I… drink… your… milkshake!

– Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood (2007)


As unfortunate as it is for me — a shareholder of both Jordan Watkins and Ayden Williams — there’s no question that Ole Miss’ WR room became one of the best in College Football (CFB) this offseason. Unfortunately, whenever the sentence ‘one of the best WR rooms’ is uttered, it usually spells trouble for the CFF implications of each player, counterintuitive as that may seem. 

The problem, as I see it, is that there may be too many mouths to feed in this room, and while there may still be a lead dog, his ceiling will be capped. In addition to all of the WRs now on Ole Miss’ roster, there is also stud TE Caden Prieskorn, who probably wants to see some targets, too. 

As a recap for those who may be unaware, Ole Miss brought in one of the best WRs in CFB in Antwane Wells Jr., who was a 1000-yard receiver two seasons ago at James Madison before transferring to South Carolina. They also brought in JuCo standout and former LSU WR Deion Smith. 

They return the aforementioned Jordan Watkins and Aydin Williams. Watkins was, at times, very productive last year, and Williams was one of the better prospects across all positions in 2023. And, of course, the straw that broke the camel’s back, chief milkshake slurper— Tre Harris announced he’d be coming back too, despite almost unanimous expectations that he’d be NFL-bound. 

Here are the stats from 2023 of the four most relevant names :

  • Antwane Wells Jr. — 3-37-1
  • Tre Harris — 54-985-8
  • Jordan Watkins — 53-741-3
  • Deion Smith — 43-1063-12 (JuCo)

Of the four major players above, I’d say Watkins’ role may be the safest as he’s a slot player, and now he won’t be competing with Dayton Wade in that role. Smith and Wells Jr. are both bigger players, but Wells could also play the slot if required. If I had to guess, it’d be Harris and Wells on the outside, with Smith rotating in and Watkins in the slot.

Add in TE Caden Prieskorn and incoming transfer RB Logan Diggs, of course, and suddenly, you have a lot of straws in the proverbial milkshake here. Some say even the actor Daniel Day-Lewis has been spotted in Oxford, MS, ranting like a lunatic about his favorite milkshake recipes. This hodgepodge of characters in the room makes it difficult to see how one player will dominate the touch volume enough to be an elite CFF asset. 

There might be some good players here or at least one good CFF player, but I’m comfortable prognosticating that Ole Miss will not have an elite WR in CFF, even at this early hour. The QB— Jaxson Dart, might have a monster year—Ditto for Logan Diggs, the tailback, and even Caden Prieskorn by TE standards. But I don’t see it with the WR room.


Staff

Fun fact: Did you know Ole Miss OC Charlie Weis’s leading receiver when he was the OC at FAU in 2019 was his TE— Harrison Bryant? Bryant was also the second leading receiver in 2018, Weis’ first year with the Owls. 

Weiss has been with the Rebels as co-OC since 2022. Before that, he was the OC of USF from 2020-21 and OC of FAU from 2018-19. 

The bad news is that Weis’ offenses haven’t produced a 1,000-yard WR during his time calling plays. Even this past season, when it seemed like a sure thing with Harris, the offense fell short (by 15 yards, to be precise). Weis’ offenses have come close, like in 2022 and 2023, but have yet to pass the mark. That’s not a good sign for a room stacked to the brim with veteran players who need to be fed. 

In fact, I can argue that Weis’ influence is more advantageous to the RB room. Quinshon Judkins was a featured pig in the offense since day one in 2022. Weis was also at FAU when they handed the ball to Devin Singletary 261 times in 2018, of which he rushed for 1348 yards and 22 TDs (hello, Logan Diggs).

Of course, Lane Kiffen’s influence still looms large as the head coach. For all the accolades he gets as an offensive genius, he also isn’t exactly a kingmaker at the WR position. His offenses over the last five seasons have only produced two 1,000-yard receivers—that’s still good (and notable), but it isn’t special.


Closing

I contemplated writing a final conclusion or thought to leave you with, but I believe the GIF below best summarizes my feelings toward the Ole Miss WR room. In my opinion, there’s a lot more value here in best ball formats than there is in re-draft.

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