The Sooners look to have some serious depth on offense, especially at the position players. I already focused on the running backs, and the players who will stand out for the Sooners in 2018. As well as the most important position on the team, and the hardest task this offseason, replacing Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Two positions returning some more key depth are the receiving core, including the tight ends.
Last season, two players exploded on the scene, becoming some of the best looking wide outs in the country, and luckily for Kyler Murray, they are both back on offense for Lincoln Riley. CeeDee Lamb and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown will provide Kyler with weapons in the short game and the long. As a freshman, Lamb caught 46 balls for over 800 yards and seven touchdowns. His numbers slowed down towards the end of the year when Rodney Anderson began to tear it up, but his hands remained consistent throughout 2017. Against Tech, he caught nine balls for nearly 150 yards and two touchdowns, and showed flashes as a future Sooner all-star.
Across the field will be “Hollywood” Brown, potentially the best deep-threat in the nation, and sort of a reincarnation of DeDe Westbrook, Baker’s favorite downfield target in 2016. The official roster lists him at 5-foot-11, and that may be a stretch, but what he lacks in size he makes up with unbelievable speed. He had a handful of 50+ yard TD’s, including two over 80. Last season, he took the nation by storm with his HUGE game in the Bedlam rivalry, where he exploded for 265 yards on just nine catches. He averaged almost 20 yards a reception, and will look to be that guy again for Kyler Murray.
Other receivers looking to be a big part of the offense will be redshirt freshman Charleston Rambo, and Mykel Jones who battled injuries, but made an impact in many games in 2017.
Grant Calcaterra will have a lot of pressure put on him in 2018, having to replace Mark Andrews and his close to 1,000 yard output, including eight TD’s. Baker constantly found Mark wide open across the middle, and Calcaterra is hoping for similar situations in the offense. He had some big moments in 2017, including big TD’s against West Virginia and TCU. With only 10 catches under his belt, Calcaterra will be a raw player in 2018, but will look to make leaps in his numbers, and become a big part of not only pass catching, but blocking as well. Big things will be expected from the returning TE.
The ball catchers for the Sooners will be showing signs of greatness if Kyler can build chemistry with them early on, and with Rodney Anderson contributing in the receiving game as well will help calm Kyler’s early season nerves, and help the Sooners dynamic offense move the chains. CeeDee Lamb and “Hollywood” Brown have a chance to be one of the top duos in America in 2018.