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Ranking the 2016 Pac-12 receiver groups: Cougars and Ducks have best receivers in Pac-12

Ranking the 2016 Pac-12 receiver and tight end groups from top to bottom.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oregon (WR Darren Carrington Jr. WR Dwayne Stanford Sr. WR Charles Nelson Jr. WR Devon Allen Jr. TE Pharaoh Brown Sr. TE Evan Baylis Sr. TE Johnny Mundt Sr.) Carrington turned down the NFL and could be poised for a superstar turning season as the best deep threat in the conference who has an uncanny knack for tracking the ball in the air. Stanford is a Duck mainstay as the big possession receiver and Nelson is one of the fastest players in the conference and a perpetual big play threat. Brown is a wildcard who was the conference's best tight end in 2014 before a scary injury knocked him out for more than a year.

2. Washington State (WR Gabe Marks Sr. WR River Cracraft Sr. WR Robert Lewis Jr. WR John Thompson Sr. WR Kyrin Priester Jr. WR Kyle Sweet So.) Mike Leach has amassed an army of capable receivers for his pass attack led by Marks who shockingly came back for his senior year. Marks is the Pac-12's returning receiving leader and Cracraft is the best number two receiver in the conference. After that, the cupboard is stocked with reliable pass catchers ready for more targets.

3. USC (WR JuJu Smith-Schuster Jr. WR Steven Mitchell Jr. WR Darreus Rogers Sr. CB Adoree Jackson Jr. TE Tyler Petite So. TE Taylor McNamara Sr.) Smith-Schuster is a top five pick in the making and the most-talented receiver hands down in the conference. Mitchell is an emerging smaller threat and Rogers is a possession veteran. Jackson is the huge boost here as he brings more speed to the receiver position than maybe any other player in the conference when he jumps over from defense.

4. Arizona State (WR Tim White Sr. TE Kody Kohl Sr. WR Ellis Jefferson Jr. WR Jalen Harvey So.) Not much depth here, but White is a speedster and one of the conference's leading returning receivers and Kohl is the conference's leading receiver at tight end.

5. Oregon State (WR Jordan Villamin Jr. WR Victor Bolden Sr. WR Hunter Jarmon Jr. TE Noah Togiai So.) This might seem high for how bad the Beavers were in 2015, but it's a very weak year for receiver groups in the conference and Villamin and Bolden are one of the best receiver duos in the conference. Villamin is a tight end-sized (6'5 230) defensive nightmare and Bolden is a speedy little receiver with big time playmaking abilities.

6. Stanford (WR Michael Rector Sr. WR Francis Owusu So. WR Trent Irwin TE Dalton Schultz Jr. TE Greg Taboada Sr) Stanford isn't known for having stellar receiver groups, but this isn't a bad one for them as senior Michael Rector is a nice deep threat with great possession skills and Owusu and Irwin are up-and-coming talents. Tight end is stacked as usual even with Austin Hooper off to the NFL as Schultz is a former blue chip recruit who should be ready to come into his own and Taboada is a huge, proven commodity and blocker.

7. Arizona (WR Nate Phillips Sr. WR Samajie Grant Sr. WR Trey Griffey Sr. TE Josh Kern Sr.) A pretty typical Arizona receiver group under RichRod, deep and solid, but with no real stars.

8. Colorado (WR Shay Fields Jr. WR Devin Ross Jr. TE Sean Irwin Sr. WR Bryce Bobo Jr.) - Nelson Spruce is gone, but the Buffs still have a nice group, led by Fields who is a former huge recruit who had a great season in 2015. Ross and Bobo could develop into nice secondary options and Irwin is one of the top returning tight ends in the conference.

9. Washington (WR Dante Pettis Jr. WR John Ross Jr. TE Darrell Daniels Sr. WR Brayden Lenius Jr.) - The Huskies' weak spot going into 2016 is receiver, but Pettis has had a nice career thus far and Ross could be the comeback player of the year in the conference as one of the fastest players in the conference who missed all of 2015 with an ACL injury. Daniels has outrageous speed for a tight end and is one of the conference's leading returners at tight end.

10. UCLA (WR Darren Andrews Sr. WR Eldridge Massington Jr. WR Kenneth Walker Sr. WR Stephen Johnson So.) - This group is ultra talented but unproven. They have the potential to end up being one of the best units in the conference, but they will have to step up after losing talent like Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte.

11. Cal (WR Chad Hansen Jr. TE Raymond Hudson Jr. WR Bug Rivera Sr. WR Kanawai Noa So.) - A glut of talented receivers left along with Jared Goff. This group has promise, but has a lot to prove.

12. Utah (TE Harrison Handley Jr. TE Siale Fakailoatonga Sr. CB Cory Butler-Byrd WR Raelon Singleton So.) - This group suffered a huge blow with budding star Britain Covey went off on his mission. Handley is the conference's second-leading returner at tight end, but they need a lot of players to step up after that.