We’re basically to November, and although Alabama Football enters LSU week with a 7-1 record and top-5 ranking, this season definitely feels different for the Crimson Tide.
One of the reasons is the lack of explosiveness on offense, compared to the high-flying Tide we’ve become accustomed to seeing the last several years.
Last season, Bryce Young had Jameson Williams and John Metchie leading the charge at wide receiver, but in 2022, nobody has really stepped up in place of those two now gone.
Is a WR1 going to step up for Alabama Football and Bryce Young?
Coming over from Georgia via the transfer portal, Jermaine Burton was expected to be that WR1 for Young and the offense. However, Burton has struggled with inconsistency, and has totaled only 20 receptions, for 306 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Freshman Kobe Prentice is currently leading the WR’s with 28 catches, while Ja’Corey Brooks leads the team with 376 receiving yards. Traeshon Holden ranks first with 5 receiving touchdowns.
Last year, Alabama averaged 338 passing yards per game, though that number has dropped to 274 passing yards per game in 2022.
While the offense has continued to score points, thanks to the running of Jahmyr Gibbs and continued excellence of Young, it’s clear that Alabama’s wide receivers must step up if this team wants to accomplish its goal of a championship.
We saw how much of a difference Jameson Williams made against Georgia in the SEC Championship, compared to when he was out in the national championship.
If I had to make a bet for which guy asserts himself as WR1 in 2022, my money would be on Ja’Corey Brooks. The second year man has started to develop as the season has gone on, though more is expected of him now as Bama starts its championship push.
JoJo Earle is another guy who I think at least needs to be a bigger part of the offensive gameplan. He only has 5 receptions on the season, but they’ve gone for 102 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 20 yards per catch.
So really, the question is whether or not Alabama Football has to identify one guy as Young’s main target. Or, can their group of receivers collectively all contribute more to the offense.