August 18, 2022

Power Five’s 10 best wide receiver tandems in 2021

College Football's best wide receiver tandems in 2021

Ohio State wide receivers Chris Olave (2), and Garrett Wilson (5). Photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletics.

There’s no such thing as pass catchers being only as good as the quarterback that’s throwing them the ball.

These receiver tandems are the dynamic duos of the Power Five. They can stretch the field and put non-stop pressure on opposing secondaries. One player dominates the slot, while the other handles the edge. Which is why timing and chemistry with their signal-callers remains vital.

Last year the great tag team was North Carolina’s Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown, who combined for 109 receptions, 1,783 receiving yards and 14 touchdown catches. Not to mention Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle were carving up defenses together like Thanksgiving turkey prior to the Tennessee game.

These teammates compliment each other and are ready to make defenders look silly again this upcoming season.

10. Jaden Walley and Austin Williams, Mississippi State: Mike Leach’s ‘Air Raid’ system benefited the duo last season. Walley and Williams combined for 1,090 receiving yards and 95 catches in 2020, which were the most receptions by any wide receiver tandem on this list. Leach played musical chairs with his quarterbacks, but Will Rogers emerged as the better player. Now Rogers can continue to build chemistry with Walley and Williams in year two of the Leach era. Walley is a load for opposing defensive backs to handle, and he went over 100 yards receiving in four different SEC games. Williams had a touchdown reception in three different conference clashes. The duo combined for 15 catches, 207 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Egg Bowl. They also combined for 12 receptions, 133 yards through the air and a score against Auburn. Their production and numbers should increase tremendously this fall.

9. Mike Harley and Daquris Wiggins, Miami: Having a healthy D’Eriq King throwing them the ball will do wonders again for the Hurricanes’ offense. Harley blossomed into a playmaker midway through last season, and scored six of his seven receiving touchdowns over Miami’s final six games. The former four-star prospect went over 100 yards receiving in three ACC clashes, including a 10-catch performance in the win over Virginia. Not to mention he earned third-team All-ACC honors. Wiggins, who’s the hometown kid, was the fourth leading receiver on the team and hauled in 31 passes in 2020. The former three-star prospect caught a season-high, eight passes for 106 yards against Virginia Tech. The two wideouts each caught a touchdown in the shutout victory over Duke. The duo dominated in the shootout win over NC State, and combined for 14 receptions, 250 receiving yards, plus three touchdown catches. They’ll be a handful.

8. Kayshon Boutte and Jaray Jenkins, LSU: Star-studded receivers grow on trees down in Baton Rouge. If the Bayou Bengals can figure out their quarterback situation, they’ll carve out 10 wins. That’s because of two dynamic receivers, who can stretch the field on any SEC secondary. Boutte is a former five-star prospect, who set the league on fire as a true freshman last year. The Louisiana native had a magnificent performance in the season finale win over Ole Miss. His 14 receptions, 308 receiving yards and three touchdown catches were all career-highs. Boutte also went over 100 yards receiving in two other SEC games. Jenkins is a former three-star prospect, who’s more of a deep threat and averaged over 17 yards per catch. The duo combined for nine receptions, 173 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in the upset victory at Florida. They finished with 1,132 receiving yards in 2020.

7. Zay Flowers and CJ Lewis, Boston College: The duo took the ACC by storm last season and combined for 84 receptions, 1,352 receiving yards, plus 14 touchdown catches. Flowers played like a man among boys and finished with first-team All-ACC honors. Lewis is a converted quarterback. He caught a touchdown in four different conference tilts, including two in the victory over Georgia Tech. The duo combined for 11 receptions, 106 receiving yards and a score against North Carolina. They also finished with eight receptions, 129 receiving yards and two touchdown catches in the nail-biting clash against Clemson. Not to mention the tandem combined for 10 receptions, 111 receiving  yards and a touchdown in the win over Louisville. With the return of quarterback Phil Jurkovec, the ACC’s best offensive line and no Hunter Long to steal catches, expect their production to increase. After all, they’re hungry. And they’re a handful.

6. Marvin Mims and Theo Wease, Oklahoma: They combined for 74 receptions, 1,140 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns last season. The duo will have the best quarterback in the country throwing to them in Spencer Rattler. It helps their cause that Coach Lincoln Riley is an offensive guru. Last season as a true freshman, Mims tied for first in the conference with nine touchdown catches through 11 games. He went over 100 yards receiving against TCU and Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship. Mims had six touchdown receptions through Oklahoma’s first five contests and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors. Wease is a former five-star prospect, who hauled in 37 passes like Mims in 2020. The six-foot-three receiver went over 100 yards receiving against Texas Tech, and had two touchdowns in Bedlam. Wease snagged eight passes against Texas. Both wideouts caught a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl victory over Florida.

