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Can Slayton be the all-around WR we need?

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Can Darius Slayton become all-around WR Auburn football needs?

Justin Ferguson 

Let’s continue with the top wide receiver position of split end, also known as the 9 or X.

 
  • Darius Slayton (Junior)
  • Nate Craig-Myers (Junior)
  • Matthew Hill (Freshman — summer enrollee)
  • Seth Williams (Freshman — summer enrollee)

SUMMER SCHOOL: QB | RB

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Auburn wide receiver Darius Slayton averaged more than 22 yards per catch last season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Answers from spring practice

How can Slayton take the next step as Auburn’s top outside receiver?

Slayton dealt with injury issues early in the 2017 season, going three straight games without a single catch. Then he turned it on, putting up four games of at least 60 receiving yards in the back half of the season. Slayton averaged 22.17 yards per catch and was Jarrett Stidham’s most reliable deep threat.

This spring, Slayton said he was working on his route running and becoming more of an intermediate threat — an area where Auburn’s passing game needs improvement. He got some looks on those types of routes on A-Day. If he can be more of an all-around receiver, Slayton could be in for a huge season.

Can Auburn find a way to get Craig-Myers more involved this season?

There will be more written about Craig-Myers later this week, when Summer School takes a look at the slot receivers. But the injuries to Eli Stove and Will Hastings could have opened the door for the junior to be more of a playmaker in 2018.

With Stove and Hastings out, Ryan Davis might see more time on the outside at flanker. In a standard three-receiver set for Auburn, Craig-Myers saw more opportunities on A-Day as a big slot target. Since Craig-Myers’ speed and separation aren’t quite what is expected of the split end, there’s a good chance he won’t have to compete against Slayton on the outside. He can get his looks down the middle.Numbers to know

22.17. Slayton averaged 22.17 yards per catch last season on 29 receptions. That single-season mark is the fourth-best in Auburn history for receivers who had at least 20 catches, behind Freddy Weygand (1984), Alexander Wright (1989) and Alvin Bresler (1970).

39.2. Slayton’s catch rate last season, per Football Study Hall, was 39.2 percent. He was the only scholarship receiver on the roster that has a catch rate of less than 50 percent. That’s not all on Slayton — he ran a lot of deep routes that are tougher to complete. More intermediate routes will be key for him in 2018.

Questions for the fall

Can Slayton become a more consistent target with Stidham?

If Slayton gets opportunities to run more than his standard fly routes and screens at split end, Stidham will have another go-to target in 2018. Davis averaged 6 receptions per game last season. Slayton only had 2.2. With his ability to create big plays, Slayton needs to be more involved in the passing game this fall.

A lot of signs point to that happening. Slayton will be in his second season with Stidham, so the chemistry from all those long passes in 2017 should continue to grow. Now entering his fourth year with the program, all eyes are on Slayton to become a bigger playmaker in an offense that is made for his talents.

 
Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Auburn wide receivers-Matthew Hill
Incoming Auburn wide receiver Matthew Hill is already close with Darius Slayton. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Where will Auburn’s new freshman receivers line up?

Hill told SEC Country last week that Auburn coaches saw him in Slayton’s role at split end. Slayton could use a dedicated backup, especially if Craig-Myers gets more opportunities as a slot receiver this fall. A source told SEC Country that Auburn expects Hill to be an instant-impact playmaker this fall, so getting in the rotation at split end makes perfect sense for the Georgia native.

But don’t forget about Williams, the 6-foot-4 product from just outside Tuscaloosa, Ala. Williams is a big body with impressive athleticism who can work either inside or outside. Only time will tell if Auburn sees Williams as a split end or more of a big slot. That will be something to watch early in fall camp.

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My question,can the receivers  get better seperation this year.

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Interesting that they have Hill as the most likely backup to Slayton at split-end. I wonder if Seth might be a better fit there. Not at all doubting Hill's skill just that Seth has the build similar to Slayton.

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Maybe I should have known this already, maybe not, but the catch rate is based on all balls and not catchable balls? That's rough if so. Maybe show me a drop rate and I may get a clearer picture. I seem to remember that he had more drops at the first of the year than later on but maybe we stopped throwing to him as much. His yards per catch is something else though. Impressive. 

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The offense we have makes him a one trick pony , so it is quite unfair to ask of him. It is like asking Sammy Coates can he be an all around receiver at AU, when all he is asked to do is run fades with the occasional screen pass.

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18 hours ago, bigbird said:

Can we throw to open up the run?

Hoping for this. I would also really love for Auburn to get their first 1,000 yard receiver in what feels like a century.

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Off topic, but why didnt Kyle Davis go to a place that actually throws the ball? Didnt their RB have like 2000 yards at FAU? 

