The Southeastern Conference traditionally has not been known as a wide receiver factory, but that could change this year. Our list of the top 10 pass-catchers in the league heading into 2010 is headed by two juniors who probably won't be around for their senior seasons. There are also plenty of other names that aren't well known now but will be on the tips of tongues come November.
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Last year's haul: Caught 53 passes a year ago, more than twice the number of his closest teammate. He was second in the SEC in yardage per game (80.8) and receptions per game (5.3).
Most Coveted Attribute: Hands. Green goes after the ball like no other wide receiver in the SEC and perhaps in the country. He has fantastic body control and hangs on to most anything he touches. He has made several highlight-reel grabs at Georgia, but this YouTube video may showcase his best work. This is widely expected to be Green's last year of college. He's already projected to be a top 10 NFL draft pick next spring.
Last year's haul: Caught 43 passes for 596 yards and four touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Size. Let's forget about last year's numbers. Jones suffered what was called a bruised kneecap in the second game of the year, and he said after the season that he never felt like he regained his freshman form. We're guessing he will this season. The former SEC freshman of the year, who has led the Tide in receiving each of the last two seasons, is a beast who can make catches even when he's covered well because of his bulk.
Last year's haul: Caught 48 passes for 894 yards and seven touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Quarterback Ryan Mallett. This is no knock on Childs, but every receiver in the SEC would love to have Mallett throwing them the ball in Bobby Petrino's offense. Childs will get a ton of chances, and he is a home run threat all the time. Last season, he had catches of at least 35 yards in five games, and his three best games were against Georgia, Florida and LSU.
Last year's haul: Caught 67 passes for 997 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Explosion. Everyone has heard of running backs or quarterbacks who get hot, but how about a wide receiver? Opponents better not let Adams get warmed up this year. No returning wide receiver in the SEC had more yards or touchdowns last year than Adams, and he gets his in bunches. He had six catches for three touchdowns against West Virginia and the same line against Furman. Against Alabama, he caught four balls for 138 yards. His final game of the season? Twelve catches for 142 yards in the bowl game. Uh-oh, he may be warmed up already.
Last year's haul: Led team with 46 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Body control. Jeffery is a full-grown man, but he moves like a little guy in the air. There's no question he could be higher on the postseason list of top SEC wide receivers, but his production may be held down by the Gamecocks' inconsistency at quarterback. This reigning freshman All-American should help whoever ends up quarterbacking South Carolina.
Last year's haul: 53 catches for 735 yards and three touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: The total package. Toliver has it all and has for a while. He was rated the No. 1 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com when he came out of high school, and he has made gradual if not spectacular progress since arriving in Baton Rouge. Brandon LaFell, who led the Tigers in receiving last year, is gone, making Toliver the No. 1 target for a more experienced Jordan Jefferson.
Last year's haul: Caught 46 passes for 680 yards and four touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Choreography. To see what we mean, check out this video. But seriously, it's his versatility. Jones is cat quick and can make plays in the open field, which is why the Vols used him out of the Wildcat formation at times in 2008. He was slowed early by a high ankle sprain but had a three-game stretch mid-season (vs. Auburn, Georgia and Alabama) in which he totaled 19 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
Last year's haul: Caught 24 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Honesty. Thompson currently is known for not bowing at the altar of Tim Tebow by referring to Tebow's replacement John Brantley as "a real quarterback" in spring practice. The comments were blown way out of proportion, thanks mostly to Florida coach Urban Meyer's reaction to their publication, but Thompson now will have to make folks remember him for another reason. And he has plenty of ability to do that. He will put up better numbers playing with a more traditional quarterback.
Last year's haul: 39 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Versatility. Cobb came to Kentucky for the chance to play quarterback. He got that shot, starting the final four games of 2008 under center, but he is officially a wide receiver now. That doesn't mean he won't line up all over the field though. The 'Cats do have a formation called the "WildCobb" after all, but Cobb should make drastic improvements in the small details that make a big difference at receiver. If he reaches his full potential, he could be the SEC's next Hines Ward. Even if he doesn't get to that level, he could be pretty good. Cobb was voted the Wildcats' MVP last year after totaling 1,020 all-purpose yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Last year's haul: Caught 29 passes for 568 yards and seven touchdowns.
Most Coveted Attribute: Toughness. Adams' lacks teammate Greg Childs' prototypical size, but you can't question his grit. Adams missed three midseason games last year after suffering a minor stroke. Then, in the regular season finale, he caught the go-ahead touchdown pass just after receiver the second of two bone-jarring hits from former Tigers' safety Chad Jones. There will be plenty of passes to go around in Arkansas' offense, and Adams will be in line right behind Childs.