Go Joe Bruin continues to preview the UCLA football team by position. Today, we look at what the receivers and tight ends consist of and the projected depth charts.
Everyone knows that UCLA football head coach Chip Kelly is all about the running game, but the passing game is equally important when you are trying to spread out the field to execute the run.
Last season, the Bruins started to make massive improvements in the run by season’s end, but they were also showing how versatile they were by going through the air. In their last two games of the season, UCLA had put some incredible numbers up in both facets of the offense.
Against USC, the Bruins ran for 313 yards and against Stanford, they had 466 yards through the air. Make no mistake, the Bruins wil be even better on the ground in 2019, but they will have a much better passing game as well, especially with the players they have at their disposal. So let us look at what the Bruins have in each individual receiving position…
- Theo Howard (Sr) 6’0, 180
- Delon Hurt (So) 6’0, 190
- Jaylen Erwin (Jr) 5’11, 173
- Charles Njoku (Fr) 6’4, 200
UCLA’s go-to receiver will be Theo Howard who returns from a 677 receiving yard performance in 2018. That included 51 catches on 51 targets, meaning he did not drop a single ball that went his way. He should take over as the receiving yards leader for the season after the exit of Caleb Wilson as he not only has the surest hands, but he is incredibly fast.
Behind him, Howard has a handful of players that could grow into the position. Hurt is in his second year with the program and is slowly starting to improve. If he can play consistently, he will get more playing time but he will have to battle Erwin who in rolled early and participated in spring. Not only did he adapt to the offense quickly, but he was one of the more productive receivers during the spring game, which leads us to believe he could help out sooner than later.
Njoku brings a lot of talent to the position. His raw talent could cause him to contribute immediately, but I could also see him playing in at least four games and then redshirting unless he has an insane spike in development during fall camp.