SEC Power Rankings: Ranking the Top Receivers for 2010
We've already ranked the men in charge of distributing the ball to the receiver, but in many cases, it's up to these guys to bring it down—bad throw or not.
The SEC had a good crop of receivers last year but loses Shay Hodge and Dexter McCluster (though he was a jack of all trades) from Ole Miss, Brandon LaFell from LSU, and a solid duo in Aaron Hernandez (TE) and Riley Cooper from Florida.
Don't sell out the 2010 receivers just yet, because some of the guys at the top of this list were already ahead of the ones just mentioned. It's not a deep group, but there is some talent, with some ready to breakout in 2010. Think you've got an idea? Find out inside.
No. 12: Markeith Summers, Ole Miss
Almost all of the Rebel offense is departed from 2008. Markeith Summers will be called upon to step up and take on a major role for Houston Nutt's squad.
Though he only had four TDs last year, there will be plenty to go around with McCluster and Hodge out of the picture.
Summers was streaky last season but put up some respectable numbers in a few games. Look for him to be a key component in the Ole Miss offense this season.
No. 11: Terrell Zachery, Auburn
Zachery jumped on the scene, as much of Auburn's offense did, in 2009. He caught a ball in every game he played in and even took a reverse 67 yards to the house against Alabama to get the near-upset bid started in the first quarter.
Zachery showed he can be a reliable receiver, while also being a deep ball catalyst. He hauled in a 93-yard pass, a 65-yard pass, and a 42-yard pass. As Auburn's No. 2 receiver, he's quite the playmaking machine.
No. 10: Denarius Moore, Tennessee
He isn't an overpowering physical specimen, but he knows how to catch the football.
UT's leading receiver in 2009, Moore has great hands and is a deep ball threat. As a matter of fact, he always has been for UT, hauling in their their biggest passing plays of the year in 2008.
This former All-SEC Freshman will look to make the job a little easier for the winner of the Volunteer QB battle this season.
No. 9: Marquis Maze, Alabama
Sometimes lost in the shadow of playmaker Julio Jones, Maze did his talking on the field in 2009, and people noticed.
He showed up big in the SEC Championship game, and some even consider him to have been the difference in that ballgame. With a ball-control team like Alabama, Maze is a deep threat and quick enough to take a screen the distance.
Maze had two TDs through the air last year, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles with the Crimson Tide offense. Either way, Maze has turned into a welcome playmaker for Nick Saban.
No. 8: Jarius Wright, Arkansas
Part of the potent Arkansas offense, Wright is a member of a trio of Hog receivers that Ryan Mallett has to throw to.
He went into triple digits twice last season, and finished in the top 10 in the SEC in total receiving yards. The Razorbacks proved that the wealth can be shared, and Wright will be willing to contribute to that once again as he looks to build off an impressive sophomore campaign.
No. 7: Joe Adams, Arkansas
Another Arkansas receiver. And here's a hint: we aren't done yet.
Like Jarius Wright, he also had two games where he went over the 100-yard mark, but he also tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with seven.
He had a catch in every game for the Hogs and will look to be another end zone-happy target in 2010.
No. 6: Alshon Jeffery, USC
As a freshman last season, he was the go-to guy in the Gamecock offense. Expect that again this season, and expect for Jeffery's numbers to flourish with an improved quarterback and an offense that should be able to move the football.
With the way he played last season, Jeffery is a breakout player waiting to happen, and he may do just that this season.
No. 5: Terrance Toliver, LSU
Toliver finished with over 700 yards for LSU in 2009, but only hauled in three TDs.
Well, that will change quickly. Tolliver will be the key to the passing attack this season, as Brandon LaFell and his SEC-leading 11 TDs are no longer in Baton Rouge.
He started off with a huge game at Washington last season, but wasn't able to match that production again. If LSU wants to compete this season, it could start will Tolliver, who they will need consistent yardage and TDs from.
No. 4: Julio Jones, Alabama
If you had asked last year who the best receiver in the SEC was, I would have told you Julio Jones. Turns out that his mammoth freshman year drew some serious double teams, but Jones also seemed to hit a bit of a lull.
He had some games with some dropped passes, as well as balls he should have hauled in. The good news for Bama is that they have a Heisman-winning RB to take some pressure off of Jones.
Though he had a down year in 2009, he's still such an incredible athlete that you can't take your eyes off of him for one play. He may be the best athlete in the SEC and he can't wait to bounce back for a killer 2010 season.
No. 3: Greg Childs, Arkansas
One, Two, Three. That's three Arkansas Razorbacks lining up against your defense and all three are among the top in the conference. Scary stuff.
The beast of the trio at 6'3'' 217 lbs, Greg Childs averaged nearly 20 yards per catch last season. Not only did he haul in the long ball, he put up his best numbers in the biggest games, against UGA, Florida, and LSU.
He's a force off the ball, with size and strength, making him without a doubt one of the best receivers in the SEC.
No. 2: A.J. Green, Georgia
Start the bickering now; but yes, A.J. Green is at No. 2.
Why? He was injured for some games last season and didn't hall in a TD in UGA's last six games.
Green got off to a great start last season, but after getting injured a little over halfway through the season, he wasn't quite the same receiver, which is natural.
However, his tools are off the chart, he'll be a sure star in the NFL, and he's poised to have a killer season for the Bulldogs.
No. 1: Darvin Adams, Auburn
That's right—Darvin Adams. It's a cliche, but, "Men Lie, Women Lie; Number's Don't." That's the case for Adams. Believe it or not, this guy was LEFT OFF the All-SEC team.
Second in the SEC in total yards, third in yards per game, and second in touchdowns. He was non-existent as a freshman and 2008, and turned into an absolute star for the Tigers in 2009, though he did hit a bit of a slump mid-season.
Nevertheless, he caught the deep ball, the screen, over the middle, and anywhere it was thrown. Adams ended his year with a 12-reception game in the Outback Bowl where he was named MVP. He's sure to draw the double teams that Julio Jones received this year after putting up those numbers, so his production could actually go back down.
Regardless, Adams showed what he could do on the field.
Any one of the top three could be considered for the top spot, but with Adams's combo of hands, speed, size, and an uncanny ability to be right where the football is every time, he takes the cake.