Remember back in 2013, when Corey Brown, Devin Smith, and Evan Spencer were the starting wideouts? Remember when they struggled to get open and create plays down the field? Braxton and Hyde masked a lot of the offensive problems that year. Urban talked about needing someone to become a game-changer at the WR position. Michael Thomas, who was being redshirted, called out those starting WR's after the Orange Bowl performance.
The common denominator here is the fact that OSU has not recruited the WR position well enough. That group of WR's from 2013 just were not up to par (yet). Then 2014 happens (Philly moves on to NFL, Thomas plays and Jalin Marshall steps in to play). Michael Thomas and Devin Smith each became game-changers, and guess what - they were the only true WR prospects of the bunch. The other guys were mostly hybrid players who OSU tried to turn into WR's.
We're seeing the same thing this year. Terry McLaurin, Noah Brown, Parris Campbell, Dontre Wilson, and on and on - all were hybrid type players coming into OSU and all have had their fair share of growing pains becoming good route runners and consistently getting open.
In 2017, will Zach Smith be able to help a few of those guys take the next step to becoming good secondary options with true WR's like Bin Victor, Austin Mack, and KJ Hill becoming the true go-to targets? To me this becomes the question that needs to be answered with a resounding yes if this offense is expected to take off.