SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2013, and we’re not stopping until we get to No. 1. I know you’ll agree with every single one…
No. 22 EJ Gaines, CB, Missouri (SR)
2013 stats: 75 tackles, 4 TFL, 5 INTs
Why he’s No. 22:EJ Gaines blew into one of the SEC’s top defensive players and top cornerbacks of 2013, and he’s going to have a future on Sundays.
Gaines was Missouri’s most talented defensive player. No, he doesn’t get the ink of Michael Sam or Kony Ealy, but he has good size and is a great athlete at corner. Not only is he great in coverage, but he’ll also hit you like a truck and is very physical against the run. He plays with an edge and a chip on his shoulder, and he isn’t afraid to hit anyone.
Gaines finished third on Mizzou’s defense with 75 tackles, and he led the team with five INTs and recorded three pass breakups. He also missed two games because of an injury, with one of those two coming against South Carolina.
If you look around this year’s cornerback draft class, Gaines is one of the players who will excite coaches the most. He has some of the highest upside, plus he may become a superior player in coverage, mostly because of how physical he plays.
Top 25 player rankings:
- No. 23: Georgia LB Ramik Wilson
- No. 24: Missouri WR Dorial Green-Beckham
- No. 25: LSU QB Zach Mettenberger
Photo Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports