Pass-rushers are both feared and loved in this league, and the next player on our countdown could be one of the best out there in 2012.
No. 8: Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU, Jr.
2011 summary: He registered 46 total tackles, including a team-high 15 tackles for loss. He also collected eight sacks and led the Tigers with 11 quarterback hurries.
Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2011 postseason countdown.
Making the case for Mingo: He might have been overshadowed by some of his other more high-profiled defensive teammates, but Mingo had an exceptional sophomore campaign in 2011. One thing that made him so disruptive up front was his immense speed and quickness. Mingo might be on the slender side, but he makes up for it with his ability to blow by linemen. It also helps that he has tremendous length. Mingo made a living as LSU's third-down pass rush specialist for most of last season, but he will see his role increase this fall. In two of LSU's biggest games last season -- against two of the league's top quarterbacks -- Mingo had two of his best games. He registered a career-high three tackles for a loss and two sacks against Arkansas and set a career high with five quarterback hurries in the SEC championship game against Georgia. He was a second-team All-SEC member last year, but has the potential to be a first-team member this fall.
No. 25: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.
No. 24: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
No. 23: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M, Sr.
No. 22: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, Jr.
No. 21: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.
No. 20: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.
No. 19: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee, Jr.
No. 18: Jesse Williams, NG, Alabama, Sr.
No. 17: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU, Jr.
No. 16: Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
No. 15: Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas, Sr.
No. 14: Chris Faulk, OT, LSU, Jr.
No. 13: Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn, Jr.
No. 12: Eric Reid, S, LSU, Jr.
No. 11: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.
No. 10: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Jr.
No. 9: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama, Sr.