5. John Metchie and Slade Bolden, Alabama: Under Nick Saban the Crimson Tide has fielded some of the best receivers in the sport. Metchie and Bolden are the latest versions poised to wreak havoc on opposing SEC defensive backs. The duo combined for 79 receptions, 1,186 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches last season. Metchie made his presence felt playing alongside last season’s Heisman winner. He dominated in the win over Texas A&M and finished with five caches for 181 yards and two touchdowns. The six-foot, 195-pound Metchie went on a tear again against Tennessee and finished with five catches for 151 yards. Metchie also caught a touchdown against Georgia, Kentucky and added a pair of scores in the Iron Bowl. Bolden caught 24 passes last season, including six for 94 yards against the Volunteers. The duo combined for 11 catches, 97 yards and a touchdown in the National Championship.

4. Emeka Emezie and Thayer Thomas, NC State: The Wolfpack could potentially have the best pair of receivers in the conference this fall. The duo combined for 89 receptions, 1,267 receiving yards and 11 touchdown catches last season. Thomas had no stars out of high school, but led NC State in touchdown receptions in 2020. Emzie is a former three-star prospect, with 169 receptions, 2,093 receiving yards and 13 touchdown catches in his career. They combined for 13 receptions, 149 receiving yards and two scores in the win over Pittsburgh. Both receivers put on a show in the victory over Florida State, and combined for 15 receptions, 185 receiving yards and three touchdown catches. The fun didn’t stop there for the tandem, and they combined for 13 receptions, 135 receiving yards and four touchdown catches in the win at Syracuse. Both are poised to garner All-ACC honors by December.

3. Jahan Dotson and Parker Washington, Penn State: They’re arguably one of the best wide receiver tandems in the FBS. Dotson has amazing hands and athletic ability, while Washington is lethal out of the slot. The duo combined for 88 receptions, 1,373 receiving yards and 14 touchdown catches last season. Dotson went over 100 yards receiving in five different conference games and finished with third-team All-Big Ten honors. Washington had six receiving scores as a true freshman. Both players caught a touchdown in the opener against Indiana. The duo dominated against Maryland, and combined for 17 receptions, 193 receiving yards, plus three touchdown catches. They also put together another breathtaking performance in the win over Michigan State. The two combined for 12 receptions, 203 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. Together they’ll make life much easier for Sean Clifford in the pocket this fall.

2. Jaquarii Roberson and Donovan Greene, Wake Forest: The duo combined for 91 receptions, 10 touchdown catches and 1,508 receiving yards last season, which were the most by any tandem on this list. Roberson finished sixth in the Power Five and second in the ACC in receiving yards in 2020. He went over 100 yards receiving in five different games, including the Demon Deacons’ final four. Greene is arguably the most dangerous deep threat in the league and averaged over 20 yards per catch. He went over 100 yards receiving in two seperate games. The pair combined for a jaw-dropping, 20 receptions, 337 receiving yards and four touchdown catches at North Carolina. The duo proved that performance was no fluke when they combined for 14 receptions, 253 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in the bowl against Wisconsin. Their chemistry with quarterback Sam Hartman should be even better this fall.

1. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Ohio State: For the Buckeyes’ offense it’s like having two NFL receivers in the unit. Both wideouts are mismatches wherever they line up, and they earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2020. The duo combined for 93 receptions, 1,452 receiving yards and 13 touchdown catches last season. Wilson is a former five-star prospect, who went over 100 yards receiving in three different Big Ten games. Olave is a former three-star prospect, who went over 100 yards receiving in five separate games, including Clemson. Both receivers combined for 13 receptions, 233 receiving yards and a touchdown in the opening win over Nebraska. They following week they combined for 18 receptions, 231 receiving yards and two touchdown catches at Penn State. However, their best performance happened in the shootout victory over Indiana, when they combined for 15 receptions, 270 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.

Honorable Mention

Josh Ali and Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky: Although they played for two different teams last season, the two combined for 105 receptions. Together they bring instant credibility to the Wildcats’ passing attack and will ease the transition for the new quarterback.

Drake London and K.D. Nixon, USC: It’ll benefit the duo to have Kedon Slovis throwing them the ball. Landon caught had eight receptions apiece against Arizona State and in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Nixon is the Colorado transfer with four years of Pac-12 experience.