When 104 receptions, 1,216 yards and 6 touchdowns walk out the door, that’s a lot of production to replace in one offseason. However, it helps when 55 receptions, 790 yards and 4 touchdowns walk back through the door after being gone for a year. Basically, Auburn has plenty to replace but they also have plenty of exciting pieces returning to this 2019 receiving corps.
- Ryan Davis - 69 rec 546 yds 7.9 avg TD 3 carries 12 yds 4.0 avg
- Darius Slayton (5th Round Pick) - 35 rec 670 yds 19.1 avg 5 TD
- Will Hastings (rSenior) - 26 rec 525 yds 20.2 avg 4 TD (2017)
- Sal Cannella (Senior) - 12 rec 111 yds 9.3 avg 3 TD
- Eli Stove (rJunior) - 29 rec 265 yds 9.1 avg 30 carries 315 yds 10.5 avg 2 TD (2017)
- Marquis McClain (rJunior) - N/A
- Seth Williams (Sophomore) - 26 rec 534 yds 20.5 avg 5 TD
- Anthony Schwartz (Sophomore) - 22 rec 357 yds 16.2 avg 2 TD 27 carries 211 yds 7.8 avg 5 TD
- Shedrick Jackson (Sophomore) - 2 rec 15 yds 7.5 avg
- Matthew Hill (rFreshman) - 2 carries 21 10.5 avg
Strength - Explosive Ability
First off, Darius Slayton was as explosive a wide receiver as you could find in the SEC the past two seasons. Consistency wasn’t always there but he could break a big play at any moment. But he actually did not lead the Tigers in yards per catch last season. That honor was held by Seth Williams who put up a whopping 20.5 average yards per reception. Then there is Anthony Schwartz who scored a touchdown on every 7th touch. Oh and Auburn gets back Will Hastings who averaged 20.2 yards a catch in 2017 and Eli Stove who was good for 10 yards a carry two seasons ago. It’s clear that even without Slayton this WR corps can still generate big plays. There’s a lot of speed in this group in 2019.
Weakness - No Proven #1
Auburn will miss Ryan Davis’s steadiness. The Tigers are in need of finding not only a new go to possession wideout but a new deep ball threat as well. Yes, Seth Williams looks like someone that could become that person as does Anthony Schwartz. But there’s a big difference between being a supporting member versus someone the opposing defensive coordinator game plans to stop. Both got a taste of that late in the season as teams recognized their ability. Now they will enter 2019 with a clear target on their backs. Can they or someone else handle the responsibility and be the man to move the sticks on 3rd & long?
Injuries have already begun to crop up among this group. Anthony Schwartz broke his hand and is questionable for the season opener while Eli Stove is dealing with some knee pain. That’s a little worrying considering those two are both pieces Auburn expects to lean on heavily this year but it also opens the door for some of this younger talent to make waves during fall camp. I firmly believe that between Matthew Hill, Marquis McClain and Shedrick Jackson there is another impact player ready to emerge. There’s also the wildcard graduate transfer Zach Farrar who has impressed both teammates and the coaching staff since arriving just a couple weeks ago. The potential is high with this group but it’s about converting it into proven production in 2019.