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Arizona football: Breaking down the Wildcats' receiving depth

It's going to be fun watching Pac-12 defenses cover this group of receivers

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The most talked about position group heading into 2014 was the wide receivers, and that might be the case again this year. Here's a look at just how deep Arizona is in the pass-catcher department.

David Richards

Richards is one of the last Mike Stoops recruits on the roster. At 6-4 210lbs, he provides a huge target for Anu Solomon on the outside. His 5th-year senior leadership will definitely go a long way this season.

He doesn’t need to be on the field to be helping the team. Having Jarvis McCall, Cam Denson, Devin Holiday, DaVonte’ Neal and others going up against him in practice every day definitely makes that group better. He'll have the edge over Trey Griffey simply due to his experience, but he won't be an every down guy. Richards is good for a breakout game here and there as the season progresses.

Cayleb Jones

Perhaps Anu Solomon’s favorite weapon and biggest threat, Cayleb Jones can do it all. He slowly faded out towards the end of last season once he grabbed the attention of the opposing defenses' top corners, and was also dealing with a hand injury.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Jones to have an absolute breakout year. He’s clearly the most talented receiver of the group, but in a four-wide set, with Nick Wilson in the backfield, Rich Rodriguez is going to be keeping the defense honest. His frame, speed and abilities could allow him to breakout into one of the top receivers of the 2016 draft class as a redshirt junior.

Trey Griffey

Trey Griffey is often overlooked. He’s one of the most sure-handed receivers on the team and can come down with the ball when he’s targeted. With Richards, Jones, and Griffey, it’s hard to imagine any set of corners in the Pac-12 will win the size battle.

He'll be an odd man out in the group of receivers, but he's still one of the best 4th or 5th options in the nation. He doubled his production from year one to year two and has a lot of potential to develop under David Richards.

Samajie Grant

Easily Arizona’s most productive receiver last year. In spring practice, many of the corners said Samajie is the hardest on the team to cover. He holds great strength and speed. His size favors him in his route running, which gives him another layer of value.

Grant finished second on the team in receiving yards, averaging a team-high 16 yards per reception. He became Anu's favorite target late in the season, with over half of his yards coming from the Colorado, Washington, Utah, Arizona State and Boise State games.

Nate Phillips

Coming back from a broken foot suffered late last season, Nate Phillips will look to continue his progress and produce consistently. He emerged as a true freshman, with B.J. Denker as his quarterback, and has continued to contribute, despite the heavy depth.

His injury could slow him down and hinder his progress, much like it did to Austin Hill. However, Phillips still has two years ahead of him to get back on track and ease back into the group should he need time.

Tyrell Johnson

Definitely one of the fastest receivers in the nation, he has the ability to burn any Pac-12 secondary. Having him in the slot will change the pace of the game. He should be much more active in the passing game, considering he has an entire year under his belt.

It’s going to be hard to work all of the receivers in, but it’s a good problem to have for Rich Rodriguez. There are so many different combinations to be used to throw a wrinkle at opposing defenses. That’s not even going into the possibilities with tight ends, which seems to have a spot in the offense now with the talent given.

With all this depth, it’s best that DaVonte' Neal moved to corner, both for himself and the other receivers. Arizona also has a few receivers coming in this summer from the class of 2015 recruiting class.  It's a long season, but receiver is undoubtedly the deepest position for Arizona. We'll expect big things from Anu Solomon in year two with this group.