Ranking the SEC’s wide receivers for 2013

Previous Rankings:

Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the wide receivers. Remember, we’re ranking these prospects on the impact they’ll make in 2013, not just digesting last year’s raw stats in an effort to be redundant.

Here are the ten best receivers for 2013:

Standing alone

1. Amari Cooper, Alabama

Sophomore Amari Cooper is the king of the hill. He’s the best Bama receiver since Julio Jones, and he may be more explosive than Jones. Coop caught 59 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Ironically enough, he was so raw that he projects so much higher this season, especially knowing AJ McCarron will be eyeing to get him the football earlier after really only getting involved on offense in game five.

Hands like glue

2. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
3. Mike Evans, Texas A&M

Many are quick to discredit Jordan Matthews, because he doesn’t play in the Big Six teams. But he’s every big as talented as his crazy 2012 numbers show. His SEC-leading 94 receptions were good for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns. It will be tough to even duplicate those numbers, much less surpass them. He passed up a chance to the NFL to return to Vandy to finish what he started…Mike Evans should have a better year than he did last year. He finished third in the league with 82 catches for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns. I expect all three stat lines to improve playing in an offense that’s conducive for great receivers. He doesn’t drop passes.

Explosive

4. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
5. Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia

Donte Moncrief is the best overall athlete on this list. In fact, he’s a freak. Any receiver at 6-3, 230 pounds and runs a 4.40 should be great, and Moncrief catches the ball in traffic as well or better than anyone on this list. He caught 66 passes for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, and with another year of experience for Bo Wallace, I expect his numbers to improve. The top four receivers on this list could be justified to be ranked any order…We have yet to see Malcolm Mitchell’s best, but I have a feeling we will this season. With UGA losing top deep threat Tavarres King, Mitchell stands to fill the vacancy as UGA’s X-Factor. Mitchell was UGA’s most explosive receiver two years ago when he finished with 665 yards and four touchdowns, but last year he started the season at corner. He finished with 572 yards and four touchdowns.

Need more touches

6. Odell Beckham, LSU
7. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

The versatile Odell Beckham is packed with play-making ability, but he hasn’t fully developed yet. He led the Tigers with 713 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and as Zach Mettenberger should improve, Beckham’s numbers will improve. He had some consistency problems last year, but that shouldn’t happen in 2013…Dorial Green-Beckham is a premier talent, but the mute passing game didn’t show us much. He is in the same mold of AJ Green and Julio Jones, but the passing offense must pick up if DGB is going to have the career we all thought exiting high school.

Well-rounded

8. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
9. Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
10. Michael Bennett, Georgia

Ace Sanders received most of the ink last year, but it was Bruce Ellington who arguably had the better season at receiver. He caught 40 passes for a team-high 600 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 15 yards per catch. Yes, the team’s point guard is the top receiver on the football team. Ellington will go underrated again…Every time you watch film on Jordan Matthews, you can’t help but notice Chris Boyd. His 6-4, 205-pound frame jumps out, and NFL scouts are starting to notice, thanks to Matthews. Boyd caught 50 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns, and the QB play still was average…UGA’s unsung receiving hero Michael Bennett returns from an ACL injury last season. He played in just five games and still managed to finish the year with 24 catches for 345 yards and three touchdowns. Bennett could have the best hands in the SEC. Here’s to hoping he comes back stronger in 2013.

Photo Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

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