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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Roundtable: Will WR depth be an issue?

By WeAreSC staff

How do you think the recent season-ending injury to Steven Mitchell will impact the USC receiver group, which is now down to five scholarship players?

Garry Paskwietz

I don't think we will know how much the loss of Mitchell will impact the receiver group, because we never got a chance to see him in action. What I do know is that he was very well positioned, both physically and mentally, to play a contributing role as a true freshman, and he possibly could have landed the No. 3 receiver spot behind Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor. Those two players each managed to carve out roles in their first year on campus, and it's no stretch to think Mitchell could have done the same.

Now that both Mitchell and George Farmer will miss the 2013 season the depth at receiver is fairly thin, with three other available scholarship bodies in Victor Blackwell, De'Von Flournoy and Darreus Rogers. Between those three players they have two total career catches, so experience is in short supply at that spot.

Greg Katz

I don't think it will impact the current receiving group at all, as long as the injury bug stays away. Certainly Mitchell's loss, along with that of George Farmer, reduces the depth, but there are quality receivers on hand, which should provide enough depth and productivity.

Although I thought Mitchell was a definite possibility to push for a spot in the rotation, the general viewpoint here was that freshman Rogers had the inside track as the third receiver, with Blackwell and Flournoy certainly being in the mix.

Johnny Curren

Xavier Grimble
Tight end Xavier Grimble could see more passes this fall with USC thin at wide receiver.
The loss of Mitchell obviously impacts the USC wide receiver corps on a number of levels, most notably in terms of the unit's depth. With Farmer also sidelined for the 2013 season, the Trojans have just five active scholarship receivers on the current roster.

Lee and Agholor obviously are going to carry the load for the most part -- and they would have even if Mitchell was healthy -- but at least one more receiver has to contribute in a significant way this year. It's a huge opportunity for Blackwell, Flournoy and Rogers, and the good news is that they all showed promise this past spring.

The lack of depth also might force the Trojans to use the tight ends more in the fall, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick are all extremely talented pass-catching options who can also be split out wide. Somewhat underutilized last season, I expect them to become a bigger part of the offensive game plan and for their statistical numbers to go up.