Linebackers come in all shapes and sizes, with varying skill sets to fill their roles for their respective defenses. We go through the SEC’s linebacking corps and hand out some superlatives to the conference’s standouts.

Smallest — Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss: Nkemdiche flies around the field with the speed and skill of a defensive back, mainly because he’s built like one. Nkemdiche, who finished last season on the sidelines after a broken leg, was listed at just 5-foot-11 and 212 pounds in 2014, quite the opposite of his not-so-little little brother, Robert.

Biggest — Jordan Jenkins, Georgia: In a league that’s been shifting to smaller, faster linebackers over the last several years, Jenkins manages to keep up despite being a massive human being. At 6-foot-3 and 252 pounds, Jenkins is built more like a defensive end — a good thing, since he does his fair share of pass rushing for the Bulldogs.

Fastest — Nkemdiche: The perks of being on the small side include speed unrivaled at his position. Coming out of high school, Nkemdiche was said to have been clocked at faster than 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. A video of Nkemdiche doing sprints — and keeping up — with Laquon Treadwell as both recover from leg injuries only shows that his speed hasn’t gone anywhere.

Best tackler — Michael Scherer, Missouri: Scherer isn’t the best at shedding blocks, nor the best coverage backer in the conference, but few wrap up like the rising junior does. He’s the second-leading tackler returning in the SEC, behind only teammate Kentrell Brothers. Scherer is as fundamentally sound as anyone in the league, and if a ball carrier comes within his radius there’s an excellent chance Scherer will take them to the ground.

Biggest hitter — Reuben Foster, Alabama: Foster hasn’t had a ton of playing time at linebacker since his playing days began at Alabama, but he’s certainly become one of the most feared hitters in the conference. With Trey DePriest graduating, Foster should begin to translate his special teams fury into every-down punishment for the SEC’s ball carriers.

Best pass rusher — Curt Maggitt, Tennessee: It’s almost unfair to throw Maggitt into this conversation, as he plays a hybrid role and often lines up with his hand in the ground, but Tennessee lists him as a linebacker. Maggitt was third in the SEC with 11.0 sacks playing alongside Derek Barnett. With the amount of talent the Volunteers brought in on the defensive line this year, double teaming Maggitt will be a nightmare for offensive lines.

Best in coverage — Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State: While Benardrick McKinney was a downhill thumper for the Bulldogs, Beniquez was right there handling much of the linebacker coverage responsibilities and play calling for the defense. He tied for second amongst linebackers with two interceptions last year, and he has the speed and agility to stick with running backs and tight ends.