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Recruiting Reset: Drinkwitz continues to stock up on wide receivers

Drink added two more receivers to the mix, proving there’s some uncertainty as to who will contribute.

Twitter: @chanceluper

With two days left until National Signing Day, Eli Drinkwitz is moving at lightning speed. He added two more commitments on Sunday, not even stopping for the Superb Owl. (Congrats to the Chiefs, by the way)

However, it was two commitments earlier in the week that we’re going to focus on today.

On Thursday, Mizzou snagged the commitment of Chance Luper, wide receiver out of Texas and son of Mizzou offensive assistant Curtis Luper.

The next day, ahead of a group weekend visit, the Tigers landed another wide receiver recruit — Kris Abrams-Draine out of Alabama.

At first glance, it wouldn’t appear wide receiver is a huge position of need. The Tigers return a host of experienced receivers (and plenty of young depth pieces), plenty of whom have shown flashes of excellence. But the emphasis on receiving talent in the past few weeks, including grad transfer Damon Hazelton, can tell us a lot about how Drinkwitz feels regarding the depth on this roster.

Where they fit:

Luper has more natural size than Abrams-Draine, but his lack of burst may prevent him from becoming a true threat on the sideline. There’s a better chance he becomes a chunk and possession yardage threat, especially if his hands can prove as steady as they appear in his highlight reel. There’s always a spot for receivers who avoid drops, especially at a place like Missouri, which has been plagued by drop-happy talents for the past few years.

Abrams-Draine, despite his lack of size, seems to have the athleticism to become an explosive weapon in the open field. He’s probably not big enough to fit on the outside, but he could be a dangerous slot option for years to come.

When they’ll play:

Abrams-Draine looks like he may be ready to contribute right off the jump moreso than Luper. The Alabama product doesn’t have as much size, but he boasts more flashy athleticism — his high school team often put him in positions to make plays off of quick-outs and bubble screens, and he rewarded them by turning nothing plays into big gains.

This is the sort of receiver Missouri has lacked in the past few years. There was hope Johnathon Johnson might become one in his senior year, but injuries (and the lack of any outside threat) neutralized Johnson as a threat. Barrett Bannister seems pretty locked in at the slot receiver position, but there could be room for Abrams-Draine to earn extended playing time as a freshman if he’s able to supplant some of the other receivers ahead of him.

What it all means:

Since Drinkwitz took the Missouri job, three of his six new recruits have been wide receivers. That seems noteworthy.

In an ideal world, the combination of Kam Scott, Jalen Knox, Barrett Bannister and Damon Hazelton would be enough to line the top of the depth chart. Hazelton is a former All-Conference receiver; Knox and Scott have flashed worlds of potential; Bannister has become a scrapper worthy of the Show-Me State’s football team.

But clearly Eli Drinkwitz thinks more depth is necessary. He’s talked openly about needing, “touchdown makers.” That’s not a statement a brand new coach lightly makes about his inherited roster — where’s the PR sense, huh new guy? With the additions of Abrams-Draine and Luper, Drinkwitz is clearly stacking the deck with all different sorts of wide receivers, hoping that one or more will stick.

Would he be doing so if he felt confident in the talent already on the roster? It seems unlikely.