Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Re-ranking the SEC's best 25 players, Part 2
By Edward Aschoff
Now that you've seen Chris Low's top 25, it's time to see what my list of the top 25 players in the SEC looks like.
I'm not perfect, but I'll try to be:
1. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Who has been more exciting than Johnny Football? The Aggies aren't 5-1 without him or his 1,600 passing yards, 676 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns.
2. Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida: He's powering Florida's offense and he's been the SEC's best back thus far. He's extremely explosive and is strong enough to bully his way to extra yards and wear down defenses.
3. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: He's turning into the dominating player we've really been waiting to see. Some think he might be the best player overall in the conference and is pushing to be next year's No. 1 NFL draft pick.
4. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia: At one time, he was a Heisman candidate, but injuries and double-teams stunted that campaign. Still, he's the SEC's best linebacker, can fly around the field and just feasts on opposing quarterbacks.
5. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: He's been Alabama's best defensive player this year and can make plays from just about anywhere on the field. He leads Alabama with 51 tackles, has 2.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
6. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M: Even though he moved from linebacker to defensive end, Moore has been just as dominant as he was last season. He leads the SEC in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (15).
7. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: This summer, he said he was the SEC's best cornerback and he hasn't disappointed. He has three interceptions on the season and is averaging just 4.7 yards per attempt in man coverage.
8. Chance Warmack, OL, Alabama: He might be the nation's best offensive lineman and he's just blowing defenders up this season. No wonder Alabama can run the ball so well.
9. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: He isn't at 100 percent, but he's still one of the toughest running backs to stop in the SEC. It rarely takes just one player to bring him down and he can still wear down defenses.
10. Barrett Jones, C, Alabama: He just continues to show his versatility with the move to center. Jones appears to be fine in his new position and hasn't let much by him all year.
11. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: Through the first few games of the season, Gurley was the SEC's top statistical rusher. He's big, strong and fast, has a real nose for the end zone and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
12. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: The move to the SEC hasn't bothered Richardson, who has been Missouri's best player all season. He registered 14 tackles against Alabama and is tired for sixth in the SEC with 52 tackles (7.4 a game).
13. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: He's one of the country's most efficient passers and even though his passing numbers don't pop off the paper, he wins. McCarron manages the game perfectly and if he's asked to pass more he will with ease.
14. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: He's battling Banks for the title as not just the SEC's best corner but the country's best. Milliner hasn't let much by him, defending 14 passes and nabbing two interceptions.
15. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: The hype that followed him to Knoxville was well deserved. Patterson isn't just a tremendous deep threat but he can make plays in the running and return game and has 835 all-purpose yards.
16. Kevin Minter, LB, LSU: He just knows how to find the ball and punish people with said ball. Minter accumulated 20 tackles and two sacks against Florida and has had just one game this season in which he's recorded less than six tackles.
17. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas: He entered the season as the SEC's best quarterback, and while the year hasn't gone as planned, Wilson has been impressive. Despite missing a game, he leads the SEC with 1,957 passing yards and 14 touchdowns.
18. Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas: Taking over the No. 1 receiving spot for the Hogs hasn't been an issue. He had that record-breaking 303-yard, three-touchdown performance against Rutgers and currently leads the league in receiving yards and receptions.
19. Matt Elam, S, Florida: He can do it all for the Gators and isn't afraid to get very physical with just about everyone on the field (even his own teammates). Elam can change the game with one play, like he showed with that forced fumble against LSU.
20. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU: A slow start seems like a mere blip on his radar. Montgomery has been dominant up front for the Tigers this season and already has four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.
21. LaDarius Perkins, RB, Mississippi State: It's hard to get over just how productive Perkins has been this season. He's first in the SEC in all-purpose yards (856) and is third in rushing (600).
22. Eric Reid, S, LSU: The ballhawk covers so much ground in the Tigers' defensive backfield. While he likes to roam around, Reid doesn't let much by him, especially on the deep ball.
23. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: He started the year playing his best ball for the Bulldogs, but took a hit after a poor showing against South Carolina. Still, he's averaging 247 yards per game and has 12 touchdown passes to four interceptions.
24. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: It's not just about stats for Floyd. He might only have four tackles for loss, but the coaches have absolutely raved about how disruptive he's been up front for Florida in the run and pass.
25. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: He just keeps getting better and better out there and is big-play waiting to happen when he touches the ball. He's currently second in the SEC in receptions (43) and receiving yards (617).