- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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You’ve seen our position rankings for receiving corps in the SEC. Here’s a look at the top 10 wide receivers in the league.
1. Amari Cooper, So., Alabama: At the end of his freshman season, there wasn’t a better receiver in college football than Cooper, who caught five touchdown passes in his last three games. He’s gotten bigger and stronger this offseason, and is as explosive as ever. You’re talking about a guy who could have 20 touchdowns in his first two seasons.
2. Jordan Matthews, Sr., Vanderbilt: The 6-3, 205-pound Matthews is as smooth as he is consistent. He has massive hands and catches everything. He heads into his senior season with 17 career touchdown receptions, and set a school record last season with 1,323 receiving yards.
3. Donte Moncrief, Jr., Ole Miss: How good are the receivers in this league that Moncrief is No. 3 on this list? He’s 6-2, has beefed up to 220 pounds, and still accelerates like a sprinter. A superb athlete, Moncrief is one of those guys who could find the end zone in his sleep. He caught 10 touchdown passes a year ago.
4. Mike Evans, RSo., Texas A&M: When you survey the numbers Evans put up a year ago, a case could be made that he should be No. 1, or at the very least, No. 2. We’ll revisit the rankings at the end of the season, but he’s a 6-5, 225-pound specimen who racked up 1,105 receiving yards as a redshirt freshman, and should be even better his second time through the league.
5. Malcolm Mitchell, Jr., Georgia: Now that Mitchell’s focus is on offense and he’s not trying to play both ways, look for him to have a huge season in 2013. He’s a dangerous deep threat who had 40 catches last season and averaged 14.3 yards per catch. His game-breaking speed is what sets him apart.
6. Dorial Green-Beckham, So., Missouri: Even though he wasn’t the instant sensation like some predicted last season, Green-Beckham showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman, especially late. Now that he's more settled in, the former No. 1 prospect in the country has the talent, speed and size (6-6, 220 pounds) to emerge as one of the elite difference-makers in the SEC.
7. Jarvis Landry, Jr., LSU: What he lacks in speed he makes up for with his hands, his route-running and the ferocity in which he plays the game. Pound for pound, he’s one of the best football players on LSU’s team, and he demonstrated this spring that he’s ready to blossom in Cam Cameron’s offense.
8. Bruce Ellington, Jr., South Carolina: He’s a point guard in the winter and a big-play receiver in the fall. The Gamecocks’ two-sport standout caught five of his six touchdown passes in his last five games a year ago, including the game-winner in the bowl game. This should be his best season yet on the gridiron.
9. Chris Boyd, RJr., Vanderbilt: On most other teams, the 6-4, 205-pound Boyd would be the primary option. Of course, he’s not complaining. He and Matthews make each other better. Boyd averaged 15.5 yards per catch last season, and hauled in all five of his touchdown catches in his final six games.
10. Michael Bennett, Jr., Georgia: The 6-3, 204-pound Bennett was on his way to a breakout season a year ago before tearing his ACL in practice. He still finished with four touchdown catches in five games, and will resume his role in 2013 as one of Aaron Murray’s favorite targets.
1dSam Khan Jr.
2dSam Khan Jr.