Wide-Receiver Holes Filled For Arkansas Razorbacks?

By Paul Bentley

The Arkansas Razorbacks lost three of their top wide-receiver threats to the NFL draft this year, but the hole at the position didn’t show in their 49-24 season opening win over Jacksonville State.

Arkansas senior quarterback Tyler Wilson had a filthy good season in 2011, as he threw for 3638 yards, 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Tyler can thank Jarius Wright, Joe Adams and Greg Childs for the majority of that production. All three of these wide-outs were taken in the forth-round of the NFL Draft this year, leaving questions about the position.

Cobi Hamilton returns for his senior season after having 542 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. His targets will increase and I expect his production will too.

Another veteran who will help the the Arkansas air-attack is senior tight-end Chris Gragg. Gragg, 6’3 and  235 lbs, is a problem for opposing defenses especially in the red-zone. The athleticism and size of Gragg is something  Wilson will look to this season, especially after their opener. Gragg has seven receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville State.  Gragg is possibly a mismatch nightmare for all teams in the SEC this season.

Another bright spot appeared for Wilson and the Razorbacks as Javontee Herndon, a junior WR, who caught four balls for 96 yards in the team’s opener. One of them was a 63 yard touchdown.

Perhaps the most interesting fill in the WR void in the team’s opener came from Brandon Mitchell. Mitchell made the change from quarterback to wide-receiver this season and the gamble may pay greatly. The junior had four receptions for 122 yards in his debut at the position last week.

“I wasn’t too nervous, I was anxious. Barely got any sleep last night,” he said in a post-game interview after the Jacksonville State win.

Mitchell went on to say this about he and Wilson discussing the position change.

“We sat there and talked about it, and we were just like, man, we are trying to get all the best athletes on the field.”

Mitchell, 6’4 and 230 pounds, is a former basketball player who appears to have no problem grabbing footballs instead of rebounds.

Jacksonville State is not your standard SEC opponent, but it was comforting for Razorback fans to see the rock get spread around the field through the air with the departure of three NFL wide-outs.


Paul Bentley is a contributor to Rant Sports

Follow Bentley on Twitter at @KKingBentley

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