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wide receiver room is heavily undervalued


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There's a common perception of Auburn's wide receiver room.

The rotation (supposedly) has a lack of talent. Therefore, according to the media, Auburn's passing game will struggle.

Preseason narratives suggest that the Tigers as a whole lack talent, cohesion, and unity... and will eventually fall off of the rails once the season gets going. While there is reason to believe that the whole Bryan Harsin fiasco back in the spring effected the locker room and shook the bonds within the program, everything that has come out to the media since then has been nothing but positive. Auburn is rallying.

On top of that, they've still got some talent on roster. According to 247Sports' Blue Chip Ratio, 54% of Auburn's current roster consists of four or five-star signees, which is good for 15th nationally.

Let's look specifically at the receivers and their talent. Despite being ranked 13th in the SEC in Athlon Sports' preseason SEC unit rankings, and described as a corps that "is in dire need of playmakers" by Lindy's, Auburn's starting wide receiver rotation has the fifth-best average star rating (all ratings are from the 247Sports Composite) in the SEC.

If the Tigers have the talent on paper, then wouldn't these preseason projections base Auburn's "lack of playmakers" on Bryan Harsin's inability to develop the room?

Consider last season's numbers.

In 2021, Auburn's passing offense averaged 240.1 yards per game (up from the 220.1 yards per game the team averaged in 2020- with two NFL draft picks in the unit, might I add), which was only good for 59th nationally. However, that's Auburn's best yards per game total since 2004... back when Jason Campbell was throwing to Courtney Taylor and Devin Aromashodu. With a "lack of playmakers," the Tigers managed to have their best passing offense of the 21st century.

All of this despite Harsin firing receivers coach Cornelius Williams four games into the season.

With former receivers coach Eric Kiesau stepping into his new role as offensive coordinator, who did Auburn see fit to go out and fire as the new man in the WR room?

Ike Hilliard, an NFL receivers coach who has a track record filled with nothing but star-studded pass catchers and consistent development.

If anything, the Tigers should maintain things. Around 240 passing yards, similar production, etc. What's more likely is that players like LSU transfer Koy Moore, freshman Tar'Varish Dawson, and converted tight end Landen King breakout and help bolster what could potentially be a pretty deep unit.

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In 2021, Auburn's passing offense averaged 240.1 yards per game (up from the 220.1 yards per game the team averaged in 2020- with two NFL draft picks in the unit, might I add), which was only good for 59th nationally. However, that's Auburn's best yards per game total since 2004... back when Jason Campbell was throwing to Courtney Taylor and Devin Aromashodu. With a "lack of playmakers," the Tigers managed to have their best passing offense of the 21st century.

That is astounding.

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That is astounding.

I don’t care what statistical gymnastics the author is doing, last year was not our best passing attack of the 21st century. Not close. I’d say it wasn’t even in the top half. 

2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020 right off the top of my head were light years better than our air attack last year.

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I don’t care what statistical gymnastics the author is doing, last year was not our best passing attack of the 21st century. Not close. I’d say it wasn’t even in the top half. 

2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020 right off the top of my head were light years better than our air attack last year.

I feel like maybe the writer got mixed up w/ centuries and decades.

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I don’t care what statistical gymnastics the author is doing, last year was not our best passing attack of the 21st century. Not close. I’d say it wasn’t even in the top half. 

2004, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020 right off the top of my head were light years better than our air attack last year.

You never care for stats, you prefer your anecdotal opinions. We all already know this. You hate stats. We get it.

Further, 2009, 2010, 2013, were not "light years better" than our passing attack last year.  2013 we barely even passed the ball.  2010 was predominately a run-option attack but Cam definitely could sling it so it probably was better not light years though.  2009 had Chris Todd as a starter whom had to get a three yard running start to throw a 30 yard wounded duck of a pass.  

2014 I'll agree with. Great passing attack that year. 2017 was Stidham's first year, it was very good. 2018 it took a big step back. 2020 is an outlier as we only played 10 games so its hard to compare.

Edited by Didba
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I feel like maybe the writer got mixed up w/ centuries and decades.

Yeah saying 21st century is poor writing. The past decade would have been a better choice, IMO.

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You never care for stats, you prefer your anecdotal opinions. We all already know this. You hate stats. We get it.

Further, 2009, 2010, 2013, were not "light years better" than our passing attack last year.  2013 we barely even passed the ball.  2010 was predominately a run-option attack but Cam definitely could sling it so it probably was better not light years though.  2009 had Chris Todd as a starter whom had to get a three yard running start to throw a 30 yard wounded duck of a pass.  

