One of the primary goals during spring practice was improving Auburn's pass-offense, especially when it comes to attacking vertically. Sammie Coates proved to be a dangerous weapon last season but Auburn coaches expect for others to step up this season to complete the wide-receiver corp.
Top-5 receivers from A-Day:
Melvin Ray: 6-91-0
"Duke" Williams: 5-88-1
Quan Bray: 3-89-2
Tony Stevens: 3-64-2
Sammie Coates: 2-29-1
Taking the top-5 WR performances from A-Day, Auburn's top receivers caught 19 passes for 361-yards and 6 TD's. The top-5 receivers averaged 19.0 yards per reception compared to the 14.1 average during the 2013 season.
The top-5 receivers generated 10 plays of 15-yards or more for a ratio of 1 for every 1.9 receptions made. Last season Auburn's WR's averaged an impact play every 3.1 receptions.
The top-5 receivers averaged a TD every 3.2 receptions compared to the 2013 ratio of 1 every 9.1 receptions.
JUCO transfer D'haquille Williams lived up to the hype, catching 5 passes for 88-yards. He caught 1 TD pass, which is broken down in the above clipbit. Facing a 1st & goal from the 3-yard line, Nick Marshall will throw a fade-route to the corner of the end zone. Duke Williams utilizes his physical attributes to create separation between himself and the CB covering 1 on 1.
Williams goes vertical to snag the football at it's highest point. He turns his upper body to shield the ball, while securing it with both hands. Needing only 1 foot down to complete the reception, Williams manages to get both feet in bounds. Coach Rhett Lashlee has stressed to his quarterbacks for them to allow the WR's to make plays.
Auburn was 39th nationally in terms of pass-efficiency inside the red zone during the 2013 season. The above play and Sammie Coates 1-handed TD reception are the type of plays Lashlee wants from his passing game.
Yards per reception:
Auburn's WR's averaged 14.1 yards per reception, which was 17th best among Auburn receivers over the past 30 years. If you took the top-5 WR corps in terms of yards per reception, they combined for a 57-7-0 record.
Look for Auburn to make a major improvement in their vertical passing game, which will means a better impact ratio in the passing game and a better yards per reception.