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Make or break position battle: Duke

David Cutcliffe and Duke need a receiving threat to seize the role of the departed Jamison Crowder. Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT/Getty Images

We're breaking down the biggest fall-camp position battles in the ACC for each team. Here's a look at Duke, which has to replace one of the league's top pass-catchers.

Position battle: Wide receiver

The candidates: Johnell Barnes and Max McCaffrey are looking like sure starters at receiver. But who will join them with the first-team? First-year players Chris Taylor, T.J. Rahming and Trevon Lee are looking to take advantage of the opening in camp, as are Anthony Nash and Ryan Smith.

The impact: Among the several stars the Blue Devils are tasked with replacing in 2015, none might loom larger than Jamison Crowder, who was one of the most consistently great players in the ACC throughout his career. McCaffrey (yes, the son of Ed McCaffrey), a senior, is coming off a 2014 campaign in which he caught 37 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns. Barnes, a junior, notched 23 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown last season.

Fighting to start along with that duo is redshirt freshman Taylor, a former ESPN three-star prospect who had a strong spring; Rahming, a three-star freshman who has drawn early camp praise from coach David Cutcliffe; and Lee, an ESPN 300 signee. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Nash, a redshirt junior, is actually Duke's third-leading returning receiver despite just two grabs last season, though he suffered an undisclosed injury in camp. Smith, a junior track star as well, figures to see lots of time this fall, too. (Sophomore Terrance Alls could eventually be in the equation, but he is suspended indefinitely.)

Prediction: It is likely that no one man will replicate what Crowder did, as he tallied 1,044 receiving yards last season. But Taylor looks like he might be in the best position to at least dazzle in a jack-of-all-trades role, as he can play outside and possesses great speed. Look for plenty of young players to get their chances this fall, though, with McCaffrey and Barnes being the steady hands that will help break in new quarterback Thomas Sirk.