Big 12 spring battle spotlight: K-State WRs

Kansas State graduated a pair of All-Big 12 receivers. How do the Wildcats plan to cope?

Departed: In 2014, Tyler Lockett became the all-time leading receiver at K-State. He capped his fabulous career with 106 receptions, 1,515 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Curry Sexton was a second-team all-conference selection after finishing fourth in the Big 12 with 1,059 receiving yards on 79 catches. Tight end Zach Trujillo is also gone. He was third on the team with 389 receiving yards.

Spring contenders: Junior Deante Burton, sophomore Judah Jones, senior Kody Cook, senior Andre Davis, senior Kyle Klein, senior Stanton Weber, freshman Dominique Heath

Summer contenders: Freshman Isaiah Zuber

The skinny: No matter who steps up, the Wildcats' passing game is going to take a huge step back. That's what happens when a school graduates a quarterback like Jake Waters and a pair of receivers like Lockett and Sexton. That doesn't mean K-State can't form a competent passing attack in 2015, though. But the Wildcats will need a couple of reliable pass-catchers to emerge. Burton, Cook and Jones are the best bets. Burton didn't catch a pass in K-State's final three games last season. But he had some moments in 2014. Cook was a consistent third or fourth option for Waters last year. Jones is a versatile big-play threat. The Wildcats had high hopes for Davis coming out of junior college, but he was never able to crack the rotation. With a season on campus behind him, he could be more consistent. Klein, the younger brother of former K-State QB Collin Klein, started three games in 2013, but missed all of last season with an injury. Weber is a former walk-on who was just put on scholarship. Heath could help the Wildcats out of the slot after putting on weight while redshirting last season. Zuber could be a factor once he gets to Manhattan; he had offers from the likes of Virginia Tech and Boston College, though he'll need to add some bulk to contribute.

Prediction: K-State fans are going to feel like they were spoiled. Lockett and Sexton were simply unbelievable last season. The Wildcats return neither the experience nor that level of talent. Burton, Cook and Jones will adequately step into their bigger roles. Getting Klein back will help. And Davis will turn into a capable deep threat. But 2015 will also be full of growing pains at the position.