SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.
Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
60. Malcolm Johnson, Sr., TE, Mississippi State
The Bulldogs’ fifth-year senior is projected as a fullback at the next level per NFLDraftScout.com, but the former 200-pound wideout turned bundle of muscle could turn scouts’ heads at his favored position with impressive numbers on the receiving end from Dak Prescott this fall. He’s an improved blocker with additional reps and saw a spike in numbers with more targets.
This week, one of Mississippi State’s tight ends playing behind Johnson, Artimas Samuel, left the program for undisclosed reasons. Buried in the depth chart behind two rising seniors, Samuel would’ve still seen had an opportunity in certain packages this season but it never appeared he would become the player to unseat Johnson at the top. One fewer option at an already deep position for the Bulldogs means more balls coming in Johnson’s direction, a player who should appear on the Mackey Award watch list later this summer.
2013 statistics: Tripled his previous season’s production with 30 catches for 391 yards and 2 TDs
2014 projection: Numbers should improve as an integral member of the Bulldogs’ offense — 34 catches, 422 yards, 4 TD
Photo Credit: Spruce Derden‚ÄìUSA TODAY Sports