SEC teams with the fewest weaknesses
Weakness is a relative term.
Each SEC school has its own definition of positional weakness as fall camp approaches. Some of those predicted weaknesses will match reality when games kick off in September, while others will turn out to be strengths that just hadn’t been discovered yet.
We’re going to take a look at a few teams that probably feel like they don’t have many weaknesses heading into fall camp. That is not to say that these teams necessarily have elite talent at every position, or even are the best teams in the league, rather there is simply a lack of holes, questions and concerns at most of their positions.
Likewise, not being a part of this list in not to say that a team is not extremely talented, just that they may have some self-described weaknesses that they are trying to figure out before games start.
The lack of glaring weaknesses is why Tennessee is expected to make a move up the SEC East standings this fall. The Volunteers return a quarterback they are comfortable with in Joshua Dobbs, and should have quality depth at both running back and wide receiver. The offensive line returns four starters and has added a good amount of depth in the last two recruiting classes. Tennessee’s defense lost LB A.J Johnson, but returns talented pass rushers Curt Maggitt and Derek Barnett. The secondary has quality depth. The Volunteers need to develop some depth on the interior of the defensive line and find a guy to play the middle linebacker spot, but otherwise they are staring at relatively few weaknesses as fall camp begins.
So much focus has rightfully fallen on the quarterback position at LSU that many have forgotten just how solid the rest of the Tigers roster appears to be heading into fall camp. Sure, there is a weakness at quarterback until one of Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris takes hold of the job, but whoever gets the job will have great depth at the skill positions to work with, highlighted by RB Leonard Fournette and WR Travin Dural. The offensive line returns three starters and appears to be set with just a small concern about starting guards. The defense appears to be without much question at linebacker and in the defensive backfield, as well as the interior of the defensive line.
The Razorbacks appear to be very comfortable in their own skin heading into fall camp. Arkansas returns a veteran quarterback (Brandon Allen), his top targets (Keon Hatcher and Hunter Henry), a pair of 1,100-yard rushers (Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins) and a monster offensive line with four returning starters. The defense will face its share of challenges, including replacing LB Martrell Spaight and DE Trey Flowers from last year’s group, but the questions appear to be minimal with LB Brooks Ellis stepping into a prominent role on the weakside and enough depth for a rotation on the defensive line.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide returns a strong defense, but there are just too many unknowns on the offensive side of the ball to make the list.
Auburn: While the Tigers have big plans for 2015 in spite of breaking in a new backfield, there are still concerns over what new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has to work with beyond a pair of talented linebackers and defensive end Carl Lawson.
Georgia The running game, the linebackers and defensive backfield are all without question, but the Bulldogs will be searching for a quarterback, some playmakers on the outside and some answers on the defensive line as camp begins.
Missouri: Major concerns at wide receiver and defensive line overshadow the comfort level in the backfield with Maty Mauk and Russell Hansbrough returning.
Ole Miss: The defense knows its identity and has very few holes to fill, but concerns about the offensive line and breaking in a new quarterback made the Rebels a narrow miss.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores return more than 20 players that started significant games last season, unfortunately the results were so discouraging that questions still linger about whether some of those returning players are actually the problem.