Additions: Brayden Lenius, Dante Pettis
The wide receiver corps is inarguably the offensive position of UW's with the least depth. Though they return their two dynamic slots in Ross and Mickens, they lost two of their three best outside receivers from a year ago and the third -- Williams -- is attempting to come back from a season ending leg injury.
Without a doubt, the Huskies will be trying to sort things out early in the season. There are a ton of questions to be asked and answered. How is Kasen Williams going to bounce back, and how long is it going to take for him to be 100%? Will Ross and Mickens be able to line up outside the hashes and be effective if needed to do so? Can DiAndre Campbell show that bringing him back was the correct decision and become a consistent contributor for the first time in his career? How much are the incoming freshmen going to asked to provide? Who replaces the consistent production, big play ability, and excellent blocking of Kevin Smith?
On the inside the Huskies are going to be a nightmare to defend. The quickness of Mickens and the speed of Ross creates a deadly one-two punch that will force defenses to guard sideline to sideline as well as endzone to endzone. Mickens as the team's leading pass catcher from a year ago is a known quantity and Ross should be improved from a year ago in terms of his polish and ability to get open down the field.
The thing everybody's wondering about is what happens on the outside. Even assuming Kasen comes back 100%, there's still no known quantity to step into the hole left by Kevin Smith. Marvin Hall showed some flashes last year, but nothing resembling any consistency, while DiAndre Campbell caught just three passes. People were (rightfully) blown away by Kendyl Taylor's combine numbers but his freakish athleticism has yet to translate to the field in any meaningful way as he's on his third position in as many years at UW. Damore'ea Stringfellow was a shoo-in to be the guy opposite Williams, and his loss is a challenge that the Huskies will have to overcome.
Verdict: Worse. This group could easily end up better than the group last year with the continued development of the youth, but the biggest question of all is the health of Kasen Williams. Should he come back as if he was never injured at all, then this group will be more than solid. But until he shows it on Saturdays the outside WRs on this team are an enormous question mark and the limiting factor of this group.