In the coming series, SDS will take a look at the SEC’s most productive returners over the next few weeks broken down by position. Next up are the wide receivers.
- Running back
- Wide Receivers
- Sack Masters
- The Kickers
- The Punters
- Kick Returners
- Punt Returners
The SEC returns three 1,000-yard receivers. Vandy’s Jordan Matthews is coming off a spectacular junior season where he registered 94 (94!) catches that led the conference. I named Mike Evans ‘Radius’ because he catches everything thrown his direction, and finally there’s Amari Cooper, who may be the best overall receiver in the country in 2013, coming off a spectacular and crucial showing as a freshman.
This is not a ranking, and it’s based on receiving yardage:
1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
2012 stats: 94 catches for 1,323 yards and 8 TDs
2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
2012 stats: 82 catches for 1,105 yards and 5 TDs
3. Amari Cooper, Alabama
2012 stats: 59 catches for 1,000 yards and 11 TDs
4. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
2012 stats: 66 catches for 979 yards and 10 TDs
5. Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
2012 stats: 50 catches for 774 yards and 5 TDs
6. Odell Beckham, LSU
2012 stats: 43 catches for 713 yards and 2 TDs
7. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
2012 stats: 40 catches for 600 yards and 7 TDs
8. Jarvis Landry, LSU
2012 stats: 56 catches for 573 yards and 5 TDs
9. Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
2012 stats: 40 catches for 572 yards and 4 TDs
10. Marcus Lucas, Missouri
2012 stats: 46 catches for 509 yards and 3 TDs
Alabama could have the best receiving corps in the country led by Cooper. Returning is Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and Christion Jones, along with a slew of other up-and coming youngsters. AJ McCarron’s options will be unlimited.
Arkansas has four primary receivers who will catch Brandon Allen’s passes. Demetrius Wilson, Julian Horton and Javontee Herndon are three to watch, but look out for rising sophomore Mekale McKay.
Auburn is still searching for their wide receivers. Jaylon Denson is really the only one to have locked up a starting job this spring, with Sammie Coates, Trovon Reed and Quan Bray, among others, looking to emerge more reliable and break into the starting role.
Much like Auburn, Florida is looking for someone – anyone – to emerge as a leading receiver. Look for Quinton Dunbar and freshman Demarcus Robinson to start this fall.
Georgia is stacked at receiver with Mitchell headlining the group. Michael Bennett returns from injury, and Chris Conley and Justin Scott-Wesley should be more reliable this fall. Aaron Murray will have weapons on the outside.
Kentucky is lacking in receiver depth, but Demarco Robinson has some of the best skill-sets of any receiver in the league. Also, DeMarcus Sweat should play a much bigger role in the new Air Raid offense in 2013.
LSU has a chance to have a sexy receiver tandem of Landry and Beckham, and don’t forget about solid contributor Kadron Boone. Beckham and Landry’s numbers will increase with a better passing game.
Robert Johnson, Jameon Lewis and Joe Morrow are the new trio Mississippi State and Tyler Russell are counting on. Each are solid contributors but not proven and inexperienced. Look for one to emerge as a legit receiver in the SEC.
Dorial Green-Beckham, Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington are a formidable trio for Missouri and James Franklin. However, DGB has more upside at receiver than anyone in the conference not named Donte Moncrief or Amari Cooper.
And speaking of Moncrief, he leads Ole Miss’ receivers and could be the best receiver in the conference right now. He headlines the group, but Vince Sanders and Ja-Mes Logan will have another big year for Bo Wallace.
The Gamecocks are looking for Ace Sanders’ replacement. While Bruce Ellington will be a solid contributor, Shaq Roland and Kwinton Smith have big futures ahead. Don’t think just because Sanders is gone that USC won’t have any legit receivers.
I would argue the weakest position of Tennessee’s team remains at receiver. Pig Howard and Vincent Dallas should make plays, but outside of those two, true freshmen will have to step in immediately.
Mike Evans leads a deep and talented receiving corps for the Aggies. Malcome Kennedy and a slew of newcomers will get their feet wet immediately in 2013. Watch out for transfer JaQuay Williams to have a big year.
The Commodores have one of the best one-two receiving options in the league. Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd combined for 144 catches for 2,097 yards and 13 touchdowns. Both are legit receivers and could start for any SEC team.
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