There’s a weak link on every team, but also a strength. This series will look at the strongest and weakest position groups for each Big 12 team heading into the fall.
On Tuesday, we continue the series with Iowa State.
Strongest position: Receivers/tight ends
The Cyclones return the best receiver/tight end duo in the Big 12.
Receiver Quenton Bundrage has the potential to be one of the Big 12’s top receivers if he becomes more consistent catching the football with his size and big-play ability, and E.J. Bibbs could be the Big 12’s best returning tight end. That duo gives ISU a terrific 1-2 option after they combined for 87 receptions for 1,138 yards and 11 touchdowns.
ISU’s bevy of receiving targets doesn’t end there.
Jarvis West is a dynamic receiver and returner who can change games with one play. D'Vario Montgomery, a 6-foot-5 transfer from South Florida, looks like he could become a big, play-making target, and Brett Medders was one of the Cyclones’ surprises of the spring. Add ESPN 300 receiver Allen Lazard into the mix and suddenly the Cyclones' receiving corps looks like it could rank among the Big 12’s best, especially if ISU can find a quarterback who can consistently deliver the ball.
Weakest position: Defensive tackle
There's a help wanted sign hanging outside the defensive tackle meeting room.
It’s dire straits along the Cyclones’ defensive interior after defensive tackles Rodney Coe and David Irving were removed from the program, although Brandon Jensen’s return will help tremendously. Jensen, who started all 12 games but quit after the 2013 season, returned to the program shortly after spring football.
Nonetheless, defensive tackle is a major concern for the Cyclones program.
The Cyclones’ post-spring two deep featured sophomores Devlyn Cousin and Pierre Aka along with freshmen Robby Garcia and Vernell Trent, who have a combined zero starts, making Jensen’s return the best thing that happened at the position during the spring semester. ISU will add junior college signee Terry Ayeni this summer, which should help. But the defensive tackle position is clearly the Cyclones' weakest and arguably the weakest in the entire conference.