Pitt Panthers: Positional Preview of Wide Receivers

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Nov 15, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd (23) scores a touchdown as North Carolina Tar Heels running back Donnie Miles (15) defends in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

TIER 1: Will See Time as Wide Receiver

Boyd as you know, is nothing short of the best; not just on his team at his position, but nationally among all players.

In 2014 we saw him lead the nation by accounting for 48% of the teams total receptions at 78 to go along with 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns. Statistics we have seen only once before out of a Panther, in Larry Fitzgerald.

As a junior, Boyd is on pace to be the most productive receiver in the history of Pitt. I don’t expect him to slouch in his effectiveness to change a game but anticipate him making more of a contribution on the ground.

He is a supernova that will shine bright in 2015 in what will most likely be his last season with the Panthers.

Sep 27, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Tyler Boyd (23) runs after a pass reception against Akron Zips cornerback Kris Givens (21) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Akron Zips won 21-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, their isn’t much to go off of when considering what Ford can bring to the field in 2015. Last season, he made a slight contribution and that came in the game against Syracuse when he converted an improbable catch.

With that being said, he is looked at as a lock to be the second wide-receiver on the Pitt depth chart. The mission should be simple; run deep, catch the attention of the safety, and alleviate the pressure placed on Boyd. Any production in the passing game will be a huge advantage.

Let’s look for about thirty receptions and a couple touchdowns out of Ford in 2015.

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Challingsworth is a crafty and physical receiver. He possesses quick feet and can use his hands to shed the defender at the line of scrimmage decently well.

While he should see the field as a receiver on a more frequent basis in 2015, we shouldn’t expect to see out of this world numbers stemming from it. It’s not that he wasn’t able to perform a season ago, because even serving on special teams you have to have a decent skill set.

He showed flashes of improvement this past spring, and I expect him to round into shape through the fall leading up to the season opener against Youngstown State on September 5.

Henderson should be a fun one to watch develop as the season progresses. At first, I was wondering if he would see time at wide-out, or redshirt, considering the number of players at the position: fourteen in all on the current roster.

But for Henderson, it’s the way he can separate himself from others. On tape, he shows the knack for doing whatever it takes, whenever it takes, to make the big play: crossing the middle, going down the sidelines, and even displaying flexibility and smooth moves in the return game.

Much like when Boyd made his mark as a freshman against Florida State, the skills of Quadree might present the coaches the issue of not being able to do enough for him in his freshman campaign. That’s how versatile this kid truly is.

It’s going to take some initial seasoning and bulking, but I am certain he will see the field in the slot position for the Panthers as a freshman.

I have said it before and I am fairly certain it will not be the last time, but there is very little separating Araujo-Lopes from Henderson. The only real difference I notice is the extra conditioning and year of eligibility spent in a college setting.

Much like Henderson, Araujo-Lopes is very agile, slithers across the middle with ease and determination, and has the knack for turning a five yard play into ten-plus yards. I give the edge in speed to Araujo-Lopes, but only minimally.

It is going to come down to the right opportunity, but I don’t see how they can neglect him playing time in the slot with the dimensions of the game he provides and does exceptionally.

Rafael confirms the notion of a crowded top-tier.


All I know is that Whitehead has the chance to affect the game in so many ways, which includes, but is not limited to, as a receiver. Bottled into one is a mixture of Darrelle Revis, Cam Saddler, and Ray Graham. (the best qualities of each)

Next: Tipton is a Weapon on the Second Tier