SEC players dominated the defensive side of Pro Football Focus’ midseason All-American team. But on the offensive side, not so much.
Since we’re halfway through the college football season, PFF compiled its list of players that would receive All-American honors at this point. Not to any surprise, the SEC dominated the defensive side of the list, but barely made a dent on the offensive side.
Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram and Arkansas center Frank Ragnow were the only two SEC players to earn offensive honors. PFF said Engram “leads all Power-5 tight ends with an 86.6 receiving grade as he’s been Ole Miss’ top receiving threat this season.” The story said Ragnow “has been the best run blocker along the offensive line for the Razorbacks and his 86.4 mark leads all centers. There’s room to improve in pass protection but nine hurries on 301 attempts has led to a solid 82.3 grade as a pass blocker.”
However, on the defensive side of the ball, the SEC dominated. Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, Missouri cornerback Aarion Penton and LSU safety Jamal Adams all made the list.
PFF lumped together Garrett and Barnett, saying “They’ve been lumped together since coming in as true freshmen in 2014 and their three-year production is insanely close. This year is no different as they’re once again the top two edge defenders in the nation. Barnett actually leads all Power-5 rushers with a 91.5 pass rush grade while Garrett is right behind at 89.5. Garrett has taken his work in the run game to the next level with an 87.7 mark that ranks third among all edge defenders.”
Of the Tide’s duo of Allen and Foster, the story said Allen is the “most dominant defensive player in the nation to this point, Allen has efficiently rushed the passer from all over the defensive line and his 94.8 rush grade leads all interior defensive linemen. His two touchdown returns have just been icing on the cake.” PFF said Foster “has the top overall grade among all linebackers and he ranks second against the run at 89.5 and fourth in coverage at 87.8. He’s only missed two tackles all season.”
PFF put Penton from a struggling Missouri team on the list, but said “The nation is loaded with top cornerbacks, but Penton has allowed only 41.5 percent of passes to be completed into his coverage and opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 38.9 when targeting him. Penton has five passes defensed and three interceptions in the year.” PFF said Adams “has done it all for LSU, and he has the top grade against the run at 85.4 to go with the No. 7 mark in coverage at 88.3.”