The SEC's 25 best players: No. 2

Our countdown of the SEC’s 25 best players is winding down. It’s safe to say this next guy is a pretty fair player.

No. 2: A.J. Green, WR, Jr., Georgia

2009 numbers: Led Georgia with 53 catches for 808 yards and six touchdown receptions. His average of 80.8 receiving yards per game ranked second in the SEC.

Most recent ranking: No. 24 on the 2009 postseason countdown and No. 6 on the 2009 preseason countdown.

Making the case for Green: The only thing holding Green back last season was a spate of injuries, because he was nearly unstoppable the first two months of the season. Seven games into the season, he already had 41 catches for 682 yards and six touchdowns. But he bruised a lung against Florida and missed the Tennessee Tech game. And then in the second quarter against Auburn, he injured his left shoulder and missed the next two games. The 6-4, 207-pound Green insists that he’s all the way back as we approach the 2010 season -- which is bad news for opposing defenses. You just don’t find many receivers with Green’s combination of size, speed and leaping ability. A former star basketball player in high school, he’s outstanding at using his body to shield defenders and then has the athletic ability to go up and get anything that’s thrown near him. Green was a first-team All-SEC selection each of the past two seasons and enters the 2010 season as one of the favorites to win the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college football. He’s just an explosive offensive weapon all the way around and is truly one of those players that would impact the game no matter where he lined up. He blocked a fourth quarter field goal to help Georgia beat Arizona State last season and is lobbying to return punts this coming season. The Bulldogs would be wise to put the ball in his hands as many times as they possibly can. He's a game-changer in every sense of the word.

The rundown

No. 3: Ryan Mallett, QB, Jr., Arkansas

No. 4: Patrick Peterson, CB, Jr., LSU

No. 5: Marcell Dareus, DE, Jr., Alabama

No. 6: Julio Jones, WR, Jr., Alabama

No. 7: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Jr., Alabama

No. 8: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Sr., Florida

No. 9: Pernell McPhee, DE, Sr., Mississippi State

No. 10: Jerrell Powe, NT, Sr., Ole Miss

No. 11: Trent Richardson, RB, So., Alabama

No. 12: Stephon Gilmore, CB, So., South Carolina

No. 13: Kelvin Sheppard, LB, Sr., LSU

No. 14: Randall Cobb, WR/QB, Jr., Kentucky

No. 15: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Jr., Florida

No. 16: Mark Barron, S, Jr., Alabama

No.17: Darvin Adams, WR, Jr., Auburn

No. 18: Alshon Jeffery, WR, So., South Carolina

No. 19: D.J. Williams, TE, Sr., Arkansas

No. 20: Cliff Matthews, DE, Sr., South Carolina

No. 21: Clint Boling, OT, Sr., Georgia

No. 22: Greg Childs, WR, Jr., Arkansas

No. 23: Washaun Ealey, RB, So., Georgia

No. 24: Chris Marve, LB, Jr., Vanderbilt

No. 25: Luke Stocker, TE, Sr., Tennessee