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The SEC's best 25 players: No. 21

A tight end who can create mismatches, run after the catch and get open over the middle is a quarterback's best friend:

No. 21: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

2010 numbers: He caught 26 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns last season and earned second-team All-SEC honors from the coaches. Charles has averaged more than 16 yards per catch in each of his first two seasons at Georgia.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2010 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Charles: The SEC has produced some outstanding tight ends the past couple of years, and the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Charles has everything it takes to be the next one. He's a nightmare to cover for linebackers and is versatile enough that the Bulldogs plan to move him around even more this season, including splitting him out and using him as a wide receiver in certain situations. Charles has the speed and the athleticism to line up wide and get open. Yet, he's also a dangerous threat down the middle of the field. With A.J. Green gone and no proven go-to receiver on the roster, Charles' role figures to expand significantly in 2011. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is smart enough that he will take what the defense gives him. But on key downs, one of the priorities this season will be getting the ball to Charles and letting the talented junior use his blend of size and speed to make plays.

Previously

  • No. 22: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

  • No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt

  • No. 24: Jaye Howard, DT, Florida

  • No. 25: Janzen Jackson, S, Tennessee