Arizona’s star receiver, Juron Criner – five 100-yard games in 2010 and 11 TD catches – reportedly could miss the entire 2011 season due to “undisclosed medical reasons.” His 2011 status was first reported by Arizona Daily Star, but EPSN’s Bruce Feldman added yesterday that it isn’t an injury – just personal issues. Criner also missed a mid-June to ESPN’s campus on a promotional tour due to the always-ambiguous “personal reasons.”
Criner is pegged as a high-round NFL draft pick next year – at 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, he’s got the size and hands to possibly get into the first round (where I have him in a 2012 mock draft). After the “elite” group of receivers in college football next year (Justin Blackmon, Alshon Jeffrey, Michael Floyd), I’d lump Criner into that next batch with Ryan Broyles, Greg Childs, and Marquis Maze.
Obviously, Criner would be a massive loss for the Wildcats, who could have been the 2nd or 3rd best team in the Pac-12 South this Fall with returning QB Nick Foles. Arizona’s deep at WR, but Criner is obviously their best threat. The Wildcats probably aren’t a threat in the Pac-12 without him (Jon Wilner goes so far as to say Arizona would finish “closer to the bottom” of the South).