 

On topic, NCM could, this guy probably could, Schwartz probably could, we got candidates but we have a city league passing offense so 

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12 hours ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

Off topic, but why didnt Kyle Davis go to a place that actually throws the ball? Didnt their RB have like 2000 yards at FAU? 

 

On topic, NCM could, this guy probably could, Schwartz probably could, we got candidates but we have a city league passing offense so 

Lane Kiffen will throw the ball more when they have the right personnel to be successful. See, LK does this thing called adjusting to your teams strength . Weird, I know. 

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On 5/27/2018 at 7:10 AM, DAG said:

Lane Kiffen will throw the ball more when they have the right personnel to be successful. See, LK does this thing called adjusting to your teams strength . Weird, I know. 

I wonder if theres a contingency that still prefers Lane over Malzahn. I certainly wanted him as an OC here couple years back but he wouldve likely had little to no control and there would've been an ego clash

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1 hour ago, Dual-Threat Rigby said:

I wonder if theres a contingency that still prefers Lane over Malzahn. I certainly wanted him as an OC here couple years back but he wouldve likely had little to no control and there would've been an ego clash

God no way I could see Lane and Gus getting along . Lane will get a gig soon enough if he continues it up at FAU.

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does anyone know how slayton and hasting are doing?i came across an article on an auburn site and it would not load but the title gave me the impression both injuries were bad and it would a long recovery. anyone know? i believe the site was auburn now maybe?

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3 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

does anyone know how slayton and hasting are doing?i came across an article on an auburn site and it would not load but the title gave me the impression both injuries were bad and it would a long recovery. anyone know? i believe the site was auburn now maybe?

Slayton isn't injured. It's Stove who is injured.

Edited by lionheartkc

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5 minutes ago, lionheartkc said:

Slayton isn't injured. It's Stove who is injured.

my bad dammit. old age. still the worry is the same even tho the names have been changed...lol

Edited by aubiefifty

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5 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

my bad dammit. old age. still the worry is the same even tho the names have been changed...lol

Last word is that Stove has a chance to make it back this year, Hastings, probably not. We likely won't hear much on either until they appear on the practice field.

Edited by lionheartkc
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Slayton has to adjust to the ball better like the catch against Uga. We must diversify his routes obviously. I always wonder about the play in the Lsu game right before the punt return td.  He ran his only route he ever seemed to run up the left side. 3rd and about 10. The ball landed near his inside foot. He seemed to make no effort to break stride and give himself a chance at it. Then that one vs uga was awesome. 

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58 minutes ago, alexava said:

Slayton has to adjust to the ball better like the catch against Uga. We must diversify his routes obviously. I always wonder about the play in the Lsu game right before the punt return td.  He ran his only route he ever seemed to run up the left side. 3rd and about 10. The ball landed near his inside foot. He seemed to make no effort to break stride and give himself a chance at it. Then that one vs uga was awesome. 

He does seem to have issues judging the ball at its highest point.

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1 hour ago, DAG said:

He does seem to have issues judging the ball at its highest point.

In his defense, he is getting low percentage targets. He certainly improved. I just sometimes think he doesn’t go after it like I’d hope. It might be judgement instead of effort. I still think he has yet to play his best football. 

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10 hours ago, DAG said:

He does seem to have issues judging the ball at its highest point.

The good news is that is something that is easily fixed by repetition, so if he and Stidham put in the work this Summer, that should not be a problem going forward.

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I stumbled across some video of the work he's been putting in with Peyton Manning during the off-season:

 

1439914545-peyton.gif

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1 hour ago, Randman5000 said:

NCM.

I really REALLY hope that he does what he says and steps up. We are already short-handed and we need experienced players to make plays. Freshmen will more than likely get jitters. Really like that catch he made in the A-Day game in traffic. Don't want to constantly rely on RD to make a play.

Edited by WFE12
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IMO both NCM and Slay can be all-around stud WRs. However, I don't think our coaches will put them in a position to do that.

Up until this point in the Gus as HC era, the way we've used our WRs has not been conducive to any WR to be an all-around threat. We coach our WRs to be 1 trick ponies as Todd McShay put it. I thought this would stop when got the influx of talent in Stove/NCM/Kyle Davis but those guys have also been asked to do just 1 thing basically. Whoever is getting our WRs to commit to us is doing one hell of a job because, if I had a WR prospect as a son (which I don't) I'm not sure what's attractive about sending my kid to play in this offense as a WR. Even former players like Ricardo Louis has said he was way behind in his WR development when he got to the NFL and while Sammie Coates did not say that publicly his pro coaches did.

Does anyone have an actual reason as to why a coach would limit his offense in this manner? Isn't it common knowledge that if a WR is known to run multiple routes he becomes exponentially harder to defend? Isn't Gus a former WR? :dunno:

 

 

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