The offensive line is easily the most overlooked and under appreciated position on the field. Ironically, as a unit, it is arguably the most critical to the success of a football team.

That is particularly true in the physical SEC.

Shining a bit of light on this thankless job, we look at the collective starting offensive lines of each team in the SEC, as listed in the depth charts at, and rank them based on their recruiting score as determined by

With scores averaged out, Auburn heads into the 2017 season with the projected top starting offensive line in the SEC, but SEC West brethren Alabama and LSU are very close behind. Not surprisingly, all three are among the SEC’s best rushing teams annually.

One notable surprise: Kentucky, which has one walk-on projected as a starter, ranks last among SEC teams. Even if you duplicated the highest recruiting score among Kentucky’s four other starters and assigned it to the walk-on, the Wildcats’ average would climb just one spot to No. 13. It makes you appreciate the scheme, coaching and running ability of Benny Snell all the more.

Here are the teams in order with projected starters and recruiting grades.

1. Auburn 0.9341: LT Darius James 0.9835, LG Marquel Harrell 0.9078, C Austin Golson 0.9553, RG Mike Horton 0.8560, RT Braden Smith 0.9678.

2. Alabama 0.9314: LT Jonah Williams 0.9873, LG Ross Pierschbacher 0.9647, C Bradley Bozeman 0.8708, RG Lester Cotton 0.9732, RT Matt Womack 0.8610.

3. LSU 0.9311: LT K.J. Malone 0.8656, LG Garrett Brumfield 0.9517, C William Clapp 0.9054, RG Maea Teuhema 0.9828, RT Toby Weathersby 0.9497.

4. Tennessee 0.9253: LT Drew Richmond 0.9732, LG Jack Jones 0.9404, C Jashon Robertson 0.8625, RG Trey Smith 0.9920, RT Chance Hall 0.8585.

5. Arkansas 0.9115: LT Colton Jackson 0.8637, LG Hjalte Froholdt 0.9340, C Frank Ragnow (No. 72 below) 0.8913, RG Johnny Gibson NA, RT Brian Wallace 0.9575.

Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

6. Ole Miss 0.9112: LT Greg Little 0.9991, LG Javon Patterson 0.9739, C Sean Rawlings 0.8426, RG Jordan Sims 0.8737, RT Alex Givens 0.8669.

7. Georgia 0.8989: LT Isaiah Wynn 0.9456, LG Dyshon Sims 0.9084, C Lamont Gaillard 0.9358, RG Solomon Kindley 0.8408, RT Aulden Bynum 0.8640.

8. Texas A&M 0.8832: LT Koda Martin 0.8696, LG Erik McCoy 0.8401, C Colton Prater 0.8383, RG Connor Lanfear 0.9181, RT Keaton Sutherland 0.9201.

9. Florida 0.8753: LT Martez Ivey 0.9990, LG Tyler Jordan 0.8795, C T.J. McCoy 0.8200, RG Fred Johnson 0.8329, RT Jawaan Taylor 0.8453.

10. South Carolina 0.8729: LT Malik Young 0.8615, LG D.J. Park 0.8999, C Alan Knott 0.8672, RG Cory Helms 0.8412, RT Zack Bailey 0.9045.

11. Vanderbilt 0.8463: LT Justin Skyle 0.8456, LG Ean Pfeifer 0.8392, C Cole Hardin 0.8584, RG Bruno Reagan 0.8441, RT Bailey Granier 0.8444.

12. Mississippi State 0.8419: LT Greg Eiland 0.8529, LG Elgton Jenkins 0.8092, C Martinas Rankin 0.9125, RG Deion Calhoun 0.7958, RT Stewart Reese 0.8793.

13. Missouri 0.8354: LT Tyler Howell 0.8808, LG Kevin Pendleton 0.8334, C Sam Bailey 0.8018, RG Alec Abeln 0.8115, RT Paul Adams 0.8493.

14. Kentucky 0.8332: LT Cole Mosier NA, LG Logan Stenberg 0.8587, C Jervontius Stallings 0.8025, RG Nick Haynes 0.8086, RT Kyle Meadows 0.8630.