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Run Blocking from our Receivers

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During the playoff loss to the Colts, C.J. Anderson converted on 4th down by quickness and shear force of will while two of our receivers stood and watched. This highlighted the fact that in the offense that we presumably will be running next season, all of our WRs and TEs will need to be at least average run blockers.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

C.J. Anderson's 4th down run

While size is not a prerequisite for blocking ability, size and strength help. So let's look at the size and strength of the guys fighting for the 5 (or 4) at WR and the guys fighting for the 4 TE spots.

Name Pos Height Weight Experience College Bench Rep
Jones, Dominique TE 6'3" 270 3 Shepherd ?
Duncan, Joe Don TE/FB 6'3" 267 R Dixie State University 35
Green, Virgil TE 6'5" 255 5 Nevada 23
Heuerman, Jeff TE 6'5" 255 R Ohio St. 26
Daniels, Owen TE 6'3" 245 10 Wisconsin 23
Casey, James TE/FB 6'3" 240 7 Rice 28
Thomas, Demaryius WR 6'3" 229 6 Georgia Tech ?
Matt Miller WR 6'3" 220 R Boise St. 9
Fowler, Bennie WR 6'1" 217 1 Michigan State 18
Latimer, Cody WR 6'2" 215 2 Indiana 23
Jordan Taylor WR 6'5" 210 R Rice 9
Caldwell, Andre WR 6'0" 200 8 Florida 18
Palmer, Nathan WR 5'11" 198 3 Northern Illinois 13
Burse, Isaiah WR 5'10" 188 2 Fresno State 16
Williams, Kyle WR 5'10" 186 5 Arizona State 11
Norwood, Jordan WR 5'11" 180 6 Penn State ?
Sanders, Emmanuel WR 5'11" 180 6 Southern Methodist 12

While we have some decent size at TE, none of them are huge by NFL standards. In terms of brute strength, Joe Don Duncan is undoubtably the strongest of the receivers - putting up 35 reps on the bench at the combine. Pound for pound, Casey, Latimer and Caldwell are also very strong.  From what I have read about Casey and Daniels, both are at least average blockers. Heuerman while by waiting until 2016 to show off his blocking ability because of his torn ACL.

With the exception of DT and ES, I would expect all of the players from the list above who end up on the 53 man roster to participate in special teams. In the fight for the final two (or one) WR roster spots, an ability to return kicks would be an added bonus, though not a necessity as Bolden will probably begin the season as our kickoff returner. Emmanuel Sanders could be our main punt returner. We might find our punt returner from the group of defensive backs. I don't expect us to keep a player as a dedicated return specialist this year (ala Trindon Holliday). In case you are wondering, Fowler and Taurean Nixon both have a little experience in college as kickoff returners but both were not good at it (Fowler returned 15 kickoffs as a freshman averaging 22 yards per return while Nixon only returned 4 kickoffs averaging 13 yards per return).  Josh Snead also returned kickoffs as a freshman at Duke (21 returns averaging 23.6 yards/return).