SEC’s 10 best offensive players for spring practice


Spring position rankings:

Over the last week, SDS has broken down the top 10 returning players at every position. It’s been based on history, stats and ability, and it’s not been a projection of how players will finish the 2014 season.

The top 10 returners have been the most productive during their career, and it’s not a reflection of they will play this coming fall. They’ve proven it in the past.

We’ve already looked at the top offensive players at every position, and here are the top 10 returning offensive players for 2014:

10. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
9. Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn
8. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

Dak Prescott is ready to have a big season. Once Dan Mullen actually turned his offense over to Prescott, it began to have a pulse, identity and took off. Prescott combined for 2,769 yards and 23 touchdowns. If you’re not a Prescott believer now, you will be in 2014…Reese Dismukes could be the best center in college football this season. Along with eventual first-round pick Greg Robinson, Dismukes anchored Auburn’s smash mouth offensive line in 2013. The Tigers led the country in rushing offense, and he’s the center of it all…It’s hard to find a prospect who lived up the star-studded hype better than freshman All-American Laremy Tunsil. He allowed just one sack last season before suffering a knee injury against Mississippi State. Often times, it takes offensive linemen a year or two to get game-ready, but Tunsil arrived game-ready. He’s a complete left tackle who’s destined to be a first-round pick in two years.

7. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M
6. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
5. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

Cedric Ogbuehi could have been a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and he’ll slide from right tackle to left tackle to replace the departed Jake Matthews. He’s helped lead TAMU to a 27-12 record as a three-year starter, and he has first-round pick written all over him…When healthy, Amari Cooper is one of the best weapons in the country. He was banged up last year after coming off a fabulous freshman season, where he recorded 1,000 receiving yards. Not only can Cooper go up and get it, he can also burn defenders with yards after the catch. Cooper has caught 104 passes for 1,736 yards and 15 touchdowns in two seasons…Dorial Green-Beckham had a coming out party in 2013, and he showed the SEC why he was the country’s top-ranked recruit exiting high school. On the heels of his 12-touchdown season, he’s recorded 87 passes for 1,278 yards and 17 career touchdowns.

4. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn
3. TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama
2. Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina

You may not think Nick Marshall is the best SEC quarterback, and that’s okay. But there’s no denying he’s not a top-five playmaker. Marshall combined for 3,044 yards and 26 touchdowns. There are obvious concerns about the passing game, but when he turns the corner, he blows by defenders. He was arguably the SEC’s most improved player throughout 2013…TJ Yeldon is the complete running back, and he’ll be highly coveted by NFL teams heading into next year’s draft. He has perfect size, speed and strength at 6-2, 218. We’ve seen Yeldon take over games, but we’ve also seen him lose crucial fumbles in close games. Yeldon has rushed for 2,343 yards and 26 touchdowns in two career seasons …Mike Davis has a different build than both TJ Yeldon and Todd Gurley, but he’s just as much of a bruiser, if not more. Davis’ compact 5-9, 215-pound frame can take the punishment, and he’s a very solid receiver out of the backfield. Davis recorded over 200 carries for 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, and he also caught 34 passes for 352 yards. He’s an every-down back.

1. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

When healthy, Todd Gurley is the best running back in the country, and he’ll headline the majority of Heisman Trophy hopefuls in 2014. Gurley has racked up 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns in two seasons, and he missed about four games this past season due to an ankle injury. He is the total package at running back, and his physicality makes defenders get sick of tackling him in the fourth quarter. He’s a bully.

Photo Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Beckham is not there yet. Mauk is.

    • Beat me to it Wolfman. Mauk is gonna turn the east on its ear, DGB is gonna be a weapon in his arsenal. Maty is the star behind a good OL and with great receivers and solid RB’s.

    • Probably so, but DGB is a top 10 offensive player right now.

      • DGB will only be as good as Mauk is. I don’t disagree with DGB, but Mauk will be the pulse of the offense.

        • you bring up a good point. No man is an island, ‘specially in football. Beckham needs better coaching and Beckham needs to be more coachable. i.e.. Why did it take him almost two years to learn to make space for himself in a crowd. +i.e. why has the Missouri coaching staff not spent more time teaching him to catch with defender hanging on one or both arms? Even the national tv color men ask why more high balls are not put in a safe overthrow zone for him? and there is so much more. Jon, I think what you want to say is that DGB has the physical tools now, and this is why the media/services made him a #1 pick, but many many players have the physical tools and develop slower than expected. It’s not that Bing and lots of other Missouri fans don’t appreciate DGB, it is more that we see subtle interactions that show us more of a slow and steady realization of his potential. Give DGB credit for picking Mauk. These two young men are way ahead of us, now we will see if Henson can use them wisely enough to make them stars in the context of a complete winning offense in college footballs best defensive atmosphere.

  • Gurley will have to ride the Atl metro to catch Henry or Yeldon..RTR

  • OJ Howard. Mark it down.

  • Alex Collins will be better offensively than your 7 through 10 players. Especially ms state’s qb.

    • Perhaps, but if the passing game doesn’t get going teams will put eight in the box every single play. Will be tough to run this year, especially without Travis Swanson throwing bodies around. Love Collins’ game, but the lack of even a threat of a passing game will hurt his production. Oh, and Dak Prescott only totaled 23 TDs and started just half the games.

  • Saying Gurley is the best back in the country when “healthy” is like saying your car is really fast when the engine runs. Part of being the best back is being durable enough to take the hits and keep running and running and running. Gurley is one mean back…just wonder what his health status will be when November rolls around.

  • This will be an interesting year for Mike Davis. He wasn’t on anyone’s radar at the beginning of last season and as a result he ran up some impressive numbers in the first half of the season. He then got a bit banged up and teams began preparing for him and the numbers went down quite a bit.
    This season we will all find out if he is the real deal. I think he is…we shall see….