Published January 15, 2014 - 4:45pmNEW: Follow on facebook -
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The SEC was not only loaded with quarterbacks and running backs in 2013, but several incredible receivers put on shows as well. But there were two who stood above the rest, high above the rest, and seven of the top 10 won’t be returning in 2014.
You know what’s crazy? Amari Cooper, who was the SEC’s preseason top wide receiver, didn’t even make the list. Now that we’ve ripped off the band-aid, let’s get it on…
1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (SR)
2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M (SO)
Jordan Matthews didn’t enter the season as the SEC’s top receiver, but he made believers out of everyone with his explosive and consistent play. He exits as the SEC’s career receiving record holder, and he caught 112 passes for 1,477 yards and seven TDs. When Vanderbilt needed a big play or catch, he delivered. Matthews is a great route runner and is smooth getting in and out of his breaks. He should have a great NFL career…The former power forward turned All-American receiver had a huge season for the Aggies. Mike Evans caught 69 passes for 1,394 yards and 12 TDs, including averaging a crazy 20.2 yards per reception – only Auburn’s Sammie Coates averaged more. Let’s remember, Evans was the only receiver in the country to have 275 receiving yards in two different games against Alabama and Auburn. Evans’ 6-5 frame fits well in the NFL, and he should have a huge career.
3. Jarvis Landry, LSU (JR)
4. Odell Beckham, LSU (JR)
Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham put up huge numbers for LSU’s offense this season. And while I think Landry is the better receiver, Beckham may be the better overall player. Does that make sense? Landry caught 77 passes for 1,193 yards and 10 TDs, while Beckham caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards and eight TDs, averaging 19.5 yards per catch. Beckham may have more upside in the NFL, depending on how teams use him as a runner and special teams player. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt they’re No. 3 and 4 on the ranking.
Related: LSU hires new O-line coach
Future NFL receivers
5. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri (SO)
6. Sammie Coates, Auburn (SO)
7. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss (JR)
8. L’Damian Washington, Missouri (SR)
The four next-level receivers are all big-time pass catchers. By the end of the season, Dorial Green-Beckham was making his case as the SEC’s best receiver. He broke out this season and caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 TDs. He’s a big-time player who’s just getting started…Sammie Coates had an explosive season for Auburn, and he was a big-play threat for the Tigers. Coates only caught 42 passes, but he averaged over 21 yards per reception, and he recorded 902 yards and seven TDs. Those are crazy numbers, and it proves he could do some serious damage almost doubling his receptions…Donte Moncrief had another very consistent year for the Rebels, catching 59 passes for 938 yards and six TDs. Yes, all the talk surrounded Laquon Treadwell, but Moncrief is the biggest reason Treadwell caught a team-high 72 passes. Moncrief will take his game to the NFL…L’Damian Washington looks like an SEC power forward with his 6-4, 210-pound frame. It took DGB a while to break out, but Washington was arguably the more consistent player throughout the season. He caught 50 passes for 893 yards and 10 TDs, while DGB averaged fewer yards per reception. What a receiving corps!
Very good No. 1s
9. Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (JR)
10. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina (JR)
Jameon Lewis was an emerging star this season, and he replaced Chad Bumphis nicely this year. Lewis led the Bulldogs with 64 receptions for 923 yards and five TDs, and his Liberty Bowl record-setting performance of 220 receiving yards was outstanding. Lewis caught a TD, rushed for a TD and threw for a TD in two different games this season. That’s some versatility! He’s primed for a huge year in 2014…Bruuuuuuuuuce Ellington had another big year as the Gamecocks’ leading receiver. He led the offense with 49 receptions for 775 yards and eight TDs, and his basketball career is likely over, as he will head to the NFL early. Ellington rarely drops any passes, and he’s a crisp and quick route runner.
Too good to leave off
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (FR)
Looking at the 10 above, Laquon Treadwell should be in there somewhere, shouldn’t he? Should he be considered in No. 5-8? He caught 72 passes for 608 yards and five touchdowns. Yes, the receptions were there and you can’t discount those, but he had fewer receiving yards than every single player on the list. Talent-wise, Treadwell has more upside than anyone on this ranking. But then again, so does Amari Cooper, who caught fewer passes for more yards than Treadwell and was hurt for most of the season. I was torn on leaving Treadwell off, because he’s a big-time prospect, but all 10 above had phenomenal seasons with respect to 2013. He was too good not to talk about.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports