Top Returning Pac-12 Wide Receivers For 2017

    Who will be the top returning wide receivers in the Pac-12 in 2017 ?

    March 8, 2017

    The top returning Pac-12 wide receivers in 2017 add serious firepower for a league brimming with talent in the passing game.

    The Pac-12 lost some very good receivers to the NFL, including all four players from last year’s all-league first and second teams. But a lack of playmakers is rarely a concern for this conference, with 2017 following the script. While there are fewer household names today, up-and-comers like Cal’s Demetris Robertson, USC’s Deontay Burnett and Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry are prepping to fill the void after putting down solid foundations in 2016.

    5. Demetris Robertson, Cal

    Robertson wasted no time showing why he was one of the most sought after wide receivers of the 2016 recruiting class, catching 50 passes for 767 yards and seven touchdowns. And much more will be expected now that he’s a year older and fellow receiver Chad Hansen is gone. Robertson is an exciting all-around playmaker, with the speed to get behind the defense. However, what the new staff in Berkeley will really like about the sophomore is how hard he’s willing to work to get better.

    4. Shay Fields, Colorado

    Fields is the headliner of arguably the deepest receiving corps in the Pac-12. He’s become increasingly dangerous throughout his three-year Buffalo career, culminating in last season’s personal-best 56 receptions for 883 yards and nine touchdowns. The shifty Fields will again have to compete for touches in this offense. However, it helps that he has chemistry with young QB Steven Montez, with the pair connecting for three scores in last year’s Oregon State game.

    3. Deontay Burnett, USC

    All of the planets have aligned for Burnett to be one of the Pac-12’s breakout stars of 2017. He’ll have the wind at his back, finishing his sophomore season with 13 catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl. Sam Darnold is evidently comfortable with him, and JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers are no longer around to be the passing game focal points. Being Darnold’s go-to receiver could position Burnett for national honors this fall.

    2. N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

    The Sun Devil staff knew Harry would be ready to contribute immediately, and the blue-chipper did not disappoint. He overcame inexperience—and tepid support from the untested quarterbacks—to catch 58 balls for 659 yards and five touchdowns. Harry is already a mismatch for college defensive backs, a 6-4, 220-pound playmaker with deft ball skills, strong hands and the physicality to get position on his man. He’s about to hop on the tarmac, especially if Alabama transfer Blake Barnett can bring stability to quarterback.

    1. Dante Pettis, Washington

    Sure, losing John Ross stings, but all is not lost for the Husky receiving corps. Pettis remains one of the game’s top deep ball threats, while Chico McClatcher will vex defenses from the slot. Pettis had a nose for the end zone as a junior, scoring 15 times on 53 catches for 822 yards. He also took a pair of punts back and threw a touchdown pass, indications of his versatility and athleticism. With Jake Browning hitting Pettis in stride again this fall, both Huskies are destined for the kinds of seasons that attract the attention of NFL scouts.

    MORE: Top Returning Wide Receivers In College Football For 2017


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