, have one of the best wide receivers in the league in Hopkins and have great depth with Watkins, Bryant and Peake. You could make a case for any of the five here, and it’s hard to pass on LSU especially, but I’ll go with Clemson.