Ranking The SEC's Top 10 Receivers
The Southeastern Conference is known more as a league that likes to run the football.
However, teams like Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M have shown they like to throw the ball around as well.
Catching the passes from the likes of Aaron Murray, A.J. McCarron and Johnny Manziel are some of the best receivers in the country.
Here's a look at the Top 10 receivers in the SEC.
10. Michael Bennett, Georgia
Prior to tearing his ACL last year, Bennett was one of Murray's favorite targets, catching 24 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns in five games. Back this year and healthy, Bennett will find himself one of Murray's favorite targets again, and should have a career year.
9. Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
What hurts Boyd is the fact that he plays at Vanderbilt. However, the kid has a lot of talent as evident by his 110-yard receiving performance against Georgia last year. Boyd totaled 774 yards and five touchdowns last year with a largely ineffective offense. This year could see more come his way, although a teammate of his could get more looks.
8. Odell Beckham, LSU
Beckham was the leading receiver for the Tigers last year, catching 43 balls for 713 yards and two touchdowns. His inability to get into the end zone more than twice had more to do with the inexperience of quarterback Zach Mettenberger than of Beckham's abilities. With one more year, Metternberger should be able to connect with Beckham more as LSU looks to avenge its two defeats from last year.
7. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
Ellington has dealt with Marcus Lattimore this and Marcus Lattimore that throughout his career. With Lattimore finally gone, the Gamecocks are going to throw the ball a little bit more, which serves Ellington well. He has great speed and the ability to cut on a dime. Ellington had 40 catches for 600 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
6. Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
Consistency is going to be the key for Moncrief this year. Last year, he had 66 catches for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, 582 of those yards and seven touchdowns came in four games: Central Arkansas, Texas, LSU and Mississippi State. To become a top receiver, Moncrief can't have sub-par games against the likes of Georgia, Alabama and Texas A&M. He has to show up in those types of games.
5. Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Mitchell spent time on offense and defense last year due in large part to suspensions. However, when it comes to speed on the outside, Mitchell is one of the best in the conference. He had 40 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns last year. Now that he's playing on offense full-time, expect Murray to get him the ball more often.
4. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri
Green-Beckham was the top player coming out of high school, but was largely unimpressive in his first year of college with 28 catches for 395 yards and five touchdowns. He has the talent to be the best receiver in all of college football, but he has to prove it on the field first.
3. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
When you have a guy like Manziel who can run around in the backfield until you get open, that's a definite advantage. For Evans, 82 catches for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns was a career year helped by the presence of Manziel. This year, Ryan Swope is gone and Evans is going to be relied on more heavily at receiver. If the Aggies are going to make it to the SEC Championship Game, Evans has to do even better than he did last year. The key games will be Alabama and LSU. If Evans can go off in those, Texas A&M should have no problem winning.
2. Amari Cooper, Alabama
The more I watch Cooper, the more I like him. Last year, he caught 59 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. And he saved two of his best performances for the SEC Championship Game and the BCS National Championship Game. Against Georgia, Cooper caught eight passes for 128 yards and one touchdown, while he caught six passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns against Notre Dame. It's hard to rank him No. 2, but in reality he's a 1b.
1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Even though he's at Vanderbilt, there's no questioning Matthews' talent. Matthews caught 94 passes for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He also had 100-yard performances against South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, UMass, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Needless to say, he showed he was the best receiver in the SEC last year and will be the best again this year.