The SEC is almost stacked at the wide receiver position for 2011. Four of the top 20 come from the same team: the Arkansas Razorbacks.
We all know who the number one wide receiver is in this conference, and there is no debating that. But who are the other receivers, and how do they stack up?
Here is how I think the SEC wide receivers stack up in 2011:
10. Tavarres King, Georgia
9. Emory Blake, Auburn
8. Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Tavarres King was under the radar somewhat in Athens, playing behind All-American AJ Green. Now Green is gone, and King will have a chance to make a name for himself. King is a great athlete, and he knows this offense for Georgia. He quietly caught 27 passes for over 500 yards last year. Now is King’s time to shine at Georgia…Emory Blake was a great asset to the National Champion Auburn Tigers last year with over 550 yards receiving. However, that was last year, and Auburn will have to find a quarterback to get Blake the ball. He is a good receiver, and I fully expect Gus Malzahn to get him the ball every opportunity he can, somehow…Chad Bumphis has somewhat underachieved during his time at MSU. He was a can’t-miss recruit out of high school who has not fully developed at this level – partly because of the lack of success in the passing game and partly because he just hasn’t blossomed yet fully. I do expect Mullen to get more creative in his offense and use Bumphis much like he used Percy Harvin at Florida.
7. Rueben Randle, LSU
6. Jarius Wright, Arkansas
5. Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Rueben Randle is a great looking wide receiver prospect on the Bayou. He has yet to get a quarterback who can get him the football, though. Randle has great size, and he will use that to his advantage over the smaller defensive backs. He did catch 33 passes for 544 yards and three touchdowns last year, but those numbers could be significantly better once the passing game picks up. He needs a quarterback, and if LSU is going with Jordan Jefferson, I’m not going with Rueben Randle having top-five receiver numbers in this league. I could be singing a different tune at the end of this year…Jarius Wright gets lost in the mix somewhat behind Greg Childs and Joe Adams in Fayetteville. However, Wright can be just as much of a weapon as those two when he is on his game. He is one of the fastest players on this football team, and I expect him to have a great year…Justin Hunter will be the next great wide receiver in the SEC. From what I saw of Hunter last year, he has it all. He didn’t get much playing time, but he did average 26 yards per catch, which is just stupid-good numbers. Hunter has an adequate quarterback in Tyler Bray, and he can out-jump any SEC defensive back to get that football. He should be the No. 1 receiver on Bray’s list; therefore, he will get a lot of balls thrown his way. I love the way this kid plays the game.
4. Marquis Maze, Alabama
3. Joe Adams, Arkansas
2. Greg Childs, Arkansas
Marquis Maze should be the primary receiver at Alabama this year for the quarterbacks. Maze is an older and wiser player than a year ago. He did have 557 yards receiving and three touchdowns on the year. He is so important to this team for so many reasons, namely his experience and leadership for transfer Duron Carter. Maze will use his blazing speed this year to shake defenders right off him…Joe Adams is such a different player than many on this list. I believe he has a chip on his shoulder to prove himself once again after dropping a couple of passes in the Sugar Bowl and also prove he can be mentioned with his fellow teammate and receiver Greg Childs. Adams’ health is of utmost importance to this Arkansas football team because he is so vital in the punt return game as well…Fellow Razorback Greg Childs looks to be the best pro prospect on this Arkansas team. Childs has the size at 6-3 to make any play on the field. He is as good of a possession receiver in the country, and he should be dynamite for this passing game. Hopefully his health is restored because he suffered a nasty season-ending knee injury early last year.
1. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Was there any doubt about this pick? Alshon Jeffery is the only receiver in this league who could total 100 receptions on the year. He is the primary receiver on a talented team with a quarterback who – when he’s not on a binge – can play as good as anyone in the conference. Jeffery is the top pro prospect in the country for 2011. He can do it all for the Gamecocks, and he has speed that is very deceptive. The sky is the limit for Alshon Jeffery. He can be as good as he wants to be – just get him the freaking ball!