Razorback wide receiver Treylon Burks announced his decision last week to forgo the Outback Bowl and his senior season in preparation for the 2022 NFL draft. Many mock drafts indicate that Burks may land in the late first-round or early second. But, we all know he is likely to improve his draft stock at the NFL combine in February. Burks capped off his legendary Arkansas career by leading the Hogs to their first New Years Day bowl berth in fifteen years. Now, the question remains who will fill his shoes against Penn State and into the 2022 season.
This season, Burks started slowly through the first few games but quickly became the primary weapon within the offense. He accounted for 11 touchdowns and 1,104 receiving yards on 66 receptions. Additionally, he carried the ball fourteen times for 112 yards and another touchdown.
The Penn State defense poses a run-stopping force that should make the Razorback offense air it out without the presence of their most dynamic weapon. However, the absence of Burks on New Years Day will open opportunities for veteran Razorbacks to fill the void against the Nittany Lions. Tyson Morris and Warren Thompson proved themselves as liable targets for KJ Jefferson during the season. The duo combined for 597 yards and four touchdowns on 39 receptions. Also, look for the Hogs to involve senior De’Vion Warren in the bowl game. Warren was quiet for much of the season but made a handful of flashy plays down the stretch. Running backs Rocket Sanders and Dominque Johnson also pose a threat as pass catchers out of the backfield or split out wide.
Outside of the proven playmakers, the Outback Bowl is a chance for a few younger players to prove their potential before the 2022 season. We saw flashes of Ketron Jackson’s ability during the season, and he should receive more targets against Penn State. Jackson is my pick to be the dynamic playmaking receiverin the 2022 offense. Look for Trey Knox to become increasingly involved, too, after his contributions from the tight end position late in the season. The bowl game will be an exciting opportunity for Kendall Briles to open up his offense in new ways that we did not see this year. Don’t be surprised to see some players line up in positions that we fans have not seen yet.
Don’t forget that the Hogs add Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood and Fayetteville recruit Isaiah Sategna to the receiver group in 2022. In addition, we will see if Pittman and Briles add any more offensive skill players in the upcoming early signing period. So don’t worry, Hog fans. The future will be full of playmakers on the Hill.