Individual Position Rankings

Ranked in terms of talent and potential impact, here’s how the SEC’s top tight ends stack up this season:

Just outside the Top 5: Georgia’s Jay Rome could become a go-to target early in the season for Hutson Mason if he recovers from an ailing right foot … South Carolina’s tight end pair of Buster Anderson and Jerell Adams look more like wide receivers with slender builds and a level of athleticism rivaling the Gamecocks’ receiving corps … Either player could potentially be a Top 3 tight end in terms of production but targets are limited at the position in Steve Spurrier’s scheme … Texas A&M veteran Cameron Clear is a potential short yardage and red zone threat at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds for new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital … Mackey Award watch list member C.J. Uzomah from Auburn is one of the Tigers’ best blockers and often picks up yards in chunks when given the opportunity.

5. Jake McGee, Florida: The Virginia transfer has one season in Gainesville to improve his draft stock, currently a mid-round grade according to numerous draft experts. McGee was the Cavaliers’ top receiver last season with 43 catches for 395 yards and two touchdowns. He provides a major boost in the passing game for a Florida offense that received hardly any production at the position last season.

4. Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi St.: A reliable security blanket underneath for Dak Prescott and Bulldogs, Johns caught 30 balls for 391 yards and a pair of scores last season as an essential piece of Mississippi St.’s passing game behind wideouts Jameon Lewis and Robert Johnson. Expect even bigger numbers this fall.

3. Hunter Henry, Arkansas: Stop right here if you’re looking to pinpoint a top receiving option at Arkansas this season. A member of the All-SEC Freshman squad last season, Henry is the top returning tight end based on the production in the conference after a 28-catch, 409-yard effort for the Razorbacks. Henry led all SEC players at his position by picking up a first down on nearly 80 percent of his receptions last fall. He’s looking to join D.J. Williams (2010) as the only other Mackey Award winner in program history.

2. Evan Engram, Ole Miss.: More agile than most opposing linebackers in coverage, Engram’s a tight end in a wide receiver’s body at 6-foot-3, 217 pounds. He was on his way to an All-SEC campaign as a true freshman with 20 catches for 265 yards and three touchdowns before an ankle injury sidelined him for the final six games of the regular season.

1. O.J. Howard, Alabama: The SEC’s third super sophomore and Mackey Award watch list member at the position, Howard’s in for a major production rise under Lane Kiffin who likes to throw to big, athletic pass-catchers down the seam. There isn’t much he can’t do in the Crimson Tide attack after averaging a team-best 19.2 yards per catch as a freshman if you take away Derrick Henry’s single 61-yard touchdown reception in the Sugar Bowl. Howard will often line up wide this season as a matchup nightmare in passing situations.