The college football season is less than a week away, and we're back with more information about 2014 NFL Draft prospects! Today we look at the Biletnikoff Award watch list, which goes to the most outstanding receiver.
|Davante Adams||Fresno State||SO|
|Alex Amidon||Boston College||SR|
|Odell Beckham, Jr.||LSU||JR|
|Corey Brown||Ohio State||SR|
|Aaron Burbridge||Michigan State||SO|
|Damiere Byrd||South Carolina||JR|
|Michael Campanaro||Wake Forest||SR|
|Brandin Cooks||Oregon State||JR|
|DaVaris Daniels||Notre Dame||JR|
|Quinshad Davis||North Carolina||SO|
|Titus Davis||Central Michigan||JR|
|Bruce Ellington||South Carolina||JR|
|Mike Evans||Texas A&M||SO|
|Austin Franklin||New Mexico State||JR|
|Noel Grigsby||San Jose State||SR|
|Justin Hardy||East Carolina||JR|
|T.J. Jones||Notre Dame||SR|
|J.D. McKissic||Arkansas State||SO|
|Matt Miller||Boise State||JR|
|Donte Moncrief||Ole Miss||JR|
|Tracy Moore||Oklahoma State||SR|
|Allen Robinson||Penn State||JR|
|Shaq Roland||South Carolina||SO|
|Devin Smith||Ohio State||JR|
|Willie Snead||Ball State||JR|
|Josh Stewart||Oklahoma State||JR|
|Jordan Thompson||West Virginia||SO|
|Eric Ward||Texas Tech||SR|
Two horse race
That's a long list to digest, but when the dust settles and the season is over, look for either USC's Marqise Lee or Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins to win this award.
Sammy Watkins- Clemson
Clemson will find themselves in the National Championship discussion this season, and Watkins will be a big reason why. Two years ago, Watkins had a stellar freshman campaign where he caught 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. Last season was a so-so year for Watkins after he had injuries, and a two game suspension by the team. Now a junior, Watkins looks to have his best year yet, and I believe he will. Watkins said in a recent radio interview that he's the best receiver in college and dares corners to press him because it won't work. Clearly Watkins is a very cocky twenty year old, but he's going to be a good one. Top notch speed, good route running, and reliable hands are just a few of the things Watkins possesses.
Marqise Lee- USC
Marqise Lee is the favorite to win this award after winning it last season. Last year Lee had 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns, as a sophomore! Even if Lee improves as a player, it's going to be very hard to surpass his state line from last year.
With no Matt Barkley throwing to him or no Robert Woods to take away double teams, Lee could face some bumps in the road this year. It doesn't help when the first bump is created by your head coach. The Lane Kiffin era hasn't exactly been pretty at USC, and the oddness to Kiffin's tenure is rolling over into the start of this season. He hasn't named the starting quarterback yet, with less than a week until their first game. It's bad enough from an outsider like me looking in thinking it's goofy, but then you have Marqise Lee speaking out about it too. Lee called it crazy that Kiffin hasn't named the starter yet, with the preparation for their game against Hawaii already under way. This all is worth mentioning because I find USC to be highly dysfunctional, which could hurt Lee's chances of producing fully and winning the award for the second year in a row.
When it comes to Marqise Lee's abilities, they aren't in question. Lee will abuse corners all year and give his quarterback a big window to throw into time and time again. If he stays healthy there's no reason not to think he won't catch north of 90 balls. Lee would look great in a 49ers uniform next year, but he'll be off the board by the time they're on the clock.