Editor's note: This article was adapted from Phil Steele's college football preview magazine, which is available here.
Wide receiver and tight end are two positions where an elite starter not only is a difference-maker on his own but also can elevate his fellow receivers by drawing double coverage and opening holes. However, receivers and tight ends are sometimes only as good as the quarterback who is throwing them the ball, and all of the receiving corps listed below will need their QBs to be on point this season to reach their full potential.
In this ranking, there is a mix of star-heavy units and deeper receiving corps at the top, as well as some surprise groups that might surprise a little further down the list.
(Author's note: In case you are unfamiliar with some of my abbreviations used below, the "PS" number assigned for each player stands for where I ranked that particular player at his position coming out of high school.)
1. USC Trojans
Marqise Lee was the Biletnikoff winner last year, and he returns after piling up 1,721 yards (14.6 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns. The Trojans do lose Robert Woods, who was a second-round NFL draft choice, but Nelson Agholor (PS No. 3) will be a top-notch No. 2 receiver. He averaged 17.9 YPC last year. Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer form one of the best tight end duos in the country, and there are several highly touted backups in this unit.