In our next position depth chart for Wisconsin Football, we will take a look at the wide receivers. We have already reviewed quarterbacks and running backs. The Wisconsin wide receivers lost a few contributors last season, but return a majority of their players from last season. After a season filled with injuries, young players had to step up. This year, the position group is experienced and should help out Graham Mertz and the offense.
Departures- Mason Stokke, Garrett Groshek, Adam Krumholz
Stokke, Groshek, and Krumholz are gone after contributing in the shortened 2020 season. Groshek, a member of the New Orleans Saints, led this bunch with 22 catches for 119 years. Stokke, a member of the Carolina Panthers, logged in 8 catches for 58 yards, but 3 touchdowns. Adam Krumholz recorded 3 catches for 47 yards last season.
While these stats don’t stick out to the average fan, this group was necessary to help Graham Mertz develop in his first year under center. Groshek and Stokke, in particular, were security blankets for the young quarterback, a necessity for young quarterback.
2021 Starters- Danny Davis III and Kendric Pryor
Danny Davis III and Kendric Pryor were supposed to be the 1-2 punch for Graham Mertz last season. Both players were back for their senior years and wanted end their careers on a high note. However, 2020 saw injuries to both players, resulting in a short season and little contribution. Davis III ended 2020 with 3 catches for 78 yards and one touchdown. Pryor logged in 8 catches for 119 yards.
This season, Davis III and Pryor return for their free year of eligibility given by the NCAA. Both players stated that they wanted to end their Badger careers on a high note. These are the clear starters for the Badgers this season. If both can stay healthy, Mertz will have 2 really good receivers to throw to in 2021.
In The Rotation- Jack Dunn and Chimere Dike
After Davis III and Pryor suffered injuries, Jack Dunn and Chimere Dike were the go-to receivers not named Jake Ferguson for a majority of 2020. Both players showed flashes throughout the season. However, it was a lot to ask out of both to beat corners such as Greg Newsome II and Benjamin St. Juste. Jack Dunn was a nice veteran receiver to have and made some tough catches in 2020. He ended the season with 28 catches for 228 yards and one touchdown.
I really like the flashes that Chimere Dike showed as a true freshman. There wasn’t a ton of fans (myself included) that thought he would contribute right away. He showed flashes in practice that gave us reason to think he could contribute immediately. Dike ended 2020 with 12 catches for 189 yards and one touchdown. After 2021, Dike should be the number one receiver and has the potential to do so.
Could Crack The Rotation- A.J. Abbott and Devin Chandler
This feels like this could be the year we see A.J. Abbott crack the receivers rotation. He has a ton of potential and coaches have raved about him in spring practices. Reps could be limited for Abbott, but I would love to see him get valuable snaps. He ended last season with 2 catches for 12 yards.
Devin Chandler made his presence known in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against Wake Forest. he almost took a kick off back for a touchdown and showed off his speed in an end-around handoff. I believe he’ll be the return specialist this year, but has the potential to have a Kendric Pryor role as a end-around specialist, a play the Badgers offense loves to run.
Could the 2021 Class Contribute?
The Badgers needed to add receivers in their 2021 class. A big reason was because we didn’t know if Pryor, Dunn, and Davis III would return for another season. The Badgers added Markus Allen and Skyler Bell and will be true freshmen this season.
It will be tough to see Bell and Allen crack the rotation this season, but Wisconsin doesn’t ask a lot of freshmen to contribute their first season. However, Allen and Bell are two names to remember after 2021 and beyond.
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