The SEC is known as a “lines of scrimmage” league with some of the best offensive and defensive lineman in the country. Teams are physical and defenses are tough to run against week in and week out. The league has boasted some strong running backs and quarterbacks the past six years picking up four Heisman trophies. All of this is a known fact but what you might not know is that the league is also producing some top receivers including at least one first rounder this season. Going into the fall the league looks to be very strong at receiver and you could argue that one school may have the best tandem, while another may have the best group in the country.
Let’s take a look at the top five receivers in the SEC, in my humble opinion.
- Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
- Amari Cooper, Alabama
- Mike Evans, Texas A&M
- Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
- Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Who did I leave off? How about Dorial Green-Beckham from Missouri, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU and Bruce Ellington with South Carolina. If you look at the receiving duo’s you could rank them this way.
- Landry/Beckham Jr.-LSU
- Moncrief/Sanders-Ole Miss
The top groups in the league as far as depth and talent would be
- Texas A&M
The talent is on the way this fall with Laquon Treadwell the nation’s top receiver headed to Ole Miss, the number two ranked receiver in the nation Robert Foster headed to Alabama and Ahmad Fullwood the state of Florida’s top receiver headed to the Gators. As a matter of fact, according to 247Sports rankings 10 of the top 25 receivers in the country are headed to the SEC and going to schools Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida, Auburn, LSU and Georgia. Mississippi State and Tennessee both have top 50 receivers coming soon to help the offense. It just goes to show that while the league is dominant inside, it still attracts the best on the outside in the country.
This and That…
Tyler Russell at Mississippi State threw four interceptions over the weekend during a scrimmage. This would be alarming to most, but I will reserve judgment until we see a finished product. Here are two things Bulldog fans need to know. 1) You lost two great corners to the NFL so the fact that you have guys hawking the ball is a good thing. 2) Russell was not a high interception guy last season and played almost too conservatively at time. I think Mullen wants him to cut it loose in the spring and if he has too, can reel him back in during the fall. The key is confidence in what you’re seeing and getting the ball out quickly.
I keep telling anyone that will listen that Alabama may have the best receiving corps in the country. Laugh I know they are Bama but did you see where Chris Black caught 10 balls in a scrimmage? He’s a baller; I watched him in high school and would have predicted him to be a bigger star than Amari Cooper. Now he will benefit from Cooper’s play by getting man coverage opposite from him. Throw in Kevin Norwood, DeAndrew White, Christian Jones and oh yeah, Robert Foster who we mentioned earlier.
Tough news for Derrick Henry the outstanding early enrollee running back out of Yulee, Florida. He fractured his tibia and will be out for the remainder of spring. He is in a deep and crowded backfield behind starter TJ Yeldon. Recovery does take several months and could put him behind schedule for the beginning of fall camp.
Good to see Dorial Green-Beckham having a strong spring at Missouri. He is a big physical receiver that can run. He struggled at times last year adjusting to the ball over the middle and finding his way against complex defenses. He has the ability to be the best in the league if the Tigers can settle on a quarterback.
The surprise of the weekend was the play of Jaylon Whitlow at Kentucky in their spring game. He looked like a totally different quarterback than the one who was thrown to the wolves as a freshman last season. Not only did he throw the corner route very well, but he showcased mobility with his legs and athleticism. In an offense that will be light on playmakers the fact that he can run could be the edge he needs to win the Wildcat QB job.