Best current NFL player from every SEC program
As you would expect, there is a Manning on the list of best NFL players from SEC schools.
But there’s only one.
That’s just one of the surprises from the 2015 list …
NFL players: 41
Best: Amari Cooper might catch Julio Jones someday, but not on this day. Jones, a two-time Pro Bowler well on his way to a third, sets the NFL standard for receivers and for the Tide players who were on opening day NFL rosters. The Atlanta Falcons standout leads the NFL with 1,426 receiving yards.
NFL players: 17
Best: RB Darren McFadden is having his best season since 2010, the only time he topped 1,000 yards. With three games remaining, McFadden is closing in on that yardage milestone. He has 798 yards, already the second-most in his career, and ranks 11th in the NFL in rushing.
NFL players: 32
Best: Cam Newton isn’t just the best Auburn has, this season he’s the best anybody has. A front-runner to win the NFL MVP, Newton has led the Carolina Panthers to a 13-0 start with playmaking and pizzazz. He has accounted for 35 TDs (28 passing, 7 rushing) and more than 3,500 yards of offense.
NFL players: 40
Best: Does Newton count? Kidding, Gators fans. Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap is having a Pro Bowl type season. He’s tied for sixth in the league with 10.5 sacks, which is already a career-high. He’s never been selected to the Pro Bowl and has stated several times that it’s a goal.
NFL players: 35
Best: A.J. Green and Matthew Stafford have had this honor locked up for several years, but rookie Todd Gurley’s breakthrough rookie season is impossible to ignore. Gurley is third in the NFL with 1,025 rushing yards. He’s tied for the league-lead with 9 rushing touchdowns. He’s done this despite missing the St. Louis Rams’ first two games while still recovering from his ACL tear and getting just six carries in the third game.
NFL players: 14
Best: Green Bay wideout Randall Cobb was better last season, when he made his only Pro Bowl, but still has a chance to post back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons. Cobb has 737 yards with three games remaining. Jordy Nelson’s injury has pushed Cobb into the No. 1 receiver role — and all of the defensive attention that comes with it. He’s already been targeted 111 times, just 15 fewer than all of last season.
NFL players: 48
Best: Patrick Peterson has been one of the NFL’s top corners, and Tyrann Mathieu might be the NFL’s best combo defensive back. Good as they are, they’re a step behind Odell Beckham Jr., who shares the NFL lead with 12 TD receptions and ranks third with 1,320 receiving yards. In other words, Beckham is even better this season than last season, when he finished with 1,305 yards and 12 TDs.
NFL players: 16
Best: Seahawks outside linebacker K.J. Wright was among the popular mentions of Pro Bowl snubs last season, but that should chance this year. Wright has forced three fumbles — one fewer than Von Miller — and ranks 14th in the NFL with 97 tackles.
NFL players: 20
Best: Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin ranks 15th in the NFL with 935 receiving yards — a few more than Amari Cooper and just 60 behind Calvin Johnson and T.Y. Hilton. He set a career high last season with 1,318 receiving yards in the Eagles’ up-tempo offense but has shown he can flourish without the gimmicks.
NFL players: 16
Best: A familiar name tops the Rebels’ list. Giants QB Eli Manning is ahead of pace to set a career high in touchdown passes and should top 4,000 passing yards for the second consecutive season and fifth time overall. Manning has thrown 28 TDs against just 10 interceptions. Just two years ago, he threw 27 picks.
NFL players: 26
Best: It should be DE Jadeveon Clowney, and maybe next year at this time it will be. Right now, Atlanta Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco is playing at a Pro Bowl level, opening running lanes for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.
NFL players: 27
Best: For the first time since 1998, it’s not who you would think it would be. Not this year. Not right now. Pro Football Focus recently ranked Eric Berry the No. 1 safety in the NFL. Berry also is a top candidate to win the league’s comeback player of the year award. Berry was diagnosed late last season with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He returned this season after undergoing chemotherapy and appears destined to play in his fourth Pro Bowl.
NFL players: 22
Best: Mike Evans has the potential to earn this nod, but injuries and drops have led to a sophomore slump. Broncos linebacker Von Miller, meanwhile, is back to his menacing self. Miller leads all linebackers with 10.0 sacks, 6.0 of which have come in his past five games. He’s also forced three fumbles in the past four games.
NFL players: 8
Best: Bears QB Jay Cutler has taken care of the ball this season, throwing just seven interceptions. He has a chance to finish a full season with fewer than 10 interceptions for the first time in his career. He won’t match last season’s career-best 28 touchdown passes, but he has 16 with three games remaining.