Auburn wrapped up its 2018 recruiting class with 24 signees, which was the 12th-ranked class in the country and third best in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Full attention now turns to the 2019 class. SEC Country will look at each position group on offense and defense for the Class of 2019. For the third installment, we look at wide receivers.
Current depth chart: Ryan Davis (senior), Will Hastings (senior), Darius Slayton (junior), Nate Craig-Myers (junior), Eli Stove (junior), Sal Cannella (junior), Marquis McClain (sophomore), Noah Igbinoghene (sophomore), Matthew Hill (freshman), Seth Williams (freshman), Anthony Schwartz (freshman) and Shedrick Jackson (freshman).
Potential departures: Davis and Hastings, certainly. Slayton and Craig-Myers, potentially.
How many commits at position: 1 — 4-star George Pickens, Hoover, Ala.
How many more Auburn plans to take: 1 or 2.
Already offered: 21 — 5-star Jadon Haselwood, Ellenwood, Ga.; 5-star Dominick Blaylock, Marietta, Ga.; 4-star Theo Wease, Allen, Texas; 4-star Frank Ladson, Homestead, Fla.; 4-star Devonta Lee, Amite, La.; 4-star Arjei Henderson, Richmond, Texas; 4-star Marcus Washington, St. Louis, Mo.; 4-star Jashawn Sheffield, St. Simons Island, Ga.; 4-star Trey Palmer, Kentwood, La.; 4-star Jalen Curry, Houston, Texas; 4-star John Dunmore, Hollywood, Fla.; 4-star Dannis Jackson, Sumrall, Miss.; 4-star Maurice Goolsby, Dunnellon, Fla.; 4-star Ramel Keyton, Marietta, Ga.; 4-star Shamar Nash, Bradenton, Fla.; 4-star Trey Knox, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; 4-star Kenyon Jackson, Loganville, Ga.; 4-star Elijah Higgins, Austin, Texas; 4-star Quinton Torbor, Destrehan, La.; 3-star John Rhys Plumlee, Hattiesburg, Miss.
Other known potential targets: 4-star Jeremiah Payton, Neptune Beach, Fla.; 4-star TJ Sheffield, Thompson’s Station, Tenn.
Importance of more blue-chip additions (1-10): 3
What I think Auburn will do: Multiple Auburn wide receiver targets have told me that Tigers coaches only want one more wide receiver in this class. With Pickens already committed — and the massive 2016 and 2018 wide receiver hauls — the Tigers don’t have a glaring need at the position in 2019. In fact, the Tigers would be just fine going with a one-receiver class as it did in 2017.
But with Pickens already in the class — though still having to fight off plenty of other programs — Auburn sits in a position where it can continue to go after blue-chip receivers. If the Tigers want to take one, this could be a first-in-the-boat situation, where Auburn will accept the commitment from the first willing prospect with a committable offer.
It’s likely Auburn goes with one other wide receiver and tries to hold off Alabama and others for Pickens, who has been committed to the Tigers since last summer. That would be a solid duo whoever it is Auburn adds alongside Pickens.
What I think Auburn should do: Much like with the quarterbacks, Auburn’s decision to take more than anticipated will be dependent on draft-eligible underclassmen leaving early.
Two wide receivers will depart with Davis and Hastings set to graduate after their senior seasons. Of the potential early entries, Slayton and Craig-Myers are the only ones who fit into the could category, though Stove, McClain and Cannella will be eligible to do so, in theory. Even Slayton and Craig-Myers would have to blow up during the 2018 season to shoot up draft boards.
If it becomes evident that will happen for Slayton or Craig-Myers, it would make sense to add a third wide receiver in the class, if coaches felt it could afford to sacrifice a scholarship spot elsewhere.