All-SEC teams will be released this week and there are several Gators deserving of selection following Florida’s 9-3 regular season.

Florida placed a total of six players on the preseason Coaches All-SEC team, with only offensive tackle Martez Ivey and linebacker/defensive end Cece Jefferson selected to the first team. While Florida’s First-Team numbers might not be higher than two, the selection of at least 8 players to the All-SEC team would be warranted.

Here are 7 Gators that should be considered for first or second team All-SEC status, along with a projection of whether they will be a first or second team selection.

Jachai Polite, DE

The junior defensive end has put together one of the best seasons in memory for a Florida defensive player, which is quite the accomplishment given the program’s esteemed history on defense.

Polite ranks second in the SEC in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (10), trailing only Kentucky’s Josh Allen in each category. His 5 forced fumbles are tired with Allen for first in the SEC and rank second nationally. That he’s accomplished this while facing double teams, chips and help throughout the second half of the campaign make it all the more impressive.

But for Josh Allen, this would be the SEC’s defensive player of the year and he’s the MVP of Florida’s football team.

Projection: First Team

C.J. Henderson, CB

Henderson’s brilliant sophomore season is even more impressive when you consider Florida’s limited depth in the secondary following the season-ending ACL injury preseason All-SEC corner Marco Wilson suffered on the first drive of the Kentucky game.

Henderson led all Gators corners with 30 tackles, collected 4 tackles for loss and 2 sacks, and added 2 interceptions, including the game-clincher against South Carolina.

Like many elite college corners, Henderson’s true value was in shrinking the field. Opposing offenses targeted Henderson fewer than any other member of Florida’s secondary, and Todd Grantham’s ability to leave Henderson on an island against the opposing team’s best receiver helped the Gators play aggressive defense.

To further illustrate Henderson’s importance, look no further than the Georgia game. The Gators were simply a different football team when Henderson left the game injured on Georgia’s opening possession. Kirby Smart and Georgia knew it — attacking his replacement, C.J. McWilliams, relentlessly and successfully in a way that changed the football game.

Projection: First Team with Deandre Baker

Martez Ivey, OT

Ivey returned for his senior year to showcase his versatility, durability and improvement as a pass blocker for NFL scouts.

Mission accomplished. Florida improved from one of the worst pass-blocking units in America to one of the nation’s best this season, and that’s largely a testament to the work Ivey did at left tackle.

A dominant performance against LSU’s All-SEC defensive end Rashard Lawrence was Ivey’s finest hour, as the Gators pounded the Tigers for 215 yards rushing en route to a 27-19 upset victory.

Projection: Second Team

Jawaan Taylor, OT

The junior tackle has gone from relatively obscure 3-star recruit to a tackle many analysts have slotted in the first round of the NFL draft. His quickness makes him especially valuable against the fast edge rushers frequently seen in the SEC, as he uses his size and speed to push them outside and past the quarterback.

Most his work this year was at right tackle, thanks to the presence of Ivey, and he’ll have a big decision to make this offseason, as time at left tackle could elevate his stock even higher. But for now, he’s the rare guy who has multiple SEC team of the week selections and a big reason Florida’s offense made an impressive leap in year one under Dan Mullen.

Projection: Second Team

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, DB

The versatile Gardner-Johnson was one of Florida’s most indispensable players this season on either side of the football.

Gardner-Johnson blossomed into an elite coverage guy at the nickel, finishing top-10 in the SEC in completion percentage against. He also worked hard and became a high-level tackler, leading the Gators in tackle percentage and finishing fourth in tackles (66) and third in tackles for loss (9).

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

He saved his best football for last, blanketing FSU star Tamorrion Terry in Florida’s 41-14 rout of the Seminoles, a performance that came days after Terry boasted that “no one in college football can cover him.”

The Peach Bowl will be Gardner-Johnson’s final game as a Gator, as he has opted to declare early for the NFL Draft.

Projection: Second Team

Vosean Joseph, LB

What a difference a season makes.

Joseph spent most his sophomore year over-pursuing run fits and looking lost in pass coverage.

A year later, he was a key cog in Florida’s defensive renaissance under Todd Grantham.

Joseph still struggles a bit in pass coverage, as we saw in the Georgia game, when he lost Isaac Nauta repeatedly on a critical drive late in the first half, or the Missouri game, where he blew a simple coverage on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock to Albert Okwuegbunam.

But Grantham is a master in identifying a player’s strengths, and he found ways to make the speedy, physical Joseph a dominant force in 2018.

Joseph rewarded Grantham’s confidence by leading the team in tackles and finishing second in tackles for loss (11) and fourth on the team in sacks (4).

The pass coverage errors will prevent him from being first team, but his explosive play ability makes him an All-SEC player.

Projection: Second Team

Evan McPherson, K

I’d imagine that LSU’s Cole Tracy and Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship will get the first and second team nods here.

Statistically, Florida true freshman Evan McPherson is better than both.

The top-rated kicker in the country out of high school, McPherson lived up to the hype, connecting on 15-of-17 kicks for an SEC-best 88.2% make percentage. That number is all the more impressive considering one of his two misses was a kick against Kentucky the SEC league office acknowledged should have been called “good.”

Both Tracy (25-of-29) and Blankenship (19-of-23) were excellent, but neither was as good as McPherson, who deserves to be first team All-SEC. The thinking here is he’ll edge out Blankenship but not the transfer Tracy, who was brilliant and connected on a game-winner to beat Auburn that was one of the more memorable plays of the 2018 season.

Projection: Second Team