The SEC’s 10 best wide receivers ahead of spring practice

USATSI_7415715_154511880_lowres

Spring position rankings:

The SEC had a logjam at wide receiver in 2013, and a few of them return for another season. Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are four who won’t be back for another season.

The conference hasn’t been known to have so many big-name receivers, but with the league trending towards more explosive offenses, better receivers are a big reason for that.

Here’s a look at the 10 best ahead of spring football:

10. Marquez North, Tennessee (SO)
9. Shaq Roland, South Carolina (JR)
8. Chris Conley, Georgia (SR)

Marquez North is ready to blow up. The only problem is Tennessee has to find somebody to get him the football. North caught 38 passes for 496 yards and one touchdown as a freshman, and his one-handed grab against South Carolina was arguably the conference’s top catch of the season…Shaq Roland is ready to become the Gamecocks’ top receiver after Bruce Ellington is heading to the NFL. Roland caught 25 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns during his sophomore campaign…Chris Conley is destined to be a politician someday, but he’s a top 10 receiver for the Bulldogs. Conley caught 45 passes for 651 yards in 2013, even after he missed two games due to an injury. He’s a big-play threat.

MORE: SEC Pre-Spring Power Rankings

7. Malcome Kennedy, Texas A&M (SR)
6. Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia (JR)
5. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (SO)

Malcome Kennedy returns as the Aggies’ veteran of the receiving corps. He caught 60 passes for 658 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He’s not a big-play threat yet, but he needs to become a bigger weapon for a new quarterback…Don’t forget about Malcolm Mitchell! Mitchell went down with a season-ending knee injury after celebrating with Todd Gurley against Clemson. Mitchell may have yet to live up to the huge expectation, but that has more to do with him splitting time at corner and being injured. Mitchell’s caught 85 passes for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons…Laquon Treadwell has as much or more upside than any receiver in the country, including Amari Cooper and DGB. He led the Rebels with 72 catches last season for 608 yards and five touchdowns, but there’s so much more in the tank. I expect Treadwell to blow up in 2014, but that largely depends on how good the Rebels’ quarterback play will be.

4. Jameon Lewis, Mississippi State (SR)
3. Sammie Coates, Auburn (JR)
2. Amari Cooper, Alabama (JR)

Jameon Lewis could be the SEC’s secret weapon. He scored touchdowns three different ways in two games by rushing, passing and receiving. He caught 64 passes for 923 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 117 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw for three touchdowns…Sammie Coates just needs more touches, and he was Auburn’s deep threat, averaging a whopping 21.5 yards per catch. He totaled 42 catches for 902 yards and seven touchdowns…Amari Cooper had a quiet 2013, mostly because of injuries. He still caught 45 passes for 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013, after recording 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman, but he’s so explosive and can be great with the ball in his hands. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most explosive receivers in the country.

RELATED: 10 SEC Spring football predictions

1. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri (JR)

One of the top breakout stars of 2013, DGB looks to be the anchor of a talented receiving corps in 2014. Green-Beckham caught 59 passes for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he started to blow up midway through the season. He looks more like a power forward than a receiver, but DGB could blossom into one of the finest weapons in the country and be coveted by several NFL teams, assuming he stays out of trouble.

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

You must be logged in to post a comment. Please sign in or register

  • I maybe a little bias, but I think Treadwell should at least be in the top 3. I do agree that he should have a huge season. He is moving to the outside and that should help him a lot, not because he wasn’t great as an inside WR, but because he will now run deeper routes. Also, I think Vince Sanders should be on this list.

    • I don’t disagree with you. This was more of a top returning players ranking than projecting players for the 2014 season. Treadwell is a big-time player, no doubt. 1-6 are players.

      • Also, Treadwell came into spring practice at 6’3 224 lbs. He is going to be a load to bring down. He is built just like Moncrief, but he is a better overall athlete.

  • You are correct, the sky would be the limit for this young man “IF” he can stay out of trouble, in another year he would be a great addition to any team.

    • Oops! forgot to mention I’m referring to Mizzou’s DGB.

    • and if he learns what timing on a route is, and if he learns more about making space for himself in the catch spot, and if he learns about half a dozen other important receiver qualities. Yes the physical tools are there but I think the learning curve is more on the slow and steady line than the star rocket line. And that may be good for Missouri as a corp of receivers.

  • Marquez is such a great player and a specimen, but not having competent QB play will kill his numbers and how everyone views him as a player.

    • North is pretty good, but you’re right about needing someone to throw to him. On a related note, I love that picture of him catching the TD pass against UGA this past season, where he is looking right at the camera while making the catch and keeping his feet in bounds. Impressive.

  • What about D’haquille Williams? He and Coates are going to make a very tough tandem to cover for any secondary.

    • No one really knows how is going to do because he has yet to play. He as the potential to be really good. All of these players have proved that they are really good. With they way Auburn offense is run, it’s a little hard to see Auburn having two receivers having big numbers because they don’t throw the ball that much and Marshall isn’t known for his passing skills.I’m not saying that he isn’t going to improve, but he is a much better runner right now than a passer.

  • jimmy hunt? bud sasser?

    • Had a good time sitting with the Sasser family this year. Both of these receivers have good hands and might get open better than Lucas or DGB did last year.

  • Georgia will have the best receiving unit in 2014 in the SEC imo…..

    • Mitchell, Conley, Bennett, and JSW are a VERY formidable foursome, if they stay healthy. Then, if you consider Rumph living up to his hype and just one of our incoming freshman stepping up, holy hell, you may be right. Mason just has to get the ball to these guys and the OL has to give him enough time to do it.

  • I think Michael Bennett too often gets overlooked. I think Chris Conley is very talented, but I’d put Bennett ahead of him. Either way, if both stay healthy, they will be vital to a successful season.

  • Although young, TAMU will have the fastest WR corps in the SEC. I also predict Ricky Seales-Jones (6-5 235) will be the best receiver in the league. Speedy Noil, LQ Williams, and LQ Gonzalez could start on any team ANYWHERE.
    JFF”s replacement, Kenny Hill, is going to be win the Heisman!

    Having got that off my chest….the defense will be worse, and we will go 2-9.

  • I’m going to miss Vanderbilt’s ace. Beckam at Missouri has to be part of corp of targets. Mauk will use him but don’t look for any of Missouri’s receivers to have big numbers….Do look for all of Missouri’s receivers to have an impact on the SEC East championship.

  • UGA’s Michael Bennett is a perfect slot possession-type receiver. Reminds me of Tripp Chandler.

  • That last line ” assuming he stays out of trouble” … is why I would take Coop (Barring inury).. His character may cost him a few dollars in the future. As well as injury could hurt Coop I get it.. but I’m bias I’ll admit it

TOP SEC HEADLINES
Continue scrolling for more articles.