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What to make of the Badgers WR room this season

The wide receiver room has a completely different taste in 2023.

The Wisconsin Badgers underwent significant change across the board this offseason, revamping their coaching staff and attracting a number of transfers at key positions to bolster the roster ahead of the 2023 season.

One thing’s for certain: the Wisconsin Badgers will NOT have the same wide receiver room in 2023, compared to 2022.

The Badgers brought in transfers Will Pauling, Bryson Green, C.J. Williams, and Quincy Burroughs to compete with incumbents Chimere Dike, Skyler Bell, and Keontez Lewis.

What should we expect from the Badgers’ wide receiver room in 2023?

Starters: Bryson Green, Chimere Dike, and Will Pauling

The Badgers officially announced Bryson Green as a starter in the two-deep, which was expected, given the wideout’s pedigree as the second-most experienced receiver on the team.

He joins Dike as the two outside receivers, while Will Pauling takes over in the slot.

Pauling is my projected top receiver on the team, as he profiles very similarly to former UNC wide receiver Josh Downs as an undersized slot weapon with good speed, route-running, and ability to make contested catches.

Downs was prominent in the air the last two seasons for UNC, catching 195 passes for 2,364 yards, and 19 touchdowns.

While I don’t expect Pauling to reach those numbers, there's a clear role for capable slot receivers in Longo’s offense, and Pauling seems to be the next in line.

I prefer Dike as a slot receiver, given his lack of high-end speed and experience at that role, but he should still be a capable receiver who earns volume in this offense.

Green is the true wildcard, as he hasn’t seen as much time on the field with Tanner Mordecai, given his offseason shoulder surgery, but the big-bodied receiver is great at the catch point, and could be a consistent weapon for his quarterback.

It’s safe to say this may be the most talented receiver room Wisconsin has seen in a while.

Backup: C.J. Williams, Skyler Bell, Keontez Lewis

Williams was one of the highest-rated transfers for the Badgers this offseason, and he has played up to the hype in practice.

The lone critique of Williams’s game is the lack of high-end speed, but the wideout makes up for it with good route running for a 6’2, 200-pound receiver, while displaying sticky hands and great ability at the catch point.

He should be in frequent rotation with the top receivers on the outside, and could potentially crack the starting lineup at some point during the season.

Skyler Bell moved to the slot, working behind Will Pauling for the majority of the offseason, which feels like a better role for the redshirt sophomore.

As a freshman, Bell was one of the better receivers on the team, but wasn't as explosive or fast as I expected to be for a wideout of his stature.

Now, in the slot, Bell can be more comfortable in a complementary role, although the ascendance of Pauling likely limits his playing time.

Lewis could see the field, given his speed, but likely serves as the sixth receiver in Mike Brown’s rotation.

Longo offenses have seen rotating receivers that see the field, but having enough talent is never an issue.

Depth: Quincy Burroughs, Tommy McIntosh, Vinny Anthony

It’s unclear how much playing time the depth receivers will see this season, given the top-end talent of the team, but Burroughs, McIntosh, and Anthony all flashed at times this offseason, which is a good sign for the Badgers.

The Badgers could see some departures from the room after the season, given the NFL Draft and the abundance of talent, but the team is well-loaded at receiver, leaving them in a good place for the upcoming year.