SEC’s 10 best defensive backs heading into spring practice

NCAA Football: Florida at Louisiana State

Spring position rankings:

Perhaps the best position the SEC is known for is defensive backs. Players like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Champ Bailey and Carlos Rogers come to mind. The conference continues putting defensive backs in the NFL year after year.

As it stands right now, there aren’t many known commodities returning in the secondary. The top three on this pre-spring list are sure things; the rest can be justified in any ranking.

Here are the top 10 SEC defensive backs for spring practice:

Honorable Mention: Damian Swann, CB, Georgia (SR)
10. Cam Sutton, CB, Tennessee (SO)
9. Deshazor Everett, CB, Texas A&M (SR)
8. Taveze Calhoun, CB, Miss State (JR)

Cam Sutton had a big-time freshman season for the Vols and was a freshman All-SEC performer. He recorded 39 tackles, two INTs and nine passes defended. I really like his upside…Deshazor Everett had a big year last year, but he was overlooked because the defense was so forgettable. Everett recorded 73 tackles, two INTs and nine passes defended. He’s one of the anchors Kevin Sumlin is counting on to help turn around the defense…Taveze Calhoun had a big year for the Bulldogs at a big position of need. Calhoun recorded 45 tackles, three INTs, seven passes defended and one forced fumble. He could be the next Johnthan Banks. He’s a good looking player.

MORE: SEC Pre-Spring Power Rankings

7. Jalen Mills, CB, LSU (JR)
6. Tony Conner, S, Ole Miss (SO)
5. Braylon Webb, S, Missouri (SR)

A defensive back ranking without an LSU player wouldn’t seem right, would it? Jalen Mills is a talented player and one John Chavis will lean on this season. Mills finished third on the team with 67 tackles, and he recorded three INTs…Tony Conner was named a freshman All-American last season for his 66 tackles and one INT. He finished second in tackles for freshmen in the SEC, and he lived up to the five-star hype…Braylon Webb is the lone returning starter for Mizzou in the secondary. He made an impressive 89 tackles, three INTs and seven pass breakups. Webb is a very strong tackler.

4. Robenson Therezie, Star, Auburn (SR)
3. Landon Collins, S, Alabama (JR)
2. Cody Prewitt, S, Ole Miss (SR)

Robenson Therezie is more of a hybrid linebacker-safety, but he was so clutch for Auburn’s defense last season. He finished with 55 tackles, and his four INTs were crucial in helping win games. He’s a gamer…Landon Collins is a future NFL safety, and he wasn’t even a starter when 2013 opened. When Vinnie Sunseri went down, it allowed Collins to become a breakout player. He’s one of the best tacklers in college football and racked up 70 last season, along with two INTs…Cody Prewitt was named a first-team All-American in 2013, and he brings the hammer upon impact. Prewitt made 71 tackles and led the SEC with six INTs. He’s a ball hawk.

RELATED: 10 SEC Spring football predictions

1. Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (SO)

Although Vernon Hargreaves may not be the overall explosive athlete Patrick Peterson is, his corner skills are very comparable. Hargreaves had an incredible freshman season, and he’ll remind you of Peterson and Eric Berry, although Berry was a safety. His ball skills are off the charts, and he’s so smooth in and out of breaks. Hargreaves should be the best cover corner in college football for 2014 and will enter the season a pre-season All-American. He nabbed three INTs and 11 passes defended last season.

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • I hope to see an immediate impact in the secondary with Pruitt and some open competition this offseason. No reason why Mathews, Wiggins, and possibly an incoming freshman can’t make this list next year.

  • Deshazor Everett is better than Tredavious White or Rashard Robinson? Are you kidding? Do you kids watch games?

    • Kids – Thanks for that, Chris. You should try watching teams not named LSU, too. White and Robinson are going to be great players.

      • I can’t wait to see how much Tony Conner improves, not that he was bad last year. He is perfect for his position (6’2 215 lbs) at Husky. With Prewitt and Conner in the secondary, plus CJ Hampton coming in this spring, it looks like Ole Miss is going to bet set in the secondary, especially at safety for the next few years.

      • I agree with Chris. I would take Tre’Devious White or Rashard Robinson over a majority of that list; including Jalen Mills. You have Jalen Mills on that list and he had almost every error in the LSU secondary last year. Can’t play bump and run coverage if you don’t put hands on the WR’s. There is a reason White and Robinson beat Mills out of his job. And for you saying watch other teams, you would then be aware that Mills is now a Safety not a Cornerback.

        Though I do agree most on that list are talented; as well as Hargreaves should be in the #1 spot. It’ll be interesting to see what Hargreaves can do against the SEC’s best WR’s now that Purifoy and Roberson are gone. For the record, Beckham and Landry abused Hargreaves last year. Comparing him to Peterson and Berry is a bit of a stretch as well.