SEC loaded with top pass-catchers for 2010

May, 26, 2010
5/26/10
1:00
PM ET
My ESPN.com colleague, Adam Rittenberg, had a good piece earlier Wednesday about the Big Ten being stacked at receiver for this coming season.

And he’s right, the talent at that position in the Big Ten speaks for itself.

But you know what? The SEC is even better, especially when you throw in the tight ends.

[+] EnlargeA.J. Green
AP Photo/John BazemoreA.J. Green caught 53 passes for 808 yards and six TDs last season.
Six of the SEC’s top 10 receivers from a year ago are back, and two of those – Georgia’s A.J. Green and Alabama’s Julio Jones – were named first-team preseason All-Americans by Phil Steele.

Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams was named second team and Tennessee tight end Luke Stocker fourth team.

Indeed, the pass-catching positions should be among the strongest in the SEC in 2010.

Here’s a closer look:

Georgia’s A.J. Green: Already being projected as the top receiver selected in the 2011 NFL draft. He's big, fast and has the body control and leaping ability to go up and catch anything.

Alabama’s Julio Jones: Should be completely healthy to start the 2010 season. Jones is one of those guys who never goes down on the first hit and plays the position like a linebacker. A great blocker, too.

Arkansas’ Greg Childs, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and D.J. Williams: Think Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is eager for the 2010 season to get here? We didn’t even mention sophomore Cobi Hamilton, and he may potentially be the most explosive of the group. Childs led all SEC receivers in receiving yards, touchdowns and yards per catch in league games only last season.

Auburn’s Darvin Adams: One of the breakout players in the league a year ago. Adams had three catches in 2008 and 60 last season, including 10 touchdowns. He’s a natural in Gus Malzahn’s offense.

South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery and Weslye Saunders: Jeffery may have as much upside as any receiver in the league. He just got better and better as his freshman season progressed a year ago. A big, athletic target who can go get the football with the best of them. Saunders is rated as Mel Kiper’s No. 2 tight end in the country.

Kentucky’s Randall Cobb: You won’t find a more versatile football player anywhere in the country. Cobb is still mastering the receiver position, but is one of the best players in the league once he gets the ball in his hands.

LSU’s Terrance Toliver: Kiper recently rated Toliver as the top senior receiver prospect in college football. Toliver had 53 catches last season and will be one of the focal parts of the LSU offense in 2010.

Tennessee’s Luke Stocker and Gerald Jones: Get ready to hear a lot more about Stocker, who’s a terrific run-after-the-catch guy and a tough matchup for anybody at tight end. Jones has battled some injuries, but could be in for his best season if the Vols can find a quarterback.

Here are some other names to watch, in alphabetical order:

Chris Low | email

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