Friday, July 13, 2012
Ranking the SEC's defensive tackles
By Chris Low and Edward Aschoff
Now that we've ranked the best defensive lines in the SEC, who are the best individual players up front defensively?
We'll start with the defensive tackles today and come back on Monday and rank the 10 best defensive ends.
1. Bennie Logan, Jr., LSU: Overshadowed last season by eventual first-rounder Michael Brockers, Logan will anchor what should be one of the most dominant defensive lines in college football.
Jesse Williams had 24 tackles for Alabama last season.
2. Jesse Williams, Sr., Alabama: He has incredible strength and tremendous size. Williams’ move to nose guard from end will make him a force in the middle for the Crimson Tide.
3. John Jenkins, Sr., Georgia: Good luck in moving the 350-pound Jenkins an inch. He made more plays as last season progressed and should be even better his second time through the SEC.
4. Dominique Easley, Jr., Florida: Versatile enough to play inside and outside, Easley is one of the better interior playmakers in the league. The only concern is how well he recovers from last season’s ACL tear.
5. Josh Boyd, Sr., Mississippi State: Fletcher Cox got most of the publicity last season in Starkville. But now that Cox is gone, it’s Boyd time to shine for the Bulldogs. He had 4.5 sacks last season.
6. Sharrif Floyd, Jr., Florida: He’s back at his natural position of tackle and may play some at nose when the Gators go to a three-man front. This should be his most productive season yet.
7. Anthony Johnson, So., LSU: Yes, another LSU defensive lineman is on the list. Johnson will see his snaps increase dramatically this season, and there’s a reason they call him “Freak.”
8. Rob Lohr, Sr., Vanderbilt: One of the more underrated defensive players in the league, Lohr had 41 tackles last season, including 11.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
9. Byran Jones, Jr., Arkansas: The Hogs have good experience and good depth at tackle. Jones is the best of the bunch, although Robert Thomas may have something to say about that this season.
10. Sheldon Richardson, Jr., Missouri: Despite starting in only two games last season, Richardson managed eight tackles for loss. The Tigers need him to take another step this season, and he’s poised to do that.