The SEC's 25 best players: No. 11

If only this next guy would have played the entire 2010 season, he would have easily been in the top 5:

No. 11: A.J. Green, WR, Jr., Georgia

2010 numbers/honors: Led Georgia with 54 receptions, 848 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches. A second-team All-America selection by Walter Camp. A second-team All-SEC selection by both the Associated Press and coaches.

Preseason ranking: Ranked No. 2 on the 2010 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Green: Let the debate begin on whether the 6-4, 212-pound Green is too high, too low or about where he should be in this countdown. Granted, he only played in nine games after being suspended by the NCAA for the first four games of the season, but he tied for the SEC lead in those nine games with nine touchdown catches. Five of those touchdowns came in the five SEC games he played in, and they averaged 31.2 yards per catch. Simply, Green was the essence of a big-play performer and changed the way defenses had to play the Bulldogs once he returned to the lineup. He averaged 94.2 receiving yards per game, which would have placed him second in the SEC behind only Alshon Jeffery. His ability to go up and get the football, combined with a great pair of hands, made him the ultimate weapon any time the Bulldogs got near the red zone. Green was easily one of the best three or four players in the SEC this season. But being suspended for four games was what kept him from being ranked any higher.

The rundown

No. 12: LSU DT Drake Nevis

No. 13: Auburn OT Lee Ziemba

No. 14: LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard

No. 15: South Carolina DE Devin Taylor

No. 16: Florida S Ahmad Black

No. 17: Arkansas TE D.J. Williams

No. 18: Alabama S Mark Barron

No. 19: Florida CB Janoris Jenkins

No. 20: Mississippi State LB Chris White

No. 21: LSU RB Stevan Ridley

No. 22: Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod

No. 23: Alabama DE Marcell Dareus

No. 24: Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan

No. 25: Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw