Auburn depth chart impact: WR Jyaire Shorter

One of college football’s biggest deep threats is joining Auburn’s passing game in 2023.

The Tigers picked up their third transfer receiver this cycle on Tuesday, as the former North Texas player Jyaire shorter clerk in Auburn. There will be a lot of new faces on Auburn’s offense next season, like Hugh Freeze has now brought in a Power Five starting quarterback, three wide receivers, four offensive linemen and a tight end from the transfer ranks.

A sixth-year senior from Killeen, Texas, Shorter had his best college season last year, hauling in 23 receptions for 628 yards and 11 touchdowns. When passing was accurate – Shorter was targeted 55 times last season and had just five drops – there was arguably no one more explosive in the country. Among players with at least 20 receptions, Shorter’s 27.3 yards per catch was the best average in college football in 2022. His 11 touchdowns were tied for seventh most in the nation.

After redshirting as a rookie, Shorter broke into the rotation in 2019 and was North Texas’ second leading receiver with 473 yards and nine touchdowns. Shorter struggled to stay healthy in each of the next two seasons, suffering a leg injury in 2020 and a toe injury in 2021 and only appearing in four games combined.

Shorter is the fifth inbound transfer for Auburn in the second portal window – joining App State pass-rusher Jalen McLeodMichigan State quarterback Payton ThorneOhio State Receiver Caleb Burton and Tulsa offensive lineman Jaden muskrat — and 17th overall for Freeze’s transfer class, which has been ranked in the top 5 nationally by 247Sports for most of the cycle.

With Auburn still in the market for another wide receiver on the portal – Freeze said last week before Shorter’s commitment that he wanted “one or two” more expansions – let’s take a look at the first-time coach. year. Marcus Davis‘ position, and how Shorter could fit in as an outside threat.

Seniors: Jyaire shorter, Ja’Varrius Johnson, Nick Mardner

Junior: It’s Moore (RS), Malcolm Johnson Jr. (RS)

Second year students: Camden Brown, Omari Kelly

First year students: Caleb Burton (RS), jay fair (RS), Daquayvious Sorey

Depth Map Projection

WR/X: Camden Brown OR Jyaire shorter (1), Nick Mardner (2)

WR/Z: It’s Moore (1), Malcolm Johnson Jr. (2) OR Omari Kelly (2)

WR/H: Ja’Varrius Johnson (1), jay fair (2) OR Caleb Burton (2)

Shorter is the definition of an outside receiver. His average target depth last season was 22.2 yards, the highest number in college football, and 93.6% of his shots last season came at the top of the lineup, according to Pro Football Focus.

While not as physically imposing as Brown, nor as long as Mardner, Shorter – when healthy – displayed a good mix of speed and ball skill as a vertical threat. He was significantly hampered by inaccurate QB play – North Texas starter Austin Aune had the 18th-worst adjusted completion rate in college football last year, per PFF — but when given the chance, Shorter had plenty of impressive holds against infield coverage.

Coupled with his experience level, and Shorter should head to fall camp looking to immediately establish himself as a favorite outside target for Thorne — or whoever wins the quarterback competition.

Shorter himself said it best after his visit to Auburn earlier this month: The Tigers have plenty of potential contributors but lack proven products in the receiving corps — not to mention Shorter feels like the Freeze system and coordinator offensive Philip Montgomery run is similar to what North Texas ran.

“I really said they had guys there, but they haven’t proven themselves because they don’t have a lot of experience,” Shorter said. “If I came over there I could change rooms. Help the team, try to win a few games. I know Coach Freeze likes to throw the ball down the field and shoot and he likes the biggest receivers. If I was coming over there, I’d be fine, I feel like the offense they’re running, we’ve been running in North Texas my last two years, so it would be pretty straightforward to figure out their offense and stuff.

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