2014 I'll agree with. Great passing attack that year. 2017 was Stidham's first year, it was very good. 2018 it took a big step back. 2020 is an outlier as we only played 10 games so its hard to compare.

This is my biggest beef with articles like this and takes like yours, Didba.

“Auburn’s receivers are undervalued”. Then quoting very specific stats to support the narrative. All with the message of: “You guys are so wrong to doubt Auburn football in 2022.”

No we aren’t. This team went 6-7 last year. We lost 5 straight to end the year. We lost huge chunks of playmakers from that team and we didn’t recruit well.

We were voted to finish last in the West. Our current perception is exactly what it should be. 

That doesn’t mean we’ll suck. That doesn’t mean we as fans should give up on the year. As Bird said, this team is unproven, not untalented. They deserve a chance. But they have to PROVE themselves.

So stop with the BS of shaming anyone who doesn’t respect this current squad. This team doesn’t deserve any respect. They need to go EARN it. 

The current doubts people have about this team are logical and legitimate. Let’s root for our staff and players to MAKE those doubts disappear when they hit the field, not try to act like there shouldn’t be doubts in the first place.

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We aren't untalented, we are unproven... Just like every other WR to ever have a breakout year.  The scheme will finally match the wr talent. I look fo a few to continue their ascension and take over throughout the year.

I know many aren't mentioning him, but I just feel like Shed is gonna be really solid this year. 

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This is my biggest beef with articles like this and takes like yours, Didba.

“Auburn’s receivers are undervalued”. Then quoting very specific stats to support the narrative. All with the message of: “You guys are so wrong to doubt Auburn football in 2022.”

No we aren’t. This team went 6-7 last year. We lost 5 straight to end the year. We lost huge chunks of playmakers from that team and we didn’t recruit well.

We were voted to finish last in the West. Our current perception is exactly what it should be. 

That doesn’t mean we’ll suck. That doesn’t mean we as fans should give up on the year. As Bird said, this team is unproven, not untalented. They deserve a chance. But they have to PROVE themselves.

So stop with the BS of shaming anyone who doesn’t respect this current squad. This team doesn’t deserve any respect. They need to go EARN it. 

The current doubts people have about this team are logical and legitimate. Let’s root for our staff and players to MAKE those doubts disappear when they hit the field, not try to act like there shouldn’t be doubts in the first place.

Shame you can’t respect the team until some unseen point during the season. I agree success in passing game is not a given, but I thoroughly respect my team and staff. 

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This is my biggest beef with articles like this and takes like yours, Didba.

“Auburn’s receivers are undervalued”. Then quoting very specific stats to support the narrative. All with the message of: “You guys are so wrong to doubt Auburn football in 2022.”

No we aren’t. This team went 6-7 last year. We lost 5 straight to end the year. We lost huge chunks of playmakers from that team and we didn’t recruit well.

We were voted to finish last in the West. Our current perception is exactly what it should be. 

That doesn’t mean we’ll suck. That doesn’t mean we as fans should give up on the year. As Bird said, this team is unproven, not untalented. They deserve a chance. But they have to PROVE themselves.

So stop with the BS of shaming anyone who doesn’t respect this current squad. This team doesn’t deserve any respect. They need to go EARN it. 

The current doubts people have about this team are logical and legitimate. Let’s root for our staff and players to MAKE those doubts disappear when they hit the field, not try to act like there shouldn’t be doubts in the first place.

95% of your reply isn't even responsive to what I said. Further I didn't even have a take for you to beef with. There was no "take" at all.

I never said a single comment about the 2022 Auburn team. I merely pointed out your disdain for stats and disagreed with some of the past Auburn teams you cited as having better passing attacks than the 2021 team.I never said any of the stuff you are quoting.  You just straight made up stuff that I never said to argue with or maybe you are using quotes from the posted story as if I adopted them as my own.

So honestly not really sure what you are rambling on about.

Edited by Didba
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Shame you can’t respect the team until some unseen point during the season. I agree success in passing game is not a given, but I thoroughly respect my team and staff. 

Stop with the silliness. I’m using “Respect” in the football sense of acknowledging prowess on the field. This team and staff hasn’t earned that.

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95% of your reply isn't even responsive to what I said. Further I didn't even have a take for you to beef with. There was no "take" at all.

I never said a single comment about the 2022 Auburn team. I merely pointed out your disdain for stats and disagreed with some of the past Auburn teams you cited as having better passing attacks than the 2021 team.I never said any of the stuff you are quoting.  You just straight made up stuff that I never said to argue with or maybe you are using quotes from the posted story as if I adopted them as my own.

So honestly not really sure what you are rambling on about.

For the past 8 months you’ve been admonishing anybody who has doubts about this team and staff. Tired of the constant spin and the shame on those who don’t believe the spin.

The receiver room was atrocious last year save for Kobe and Javarrious. I’m excited for a new year and to see what this group can do. But good grief there’s no secret big-brain angle that makes our room “undervalued”.

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For the past 8 months you’ve been admonishing anybody who has doubts about this team and staff. Tired of the constant spin and the shame on those who don’t believe the spin.

The receiver room was atrocious last year save for Kobe and Javarrious. I’m excited for a new year and to see what this group can do. But good grief there’s no secret big-brain angle that makes our room “undervalued”.

I never said our WR room was undervalued nor did I say anything about a "big-brain angle" that makes it undervalued.  Further, I have not admonished anyone.  What I have said is no different from what @DAG has said in the past couple of months. Asking people to be objective and reasonable instead of subjective and unreasonable. 

Though, I'll admit I have messed with some Gus Apologists but that's not to be taken seriously. Further, if being excited, optimistic and reasonable is spin then sure, I have done some "spinning". 

Many of us are very tired of the constant negativity being put out by certain people on this board.  (Not you).  Past several months any time there is positive news in a thread certain posters come in (not you), and somehow find the lead lining in the cloud. It is driving people away from this board.  We have lost several really really good posters in the last several months because of the constant negativity. 

Hell, my Dad doesn't even visit any of the forums besides the AUBB forum because he can't stand that every thread on the recruiting/football forum has at least one or two people being constantly negative. Many of us don't want to come on here and see constant b*tching so you know what I do? I try to interact positively with people who are receptive and refute the negative people that aren't just trolls. 

Screw me I guess for being excited about this team and this fall. And if I have come off as admonishing anyone (that wasn't me messing with Gus apologists) that was not my intent.

Edited by Didba
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I have a feeling Ike Hilliard will make a big difference in our WRs getting separation and then making the catch. There is some talent in that room.

Ike Hillyard will be who makes the difference, if indeed we do see a big difference. While there is some college level talent, we don't have the level of WR talent that will carry a team.

Edited by Mikey
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We aren't untalented, we are unproven... Just like every other WR to ever have a breakout year.  The scheme will finally match the wr talent. I look fo a few to continue their ascension and take over throughout the year.

Auburn's never really hurt for talent at wide receiver but hooo boy have we been allergic to modern passing schemes. I'm hoping this is the year we finally see something approaching a modern passing offense. I did a brief look back at Auburn's passing stats from the last few decades and it's pretty comical how far behind the rest of the conference we are in that category.

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Auburn's never really hurt for talent at wide receiver but hooo boy have we been allergic to modern passing schemes. I'm hoping this is the year we finally see something approaching a modern passing offense. I did a brief look back at Auburn's passing stats from the last few decades and it's pretty comical how far behind the rest of the conference we are in that category.

It amazes me to think how much talent we have absolutely just wasted at WR the last two decades and yet, continue to convince talented receivers it'll be different for them. I can't wait to see what this scheme and CIH can do for the current talent 

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Auburn's never really hurt for talent at wide receiver but hooo boy have we been allergic to modern passing schemes. I'm hoping this is the year we finally see something approaching a modern passing offense. I did a brief look back at Auburn's passing stats from the last few decades and it's pretty comical how far behind the rest of the conference we are in that category.

We saw some flashes last year but excited for another year with these guys. They've definitely been working hard. I believe that's why Shed Jackson came back because he saw how much he improved in this offense and the potential for a second year under Hars & Co. 

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It amazes me to think how much talent we have absolutely just wasted at WR the last two decades and yet, continue to convince talented receivers it'll be different for them. I can't wait to see what this scheme and CIH can do for the current talent 

I'm really hoping they'll be able to help them take the next step. It has been absolutely painful to watch guys like Anthony Schwartz come through and not get utilized properly.

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I hope Ike brings the dog outta these guys. Need at least two guys we can count on to consistently get open and catch the ball. Tired of only having one guy that can really get it goin. I’ve heard a lot of talk about Koy possibly being THE guy.

Edited by WFE12
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