Baylor has become WR factory


If last season was the year of Robert Griffin III, then this season is the year of his former Baylor wide receivers.

Somehow, some way, Baylor has turned into the NFL's No. 1 breeding ground of beastly wide receivers.

Josh Gordon, Baylor.

Kendall Wright, Baylor.

Terrance Williams, Baylor.

Those three wideouts together would form a trio as potent as just about any team in the league could boast.

Heading into Sunday's game at the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns' Gordon is the first player in NFL history with 200 receiving yards in back-to-back games. Gordon has 498 receiving yards the past two weeks, 14 more than Calvin Johnson had during a two-game stretch earlier this season, in what had been the two-game NFL record.

But Gordon is hardly the only young former Baylor wideout setting marks. Wright has become the Titans' top wideout, the player Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick have looked to when they need big catches, like the one that won the game in Oakland in Week 12. Wright already has caught 71 passes for 840 yards, exceeding his rookie totals.

And Williams went four straight games with a touchdown reception, setting a Dallas Cowboys rookie record and becoming the first Cowboy with two touchdown catches of 60 yards or more since Terrell Owens in 2008.

Together, all three of these receivers have combined to give Baylor something else it is known for other than its former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. Under head coach Art Briles, Baylor has a pass-oriented offense that gives its receivers the ability to get more reps than their counterparts, and more ready for the NFL.

And there are more Baylor wideouts on the NFL radar: Antwan Goodley and Tevin Reese. USC once sent an endless stream of running backs and offensive tackles to the NFL, Penn State sent linebackers and Michigan quarterbacks. Now Baylor is taking its turn. Waco breeds wideouts.

Griffin once helped shine a spotlight on his former wide receiver teammates at Baylor. But as it turns out, and as the NFL has found out, they helped Griffin look better as well.

Divisions turned upside down: It happens every season, as much as nobody thinks it will. Teams that were on top fade, teams that were on the bottom emerge, and the NFL standings turn into one big surprise party.

The Broncos and Patriots are the only division winners from last season leading their divisions now. All those preseason prognostications look as good as having Arian Foster and Julio Jones on your fantasy team.

Atlanta, Houston and Washington -- each of which won its division last season -- will finish closer to a top-five pick this season. Green Bay, San Francisco and Baltimore -- three other division winners from last season -- are fighting for their playoff lives.

And there will be division winners and playoff teams that few expected. It's part of the surprises of the NFL. It happened last year, it's happening this year. And take this to the bank: It will happen next year.

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