OSU 2013 Season in Review: Wide Receiver

OSU 2013 Season in Review: Wide Receiver

CORVALLIS – A sophomore made some noise, and two senior receivers helped ignite the OSU offense during what was truly a pass happy year for the Beavs. Sean Mannion completed 400 passes, a hefty 228 of which went the way of wideouts. Do those numbers accurately reflect the overall talent of the entire corps? Not if you consider that all but 100 of those catches went the way of one wide receiver…

… A wide receiver who has opted to turn pro in 2014.

Brandin Cooks roped in 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 TDs during the 2013 regular season, and earned the coveted Biletnikoff Award in the process.

Upon review of Oregon State's 2013 receiving stats, a question arises – how good were they collectively if 55.9 percent of the yardage and 56 percent of the receptions all belonged to Cooks?

Better yet, how much of sophomore Richard Mullaney's success, and the successes of the graduating Micah Hatfield and Kevin Cummings, can be attributed to the fact that more often than not, Cooks was double covered?

The only consistent receiving threat in 2013 that had a WR attached to his name on the roster was Cooks. Mullaney's 52 receptions for 788 yards and three scores might seem impressive on paper, but when one takes into account the fact that the bulk of his production came against three teams that demonstrated porous pass defense during the regular season (335 yards and two TD's between Utah, WSU and Hawaii), those statistics lose luster.

Don't misunderstand my analysis – Cooks was a dynamo. When a coach and offensive coordinator have a player of that caliber, they'll get the ball to him, and other players will see a significantly lighter load.

Cooks handled the wear and tear of too much attention like a champ. Rarely did he take a seat due to injury, and he kept chugging along even when he was doubled, roughed up and barreled into by linebackers, corners and safeties alike.

The same cannot be said for Mullaney, Hatfield and Cummings. All three had injury trouble in 2013, and from far fewer looks.

Regardless, Cummings made some brilliant catches on third down to extend drives, Hatfield had quick feet, and Mullaney proved his hands were made in a glue factory…sometimes.

Otherwise, it was evident that the trio was unable to supply the speed, power and distractions necessary to compliment Cooks and create options in the pattern.

In total, Mullaney, Cummings, Hatfield, Malik Gilmore, Victor Bolden, Obum Gwacham and Mitch Singler were responsible for 1,364 yards, six TD's and 100 receptions.

Cooks alone topped that by 28 receptions, 10 TD's and nearly 400 yards.

It seems wrong to allocate a grade representative of the entire unit's production in 2013.

So…

Brandin Cooks earns an A, and the rest earn a C-.

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