The SEC's best 25 players: No. 18

Try to push the next player on our list of the SEC's best 25 players around and you might get embarrassed.

No. 18: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State, Sr.

2012 summary: Jackson was a first-team All-SEC member last year after starting all 13 of Mississippi State's games last year. He graded out a champion in 12 games. Jackson anchored an offensive line that gave up the second-fewest sacks in the SEC (19) and ranked 29th nationally in that category. He also didn't personally give up a sack all season and graded out at 87 percent and 89 percent against Alabama and LSU, respectively.

Most recent ranking: Not ranked in the 2012 postseason countdown.

Making the case for Jackson: Talk about a physical freak. Jackson, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 335 pounds has a vertical jump of 31 inches, squats 630 pounds, can bench press 225 pounds 36 times and has a 9-foot broad jump. With Jackson in the lineup, the Bulldogs rushed for more than 150 yards in eight of their 13 games last year. He also registered eight games in which he recorded five or more pancake blocks. He had a season-high 12 pancake blocks against LSU. He's tied for second nationally among active players in career starts with 39, and while he's been entrenched at left guard since his redshirt freshman season, he could play just about every position on Mississippi State's offensive line if needed. Jackson appeared on this year's preseason watch list for the Lombardi and Outland awards. With his size and power, he enters the fall as the league's best guard and should repeat as an All-SEC first-teamer this fall. He has the ability to find himself on All-American lists as well.

The rundown

  • No. 19: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama, Jr.

  • No. 20: Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas, Sr.

  • No. 21: Jordan Jenkins, OLB, Georgia, So.

  • No. 22: Craig Loston, S, LSU, Sr.

  • No. 23: Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt, Sr.

  • No. 24: Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia, So.

  • No. 25: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida, Jr.