SEC Network ranks the conference's best receivers for 2015
Former Alabama quarterback and now SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy recently ranked his top 10 receivers in the SEC.
It’s a junior-heavy group that’s led by a senior that didn’t finish in the SEC’s top 10 last season in receptions or touchdowns.
In somewhat of a surprise, McElroy ranked Auburn’s D’haquille Williams first amongst an impressive group of wideouts, saying last year’s solid but underwhelming numbers from Williams were more the result of only playing 10 games and insufficient quarterback play than they are any indication of his talent.
“I think he did an incredible job last year in limited time,” McElroy said of Williams. “And now with a passing quarterback (Jeremy Johnson) — bear in mind, Nick Marshall, since moving to the NFL, is playing [cornerback].”
McElroy even went as far as to say that he believes the first wide receiver taken in the NFL draft will be an SEC wideout for the second year in a row (Amari Cooper No. 4 overall in 2014).
“[Williams] and Laquon Treadwell are very similar to me,” McElroy said. “I wonder who’s going to run better at the NFL draft. Because whoever does is probably going to be the first receiver off the board next year.”
But McElroy actually has South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper sandwiched between Williams and Treadwell at No. 2. McElroy admitted during the segment that he is a sucker for big wide receivers, which Cooper is not at only 5-foot-11, 183 pounds. But McElroy added that if this were a list about which wide receiver can do the most for his team Cooper would be at the top of the list.
“I think if we were ranking versatility he’d be No. 1 and it wouldn’t even be close,” McElory said of Cooper.
Here are McElroy’s top 10 receivers:
1. D’haquille Williams, Auburn (SR)
2. Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina (JR)
3. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (JR)
4. De’Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State (JR)
5. Marquez North, Tennessee (JR)
6. Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M (JR)
7. Travin Dural, LSU (JR)
8. Demarcus Robinson, Florida (JR)
9. Malachi Dupre, LSU (SO)
10. Keon Hatcher, Arkansas (SR)
Some thoughts on his rankings:
- North has not done nearly enough to be ahead of Reynolds on this list. Reynolds finished 2014 second in touchdowns (13), fourth in yards (842) and seventh in receptions (52). And many of the guys ahead of him have graduated and/or are playing in the NFL now. A case could be made to have Reynolds as high as No. 4 on this list.
- Everything that was just written about Reynolds also applies to Robinson but to a slightly lesser degree because of less experience at the quarterback position.
- The one receiver who could move up the furthest would be Dupre. LSU has been searching for consistent quarterback play and if it can find any will finally get to fully utilize Dupre’s skill set. Dupre is the youngest receiver on this list but has the potential to surpass some of these upperclassmen in the SEC ranks.
SDS’ player rankings can be found here.