Individual Position Rankings

Ranked in terms of talent and potential impact, here’s how the SEC’s top wide receivers stack up this season:

10. Javess Blue, Kentucky: The Wildcats’ top receiver last season with 43 catches for 586 yards, Blue’s shifty in space with a knack for getting to the first down marker. Blue skipped spring practice to recover from shoulder surgery, but will be fine by the time Kentucky opens the season on Aug. 30. Offensive coordinator Neal Brown plans to speed things up this fall to try and reach the 80.1 snaps per game he averaged at Texas Tech. Getting the football in Blue’s hands is essential.

9. Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia: You have to feel for Mitchell, a talented wideout who has been plagued by injuries since tearing his ACL during a celebration in the end zone at Clemson in last year’s season opener. One of the Bulldogs’ top threats during the 2011 and 2012 campaigns, Mitchell’s out again for an extended period of time after going under the knife last week to repair damaged cartilage. With Justin Scott-Wesley still on the mend, stepping up in their absence will be Chris Conley and Michael Bennett.

8. Shaq Roland, South Carolina: One of many options this season for senior quarterback Dylan Thompson, Roland has first-round potential if he becomes more consistent as an every-down threat. One of the Gamecocks’ most athletic players, Roland can stretch the field on the outside or out-run defensive backs across the middle on a slot cross. If Thompson’s passing numbers soar this fall, Roland’s receiving total could surpass the 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown plateau.

7. Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M: Despite the exit of first-round pick Mike Evans, the cupboard’s stocked full for Kevin Sumlin at receiver with the addition of five-star prodigy Speedy Noil, veteran returning starter Malcome Kennedy and this guy, Seals-Jones, a 6-foot-5 leaper with tremendous reach and 1,000-yard potential. Seals-Jones took a medical redshirt in 2013, but is back at full strength anxious to tower over defensive backs in the competitive West.

6. Duke Williams, Auburn: The nation’s top-rated JUCO player last season, Williams was quite the signing class snare for the Tigers, an impact player capable of taking one of the nation’s top offenses to new heights with a yet-to-be unleashed wrinkle — a second receiving option nearly as good as the first. Labeled a beast by starting tight end C.J. Uzomah, Williams is set to have a breakout season at a frenetic pace in Gus Malzahn’s attack.

5. Marquez North, Tennessee: In a more prolific offense with a suitable quarterback, North would be a human highlight reel thanks to his size and strength. With limited chances as a freshman, North made an array of nice catches but only reached the end zone once, a 19-yard score against Georgia. A natural at the position, North’s can out-muscle the SEC’s best defensive backs for the football and will be playing on Sundays in a couple of years. Expect a 100-yard game — or three — this season.

4. Jameon Lewis, Mississippi St.: It’s too bad this kid’s a senior because it seems like he is just now realizing the limitless potential in Dan Mullen’s spread offense. There’s no reason why a playmaker like Lewis shouldn’t average 12-15 touches per game this season as an all-purpose monster. Lewis has the heart of a lion and as one of the SEC’s top returning receivers, is a marked man this fall as the No. 1 target for budding quarterback Dak Prescott.

3. Sammie Coates, Auburn: The SEC’s man-child at the wideout position, Coates needs no introduction and could easily surpass the two receivers ahead of him if he performed in a pass-happy offense or even a pro-style. With help on the other side from Duke Williams to alleviate pressure, this chiseled junior should flex some lofty numbers this season pairing up with Nick Marshall for a second go-around in the West.

2. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss: Another member of Hugh Freeze’s offense facing sizable expectations this season is Treadwell, Ole Miss’ top returning receiver and future superstar. As a true freshman, Treadwell squashed the competition and dominated one-on-one coverage with an impressive 72 catches and five touchdowns. Surprisingly, he did not record a 100-yard game and his longest reception was 38 yards. That will change now that Wallace is fully recovered from shoulder surgery and has improved arm strength. Still, Treadwell’s specialty is fighting for first downs near the boundary on third-and-manageable.

1. Amari Cooper, Alabama: Lane Kiffin might be the most fortunate offensive coordinator in the SEC. Unfair to an extent, the Crimson Tide not only have two of the SEC’s Top 5 running backs at their disposal, but also possess the league’s most prolific gamebreaker on the outside. Cooper showed flashes of 2012 form late last fall after recovering from a knee injury and could have spectacular numbers this season if Blake Sims or Jacob Coker blossom as a first-year starter at quarterback.