The Big Ten has been producing a lot of talent on a large scale lately. Garrett Wilson, Chris Olaf, Jahan Dotson, David Bell and Galen Naylor are just a few of the names added to the NFL rosters during the draft.
This year it will be no different. Despite losing some of the biggest names to the convention, the Big Ten will continue to welcome a new generation of receivers into the bright lights. The 2022 season is still months away, but fans are starting to itch about some college football.
Spring practices are in the books and summer is around the corner. Below, we’ve ranked the receiving groups in the Big Ten.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Shimmer Dyke, Lewis Counties, Dean Ingram, Marcus Allen
The Badgers should be thankful to Braelon Allen because the scrolling game is not so good – plain and simple. Wisconsin is bringing back the Chimere Dike, who only hit 272 yards last season. Danny Davis III and Kendrick Pryor both went, which doesn’t bode well for Wisconsin. Graham Mertz has to take the next step this season, but he will have to do so with the worst set of receivers in the conference.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Keegan Johnson, Nico Ragini, Charlie Jones, Arland Bruce IV, Brodie Brecht
It’s amazing to think of how Iowa reached the Big Ten Championship last season with the group they had outside. This season, it will be a little worse. The Hockeys are counting on Keagan Johnson to make a surprise campaign as a sophomore. In his first season, Johnson was the team’s second-largest receiver with 352 yards.
Predicted receivers for 2022: DJ Matthews, Emery Simmons, Camper, Javon Swinton and David Baker
Ty Fryfogle is gone and that’s important enough for Indiana to take steps back. The program attempted to compensate for this loss by adding Emery Simmons and Cam Camper in the transfer portal. They will be joined by DJ Matthews, who is the X-factor for the Hoosiers depending on his health. It was a wasted season for Indiana State last year, so anything will help the transition into 2022.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Isaiah Williams, Casey Washington, Brian Hightower, Sean Miller, Hank Petty
Isaiah Williams is the spark in the Ileni attack. In 2021, he returned abroad as a wide receiver and totaled 525 yards. That came after he took the helm in 2020. Williams leads a group that looks like a question mark. We know what Williams can do, and moving to Miami, Brian Hightower, is a huge advance. Illinois will count on an improved quarterback and the appearance of one of its newest students (Miller, Betty).
Predicted receivers for 2022: Omar Manning, Alante Brown, Isaiah Garcia Castaneda, Trey Palmer, Oliver Martin
Adrian Martinez is gone, which means Nebraska lost its best and most impulsive passes from last season. Samari Toure is also gone. The Cornhuskers will see an all-new offensive lineup that could center around Omar Manning, who finished last season with 380 yards and two goals. Trey Palmer and Alante Brown make some noise in the spring and can make an impact right away.
Predicted 2022 hosts: Brooke Thompson, Elijah Canyon, Tyrone Tracy, Zion Steptoe
Purdue might be the hardest unit to rank ahead of the season. David Bell is now in the NFL after having been one of the best guns in the conference for the past two years. The Boilermakers would be a bit higher if Milton Wright were to be on the field but he was ruled academically ineligible for the 2022 season. This means Broc Thompson will have to step up in his absence.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Taj Harris, Shawn Ryan, Shameen Jones, Aaron Cruikshank, Joshua Youngblood
Rutgers is on a long list of the top ten teams that have lost their first goal. Bo Melton is now in Seattle and this results in the Scarlet Knights being aggressive at the transfer portal. Harris’ crown came from Syracuse while Sean Ryan moved to Piscataway from West Virginia. This duo will join Shameen Jones, who finished second on the team in yardage. Special Teams players Aaron Cruikshank and Joshua Youngblood will also look fit for attack. Cruikshank brings versatility and speed to the attack he showed last season before he got injured. If Rutgers’ midfield play is consistent, this unity may surprise some people.
Projected future 2022: Washington owner, Bryce Curtis, Jacob Gill, Wayne Dennis Jr.
Stefon Robinson may be gone but Washington’s owner and Bryce Curtis are ready to seize power. Northwestern had a low last season and started on the offensive side of the ball. The Wildcats struggled to score points in Big Ten play and this could be fixed if the receivers can have big years.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Chris Autumn Bell, Dylan Wright, Mike Brown Stevens, Daniel Jackson
The Gophers will have their best receiver of the season at Chris Autumn-Bell. He totaled 506 yards and six touchdowns last season. With Tanner Morgan back in center, Dylan Wright has a chance to take the next step – along with Autumn-Bell. Minnesota is a question mark heading into the season and could be a little higher on this list at the end of the season if all goes right.
Expected receivers in 2022: Parker Washington, Andre Lambert-Smith, Mitchell Tinsley, Harrison Wallace III, Liam Clifford
Jahan Dotson may be in Washington now, but Nittany Lyons has a capable replacement at Parker Washington. With a total of 820 yards he finished second last season. And now, he’s preparing to be one of the best passing players in the Big Ten. The emergence of KeAndre Lambert-Smith as the second true offensive weapon would carry Penn State into the top five in this ranking.
Expected 2022 hosts: Andrell Anthony, Ronnie Bell, Cornelius Johnson, Roman Wilson, AJ Henning
The reigning Big Ten champion thrived on ground and defense last season. With Ronnie Bell back from injury, the passing attack could look a little different in 2022. It looks like the Wolverines will feature a four-centre system with Cady McNamara and JJ McCarthy. This really brings some variety to the offensive side of the ball and the receivers could add even more.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Dontay Demus Jr. and Rakim Jarrett, Jeshaun Jones, and Jacob Copeland
Dontay Demus had a strong start derailed by a ruptured ACL last season. This injury prevented Deimos from going to the NFL but now he will have the opportunity to show himself again in a Tarabin outfit. Deimos and Rakim give Garrett Maryland and Tulia Tagoviloa a strong duo to count on. Veteran Jeshawn Jones and Jacob Copeland give the Terps plenty of depth on the offensive side of the ball.
2. Michigan State
Predicted 2022 futures: Jayden Reed, Trey Mosley, Jeremy Bernard, Keon Coleman, Monterey Foster
Jalen Naylor is gone but Jayden Reed is not back. Reed broke out perfectly last season with 1,026 yards and 10 scores. Payton Thorne will get his first weapon back and that means the Spartans are in a good place to move forward. Behind Reed, Tre Mosley will provide depth. It could be very tough to defend Michigan State, one of the starters ahead – either Jeremy Bernard or Monterey Foster.
Predicted receivers for 2022: Jackson Smith Ngigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Igboka, Julian Fleming, Jayden Ballard
Ohio topped this list last year by a large margin. Despite losing their top two weapons, the Buckeyes are on top once again. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has a chance to be one of the best receivers in the country after hitting 95 catches, 1,606 yards and nine scores last season. Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming synthesize the essence of a team that will be a contender for the National Championship once again. Let’s not forget that CJ Stroud will be under center again.