ESPN's Position U rankings include several SEC schools
There’s no doubt the Southeastern Conference produces a lot of talent and has had players successful in the NFL from every position over the years.
When ESPN released its “Position U” rankings, which listed off the best school in the nation in terms of producing NFL players by position, Alabama got a lot of attention as the either the best program in the conference or the best program in the nation for multiple position groups.
Alabama was named DLU, OLU and RBU. For the categories the Crimson Tide did not totally take the cake in, they were named best in the SEC for QBU (No. 4 overall). The Tide weren’t best in the SEC but among the best in the nation in DBU (No. 3 overall), LBU (No. 2 overall) and WRU (No. 3 overall).
Alabama has made a big jump in the former category.
“When ESPN ran its first Position U numbers four years ago, the Tide ranked 33rd at QBU, a number reflective of their rather mundane quarterback performance in spite of all the national championships,” David M. Hale of ESPN wrote. “Now? The Tide are No. 4 on the list, thanks to a run of greats, including Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones — all NFL starters now — and last year’s Heisman winner, Bryce Young.”
Several other SEC schools garnered attention as well. Georgia was named LBU with standout Nakobe Dean and Texas A&M was named Punter U after producing the likes of Braden Mann, who was a sixth-round pick by the New York Jets back in 2020.
“The disrespect to Nakobe Dean — the star linebacker at LBU — was immense. Dean dropped all the way to the third round (No. 83 overall), where the Philadelphia Eagles nabbed him,” Hale wrote. “Regardless, Georgia easily retains its crown atop our linebacker rankings. It has been a heck of a run for the Bulldogs, who’ve had 15 linebackers drafted, including five in the first round — in the past decade. Georgia has had 15 All-SEC linebackers since 1998 and seven All-Americans. Alabama (eight All-Americans, including returning star Will Anderson) and Ohio State (19 All-Big Ten selections) are within striking distance, but the path to LBU figures to run through Athens for a while.
LSU ranked No. 3 in the nation in RBU and No. 2 in the nation in WRU, also No. 2 in the nation and best in the SEC for DBU. Florida was named best in the conference and No. 4 in the country for TEU as well as DBU.
Tennessee cracked into just one category, named No. 3 for Punter U.
While these rankings seem largely reasonable, there are several who would argue that LSU should have been named DBU, as discussion that seems to have come down between the Tigers and the Texas Longhorns for the better part of recent history.