Defensive fronts are ever important in the SEC as the conference churns out top running backs year in and year out.
How does the SEC’s defensive lines compare to those around the nation? According to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, five of the conference’s defensive fronts belong in the Top 10.
Feldman ranked Alabama as the No. 2 defensive line in the country after the Crimson Tide led the nation with 52 sacks last season. Alabama returns pass-rush specialist Tim Williams (10.5 sacks last season), defensive end Jonathan Allen (12 sacks) and sophomore Da’Ron Payne, who could be in for a big season at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds.
Always noted for its talented defensive lines, Missouri came in at No. 4 on the list. This may come as a surprise to some after the Tigers lost long-time D-line coach Craig Kuligowski to Miami, but Missouri returns a host of talent. Included in the bunch is Charles Harris (7 sacks), Walter Brady (7 sacks) and rising sophomore Terry Beckner, Jr.
Texas A&M (No. 5) is led by perhaps the best defensive lineman in college football in Myles Garrett. The rising junior collected 12.5 sacks last season, and he is joined by former 4-star recruit Daeshon Hall (7 sacks). The two may be one of the best defensive lineman tandems in college football in 2016.
LSU is always littered with impressive defensive prospects, and 2016 should be no different. Just to rattle off a few: Arden Key (5 sacks), Devon Godchaux (6 sacks) and Lewis Neal (8 sacks).
Ole Miss was the last SEC team featured on the list, returning playmakers like Marquis Haynes (10 sacks) and Fadol Brown (10 quarterback hurries).
You can view the entire list below:
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
- Ole Miss
- Ohio State/Houston
Auburn and Florida were mentioned but missed the cut.