The SEC’s top rated underclassmen


The SEC is once again loaded with very talented underclassmen for the future.

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay took a look at the top 25 non-draft-eligible players in college football, and 14 of them hail from the SEC. Florida freshman corner Vernon Hargreaves ranks as McShay’s top overall SEC underclassman, while FSU’s Jameis Winston is the top ranked player. Georgia’s Todd Gurley is the second highest SEC underclassman, followed by Bama’s Amari Cooper and Mizzou’s Dorial Green-Beckham.

Related: A look at the SEC’s current salaries after recent raises and extensions

You can view the entire ranking here (paywall), but I’ll sum it up for you below:

2. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
5. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
6. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri
8. Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
9. Landon Collins, S, Alabama
10. TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama
12. A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
15. OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
16. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
18. Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
20. Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
21. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
23. Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn

Related: SEC’s 2013 strength of schedule

Couple notes:

  • I find it interesting MSU’s Chris Jones didn’t make the list. I thought he was better than both Robert Nkemdiche and Carl Lawson this season. I also thought Lawson was better than Nkemdiche.
  • Vernon Hargreaves may be the best corner in college football next season. He’s a prolific cover corner with great ball skills.
  • I also think Dorial Green-Beckham projects higher than Amari Cooper for the future. I wasn’t saying anything close to that during the preseason. Cooper was hampered by injuries in 2013, while DGB had a breakout year.

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Jon, where would Missouri’s Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey be if Missouri featured one running back? And why do you think Missouri doesn’t use Morgan Steward as a pounder to further diversify their rushing attack??

  • Honestly I think Leonard Floyd should be on this list. Kid is an absolute stud all around.

  • What about Tony Conner? He was a beast all season and started every game. I agree that Lawson and Jones had a better statistical year. But I still think Nkemdiche is has a really high upside. He had to make the switch from DE to DT. He may have not have had the numbers, but he showed why he was the No. 1 recruit. Tunsil only gave up one sack all season and it was on the last play of the Auburn game. I think he should be ranked way higher. He started all but the first game of the season at LT in the SEC. Can you say possible first pick of the draft come 2016 or 17?

  • I’d take Mike Davis over Yeldon any day, but otherwise, this looks about right.

  • Can’t agree more on Jones making the list. He had to make the switch as well as Nkemdiche from DE to DT. He has tremendous upside as well as Nkemdiche. And even though the numbers may not show, he had a killer season. Several times I heard the radio announcers call his name for a QB hurry or being in the backfield. As a true freshman his ceiling is crazy scary. Also, watch out for the young WR corp at Miss State next year.

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