Published January 16, 2014 - 6:30pmNEW: Follow on facebook -
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Offensive Linemen
- Tight Ends
- Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles
The big uglies rarely get the ink they deserve, but they are just as integral as skill position players, and often times more important. And the SEC is known for its great linemen, whether defensive or offensive. That’s what sets the SEC apart – the line of scrimmage.
The SEC once again had a great crop of offensive linemen and future NFL players.
Let’s get to it…
Primo left tackles
1. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (SR)
2. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn (SO)
3. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama (JR)
Jake Matthews was once again the class of the SEC offensive linemen. Not only is he an NFL franchise-type tackle, but also he’s so versatile he could play any position needed. That’s what makes him so valuable. Matthews anchored a very good Texas A&M line…Greg Robinson blew up this season, and he was a road grader for the nation’s top-ranked rushing attack. Robinson anchored a physical and athletic Auburn offensive line that helped lead them all the way to Pasadena, and he has as much or more upside than any lineman in college football in the NFL…Several figured Cyrus Kouandjio to be the SEC’s top offensive tackle entering the season. Although he may have not had the big-time season he was projected to have and was beaten several times this year, he’s still a primo offensive lineman with tremendous upside.
4. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State (SR)
5. Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas (SR)
The two top-ranked linemen who are not left tackles are Gabe Jackson and Travis Swanson. Gabe Jackson reminds me of former Alabama OG Chance Warmack and is a pure road grader. He’s fast, physical, massive and very athletic for his size. He’ll have a big NFL career…Travis Swanson was the anchor of a good running game for Arkansas, and Bret Bielema said Swanson is the best center he’s ever coached. Bielema had one center drafted in the first round last year, and Swanson should have a big future at the next level.
Future NFL star
6. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M (JR)
Cedric Ogbuehi may be the best offensive lineman returning in college football next season, and he held down right tackle for the Aggies’ strong offensive line. He’ll likely move to left tackle to replace Jake Matthews, and he’s helped lead TAMU to a 27-12 record as a three-year starter. He’ll be slated as a preseason All-American in 2014.
Tennessee (state) trio
7. Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee (JR)
8. Wesley Johnson, OT, Vanderbilt (SR)
9. Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee (SR)
Antonio Richardson has a lot of upside, but he took a step back from where he was projected entering the season. Yes, he was Tennessee’s most talented lineman, but he was often called for holding or false start penalties that were completely unnecessary. In the scout’s eyes, Richardson could be a first-round pick, but he didn’t turn out to be as dominant as everyone thought this season…Wesley Johnson got called for one holding play during his collegiate career. Think about that. He’s underrated and primed to surprise people at the next level. Similar to Jake Matthews, Johnson is very versatile and can play multiple positions. That makes him even more valuable…Ja’Wuan James started opposite Richardson and had another nice senior season. Tennessee’s offensive line was arguably tops in the conference, even if they were a little overrated, but James could turn out to be better than Richardson at the next level.
10. Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn (JR)
Reese Dismukes will be the SEC’s best center in 2014, and he, along with Greg Robinson, helped lead the nation’s top rushing attack and set the tone along the offensive line. He could win the Rimington Trophy next season as the top center in college football.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports