The receiver play last year in the B1G was less then spectacular. In fact, the conference only had one 1,000 yard receiver last season, Northwestern’s Austin Carr. However, Carr has since graduated leaving the B1G with zero returning 1,000 yard receivers.
While there are not a lot of experienced, returning pass catchers in the conference, there is some talent. In fact, one of the B1G teams may have one of the best receiving duos in the country.
With that said, here is a look of the top 10 receivers in the B1G:
10. Flynn Nagel, Northwestern
2016 stats: 40 catches, 447 yards and two touchdowns
Last season, Nagel with the Wildcats second leading with receiver with 40 catches. However, that was 50 passes less then what Carr totaled last year (90).
Nagel is a reliable receiver, caught at least three passes in eight of Northwestern’s 13 games. With Carr now gone, Nagel should be the Wildcats go-to pass catcher as a junior.
9. K.J. Hill, Ohio State
2016 stats: 18 catches, 262 yards and one touchdown
The Buckeyes lost a ton of talented receivers this offseason. Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and Noah Brown, all gone. And guy who should replace their production should be Hill.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer expects Hill to replace the mentioned receivers.
J.T. Heisman’s first TD of the season to WR KJ Hill. J.T. went 21/31 349 yds 6 pass TD/1 Rush TD. Buckeyes 77-10! pic.twitter.com/8ZIiJFB0PB
— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) September 3, 2016
“He’s coming up the rank,” Meyer said to Eleven Warriors. “I think we redshirted him [in 2015] so he’s a first-year player. Typical progression of a young preson that takes his role pretty seriously. A very nice talent to him. Typical transition from a young player to get some playing time.”
8. De’Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska
2016 stats: 20 catches, 254 yards and one touchdown
Due to injuries and a loaded receiving corps, Pierson-El really hasn’t been able to showcase his big-play ability recently. But as the Huskers search for playmakers, the senior will have that opportunity in 2016.
Pierson-El may not have the numbers on the stat sheet to belong on this list, but he should be poised for a breakout year, especially with Tanner Lee throwing darts all over the field.
As a freshman in 2014, Pierson-El burst onto the scene, particularly as a punt returner. But the Huskers senior wants to have a bigger impact offensively, as well. This could be a huge season for the senior wide receiver.
7. DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
2016 stats: 34 catches, 506 yards and one touchdown
Hamilton was named to the All-Big Ten freshman team back in 2014. Since then, his production has dropped every season since.
While the production has slipped, he is still a reliable receiver. Hamilton has caught a pass in 38 of 40 career games.
With Chris Godwin now gone from Happy Valley, Hamilton should become Penn State’s go-to receiver. Hamilton also needs 19 more receptions to become Penn State’s all-time leader in receptions.
6. Jawuan Harris, Rutgers
2016 stats: 39 catches, 481 yards and three touchdowns
Harris was one of the few bright spots last season on a bad Rutgers team.
Harris was an All-Big Ten freshman selection after leading all first year players in both receptions and receiving yards. His greatest skillset is his speed. Standing at 5-foot-9, Harris is a tremendous slot receiver who could be Rutgers’ best player this year.
5. Malik Turner, Illinois
2016 stats: 48 catches, 712 yards and six touchdowns
Turner has been a playmaker throughout his time in Champaign.
While he had a career year last season, he finished it on a strong note. Against Northwestern, Turner grabbed 11 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Illinois coaches are hoping that is a sign to things to come in 2017.
Along with his big frame (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), Turner has strong hands which allows him to elevate over defenders and snag 50/50 balls.
4. D.J. Moore, Maryland
2016 stats: 41 catches, 637 yards and six touchdowns
Moore is one of the conference’s most underrated receivers.
Maryland WR DJ Moore after the catch. He’s fun: pic.twitter.com/kALbGEKIlX
— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) August 4, 2017
Entering the 2017 season, Moore will begin the year with a 23-game streak of starts.
Last season, Moore bulked up allowing him to break more tackles in the open field. Moore’s speed is what sets him apart though. He not only led the Terps in receiving yards last year but also return yards. He should be Maryland’s go-to receiver this season.
3. Jazz Peavy, Wisconsin
2016 stats: 43 catches, 635 yards and five touchdowns
Peavy is a versatile playmaker for the Badgers.
In his second year, Peavy exploded onto the scene as Wisconsin’s go-to wide receiver. But what makes him so deadly is his running ability.
The Badgers utilized Peavy on the jet sweep quite often last year. Using his speed and vision, Peavy gained 318 yards on the ground last season.
If Wisconsin wants to have a successful year on offense, the Badgers need to get the ball in Peavy’s hands early and often.
2. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana
2016 stats: N/A injured
Cobbs was well on his way to becoming one of the best receivers in the country. Instead, he suffered a broken ankle which cost him the 2016 season.
As a sophomore in 2015, Cobbs caught 60 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns. That gave him an average of 17.3 yards per reception, which was good for fourth in the conference that year.
]The only thing that is holding Cobbs back is his off the field issues. Before breaking his ankle, he was suspended for Indiana’s opener last year. And he could possibly be suspended to open this season again after resisting law enforcement earlier this summer.
Cobbs has shown to be a great receiver. He just needs to stay on the field. If he does that, he can form one of the best receiving duos in the country with the No. 1 player on this list.
1. Nick Westbrook, Indiana
2016 stats: 54 catches, 995 yards and six touchdowns
With Cobbs going down with an injury, Westbrook came to the rescue.
In his second season with Indiana, Westbrook was the team’s leading receiver. Due to his big frame (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), Westbrook is able to snag 50/50 balls with ease. Along with his size, Westbrook has top flight speed as well.
With Cobbs returning, Westbrook will have more one-on-one opportunities which should lead to an even better year then last season.