The Oklahoma Sooners lost several players to the NFL after the 2022 season. Perhaps none were a bigger loss than wide receiver Marvin Mims.
Mims, who emerged as a true freshman, led the Oklahoma Sooners in receiving yards each of his three seasons in Norman. His penchant for the big play was a huge part of Oklahoma’s offensive success over the last three seasons.
Jalil Farooq and Drake Stoops are back and are likely two of Oklahoma’s starting wide receivers in three receiver sets. Stoops is a steady present out of the slot and had his most productive season in 2022. Farooq had a strong season in his first year as a starter and will look to build on it in 2023.
But what will Oklahoma do on the outside opposite Farooq? There’s not a clear answer as the Sooners begin their offseason workouts. As opposed to fill in the blank, Oklahoma will be answering a multiple choice or select all that apply test for outside wide receiver two.
The Sooners have a host of guys that will compete for snaps on the wide receiver depth chart. Returning are Jayden Gibson and Nic Anderson, two members of the 2022 signing class that have a ton of potential but didn’t see many opportunities last season for varying reasons.
Then there are the transfer additions Oklahoma made late last spring. J.J. Hester and L.V. Bunkely-Shelton will get a full offseason of work in Jeff Lebby’s offense. They have experience from their original schools that could help the Sooners mitigate the loss of Marvin Mims and, to a lesser extent, Theo Wease. Oklahoma added Andrel Anthony in the portal this offseason. He’s a big-play threat similar to Hester. Those three transfer additions don’t bring elite production, but they’ve done some things at the collegiate level that Jones and Lebby can develop.
The Sooners added a couple more wide receivers in this signing class that have a chance to have an early impact. Keyon Brown may be ready to go from a technical perspective, while Jaquaize Pettaway’s speed is going to be a game-changer for this offense. Pettaway won’t be in Norman till the summertime, but it won’t take long for the coaching staff to see the difference his speed makes.
The Oklahoma Sooners may not know who slides into the starting lineup at this point. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There will be quite the competition at wide receiver to see who emerges from a deep group of players with promise.
As the offseason churns along, this will be one of the position battles to watch for 2023.
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