WSU needs wide receiver depth to run Mike Leach's Air Raid, but the Cougars are almost bordering on absurd levels on wide receiver depth.
Depth was an issue at times last season, but heading into 2013 WSU appears to be three-deep at all four spots. At least on paper. The return of Rickey Galvin and the additions of Robert Lewis, Vince Mayle and River Cracraft give WSU plenty of bodies. There is a difference between depth and good depth though. Which does WSU have?
Here is the list of wide receiver who are currently in the mix to be part of the regular rotation next season. Dominique Williams, Kristoff Williams, Mayle, Gabe Marks, Isiah Myers, Bobby Ratliff, Lewis, Galvin, Cracraft, Brett Bartolone. As I detailed here a year ago, Leach used roughly 12 wide receivers per season at Texas Tech with the top seven accounting for 75 percent of the targets.
WSU's top seven would currently look something like; D Williams, Myers, Marks, Galvin, Bartolone, Ratliff and K Williams. That would mean Lewis, Cracraft and Mayle see some time, but are not significant parts of the rotation. All three are yet to prove they can play at this level, but they are highly-regarded prospects and a very nice luxury near the bottom of the depth chart. Last year those spots were filled with walk-ons, so the depth has certainly improved
No matter how the top seven shakes out, there are going to be some talented players waiting in the wings. With that said, it seems like an easy call that WSU has A depth at wide receiver, but I'm still going to go with a B. The reason is, while there is a lot of talent, the Cougars don't have enough proven production. Several players have shown flashes of brilliance, but non of the players listed above have proved they can produce over an entire season.
Could Marks, or Dominique Williams be great? It's possible, but there are enough question marks for me to bump them down a grade. A B+ or A- would probably be more fitting, if we were really breaking it down.
How would you grade WSU's WR depth?