Preseason predictions are flying around like Donald Trump memes.
The season doesn’t begin until September, teams have yet to begin fall practice and we’re still two weeks away from SEC Media Days. There’s not a whole lot going on in college football except Twitter reacting to Jim Harbaugh sporting a different jersey at the 100 satellite camps that he’s attended.
Us media folks need to find a way to fill the news gap, and preseason predictions are perfect for that — and pretty interesting too. It’s get the readers thinking toward the following season, and gives them hope that their team or players could be in for a big year.
They can get repetitive so SEC Country decided to bring you an All-SEC team that you won’t see at the end of the season. We take a look at a hypothetical “SEC All-Senior” team that adds a different twist while omitting some of the obvious candidates such as LSU’s Leonard Fournette or Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett.
Take a look:
QB: Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
Analysis: It was either Dobbs or Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly with this pick. Kelly led the SEC in passing last season, but he lost his No. 1 and No. 2 target in Laquon Treadwell and Cody Core, and Dobbs has better dual-threat ability. I think that will put Dobbs ahead of Kelly as the conference’s top quarterback. Entering his senior season, Dobbs should be primed for his best passing year to date, following up on 2,291 passing yards and 15 touchdowns last season. He will also look to improve upon 671 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015.
RB: Jojo Kemp, Kentucky
Analysis: Neither Kemp or Akeem Judd (see below) jump out as top running backs in the SEC, and neither are. But the truth is, great SEC running backs don’t stay long enough to see their senior seasons. So by default, Kemp made the list. He is the conference’s top returning senior running back after rushing for 555 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games last season. Those numbers were helped because of starting running back Boom Williams’ injury problems, but he should be a nice compliment to Williams in 2016.
RB: Akeem Judd, Ole Miss
Analysis: Judd rushed for 425 yards and three touchdowns last season. Once again, not a name that is going to get the general SEC fan excited, but he likely will be the primary running back for the Rebels in 2016. A formidable season from Judd would add another layer to the Ole Miss offense and take some pressure off the shoulders of Kelly.
WR: Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
Analysis: Reynolds’ decision to return for his senior season could be huge for the Aggies. He finished fifth in the conference in receiving yards (907 yards) and pulled in five touchdowns. He is a big receiver on the outside that could become a welcomed target for new Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight.
WR: Drew Morgan, Arkansas
Analysis: When it seemed like every wide receiver in the Razorbacks’ arsenal fell to injury last season, it was Morgan who stepped up for Arkansas. The rising senior caught 63 passes last season for 843 yards, finishing ninth in the conference in receiving yards. Morgan possesses a good pair of hands and a reliable receiver for first-year quarterback Austin Allen.
WR: Quincy Adeboyjo, Ole Miss
Analysis: While Adeboyjo is most remembered for his wild 66-yard touchdown catch against Alabama last season, the receiver put together a nice junior season. He caught 38 passes for 604 yards and seven touchdowns, and could slide into the No. 1 spot on Kelly’s target list.
TE: O.J. Howard, Alabama
Analysis: Howard could have been one of the top tight ends taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, but decided to return for his senior season. He showed his full potential on the national championship game against Clemson where he had five catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. On the year, Howard caught 38 passes for 602 yards and two touchdowns.
OL: Dan Skipper, Arkansas
Analysis: The coaches named Skipper as a second-team All-SEC selection last season. He will be the anchor of the Razorbacks offensive line. He started all 13 games at right tackle and finished second on the team with an 83 percent offensive grade over 900 snaps.
OL: Alex Kozan, Auburn
Analysis: Kozan is one of the more experienced Auburn offensive linemen returning, having played 27 games in his career. He played 13 games at left guard for the Tigers in 2015, and was named a team captain for the Mississippi State game.
OL: Greg Pyke, Georgia
Analysis: Pyke played in 12 games last season (10 starts) for the Bulldogs while earning second-team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated. He struggled some in 2015, but showed true potential as a sophomore earning second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press. He will be one of the most vital parts to the Georgia offensive line in his final season.
OL: Dylan Wiesman, Tennessee
Analysis: Wiesman started 12 games at right guard and one at left guard last season. He was a big factor in Tennessee averaging 223.7 rushing yards per game in 2015 –good for second in the SEC.
C: Ethan Pocic, LSU
Analysis: Pocic could have entered the NFL draft, but returns for his senior year off a season where he earned second-team All-SEC honors from the coaches. He collected 128.5 knockdown blocks last season.
DL: Jonathan Allen, Alabama
Analysis: Allen is another player who could have left after his junior season. The coaches named him first-team All-SEC a year ago when he accumulated 36 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and finished second in the SEC with 12 sacks. He should spearhead perhaps the best pass rush in the SEC in ’16.
DL: Deatrich Wise Jr., Arkansas
Analysis: Wise Jr. didn’t receive any conference honors, but certainly deserved it. He finished tied for sixth in the SEC with 8 sacks, with all of them coming against conference opponents. He will be the top pass rusher returning for the Razorbacks this season.
DL: Lewis Neal, LSU
Analysis: Like Wise Jr., Neal finished with 8 sacks last season, which ties for 10th-most among any LSU player in single-season history. His biggest game came against Florida in 2015 where he finished with 3 sacks. He will be a vital part of the Tigers defense this season.
DL: Montravius Adams, Auburn
Analysis: Adams has been contributor on the Auburn defense since he stepped on campus in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 309 pound Adams will be a run-stopper in the middle of the defense, and will look to build up 44 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks last season.
LB: Reuben Foster, Alabama
Analysis: Foster was a contributor in his first two seasons at Alabama, but really stepped up as a junior. He finished second on the team with 73 tackles, 8 tackles for loss and 1 sack last year. He’ll be the man in the middle for the Crimson Tide in 2016. He’s also shown great ability in the passing game where he recorded nine pass breakups.
LB: Tim Williams, Alabama
Analysis: Williams will be a pass-rush specialist for the Crimson Tide in 2016 after picking up 10.5 sacks a year ago. He started to come on at the end of last season, collecting seven of those sacks in the final six games. He decided to return for his senior season in search of another championship.
LB: Kendell Beckwith, LSU
Analysis: Beckwith was a staple on the LSU defense last season, amassing 84 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last season. He recorded a team-best 11 tackles against Alabama, and will be a vital piece in new defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s 3-4 scheme.
DB: Tre’Davious White, LSU
Analysis: Tre’Davious White was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2015 according to the coaches, and could continue the legacy of LSU’s “DBU” come the end of the year. He played in 11 games last season while dealing with some injuries, and didn’t record an interception. Don’t let that fool you, as he is among the top lockdown corners in the SEC.
DB: Cameron Sutton, Tennessee
Analysis: Sutton’s announcement to return for his senior season may have surprised some, but Tennessee fans are glad. He will be a four-year starter for the Vols, coming off a season in which corralled 1 interception, broke up 6 passes and scored 2 touchdowns while handling punt returning duties. Sutton started all 13 games at cornerback for Tennessee last season.
DB: Tony Conner, Ole Miss
Analysis: Conner played in only five games for the Rebels last season, but if healthy, he could be in for a big senior season. He showcased his skills as a sophomore when he finished the year with Associated Press second-team All-SEC honors behind 38 tackles, 1 interception, 9 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Conner plays the Huskie position for the Rebels, which is a hybrid safety position.
DB: Eddie Jackson, Alabama
Analysis: Jackson was a first-team All-SEC player last season, and should be again in 2016. He finished the year with 46 tackles, 6 interceptions, 3 tackles for loss and 2 touchdowns.