Coming off a record NFL Draft, there are numerous holes left on rosters by former SEC players.
Here are 20 players who will fill the top 20 picks’ shoes:
2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M (Jaguars)
Replacement: Jake Matthews
Buzz: Matthews slides over from his right tackle spot to hold down left tackle, while Cedric Ogbuehi moves to right tackle. Matthews should be a top-five pick in next year’s draft.
6. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU (Browns)
Replacement: Jermauria Rasco
Buzz: Les Miles raved about Rasco all spring, and he should step in and play right away. He’s a plug-and-place type player for Miles and John Chavis, but watch out for the new talented youngsters.
9. Dee Miller, DB, Alabama (Jets)
Replacement: Geno Smith
Buzz: Deion Belue returns to hold down his starting corner job, and Milliner’s absence makes way for up-and-coming superstar Geno Smith to step into the fold for Nick Saban and Alabama. He could be a lockdown corner.
10. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama (Titans)
Replacement: Arie Kouandjio
Buzz: Cyrus’ brother, Arie, will replace Chance Warmack. The Kouandjio brothers should be a force on the left side of the offensive line. Wonder which way Alabama will run?
11. DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama (Chargers)
Replacement: Austin Shepherd
Buzz: Fluker leaves a massive hole on the right side of the Bama line, but sophomore Austin Shepherd is slated to replace the crater.
13. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (Jets)
Replacement: Lucas Vincent
Buzz: Vincent slides in to replace Richardson. Richardson was arguably the top tackle in the SEC and a disruptor inside, and Vincent will try to become just that.
17. Javis Jones, OLB, Georgia (Steelers)
Replacement: Jordan Jenkins
Buzz: Jones’ absence gives way to a player with much more speed and athleticism in Jordan Jenkins. Jenkins will be a baller, and he could make you forget all about Jarvis Jones.
18. Eric Reid, S, LSU (49ers)
Replacement: Ronald Martin
Buzz: Martin slides in to replace Reid, playing alongside returning safety Craig Loston. Martin has big upside, but Reid could go on to become the best safety in the NFL.
23. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (Vikings)
Replacement: Dominique Easley
Buzz: Easley returns for his senior season to replace Floyd. Easley is much quicker than Floyd, and Florida should actually get more production from Easley than they got from Floyd.
29. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (Vikings)
Replacement: Vincent Dallas
Buzz: Patterson leaves such a massive hole at receiver, the running game and on special teams. The best suited replacement is Dallas. But, really, the Vols will have to replace Patterson by committee.
30. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (Rams)
Replacement: Ramik Wilson
Buzz: Ogletree was a boss last season, and Wilson doesn’t possess the athleticism of Ogletree. But, collectively, this defense should be better than last year, headlined by an emerging Ramik Wilson.
32. Matt Elam, S, Florida (Ravens)
Replacement: Cody Riggs
Buzz: Elam was a tone setter for Florida, and Will Muschamp moved Riggs from corner to safety to replace Elam. But watch out for youngster Marcus Maye, who is looking to take Riggs’ starting job.
34. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee (Titans)
Replacement: Pig Howard
Buzz: Howard has big-play potential, and he just has to get more game experience under his belt. Replacing Patterson and Hunter would be tough for any team, but Howard should get a big opportunity.
36. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State (Lions)
Replacement: Jamerson Love
Buzz: Love will man one corner spot, as he played well last season. He’s one of the fastest players on the entire roster.
43. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State (Bucs)
Replacement: Will Redmond
Buzz: Youngster Redmond emerged this spring as a prime candidate as the starter opposite Love. Banks and Slay were a great tandem, and Love and Redmond have their work cut out for them.
45. Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU (Cardinals)
Replacement: DJ Welter
Buzz: Minter’s absence gives way to spring emerger DJ Welter, who played just one game last season due to an academic suspension. Welter allows Lamin Barrow to stick to outside linebacker.
50. Jon Bostic, MLB, Florida (Bears)
Replacement: Antonio Morrison
Buzz: Florida’s ‘Tank’ Morrison replaces Bostic in the middle. Bostic has been a solid contributor, but Morrison could be a superstar.
57. DJ Swearinger, DB, South Carolina (Texans)
Replacement: Brison Williams
Buzz: Swearinger’s athletic ability will be missed, but his leadership will be missed more. Brison Williams will play safety, and he could end up being a defensive leader, too.
61. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Packers)
Replacement: TJ Yeldon
Buzz: TJ Yeldon may have twice the upside of Eddie Lacy, but Lacy was the master of the spin move. Alabama’s biggest question will be Yeldon’s backup.
62. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M (Seahawks)
Replacement: Brandon Williams
Buzz: Transfer Brandon Williams is a superstar waiting to happen, and he will be replacing Christine Michael, who wasn’t even the starter on his own team. Williams has more upside than any back on the roster.
Photo Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports