If you want quickness and acceleration, braun and big hits, watch SEC linebackers play. They’re asked to do everything, from rushing the quarterback to covering receivers and stuffing the run.
Here are the conference’s top five linebackers.
Reggie Ragland, Alabama (6-2, 252) — NFL teams already are scouting Ragland, who appears poised to build on his outstanding junior season, when he had 95 tackles, 10.5 of them for loss. BTW, that was his first season as a starter.
Jordan Jenkins, Georgia (6-3, 253) — He excelled in very situation for Georgia, as his stats suggest. Jenkins has 15 sacks, 29.5 tackles for loss and 70 hurries in his three seasons. Guess what? He’s back for his fourth.
Curt Maggitt, Tennessee (6-4, 252) — You’d never guess Maggitt missed all of 2013 while recovering from surgeries. That’s if, of course, you could find him, since sometimes he’s on the line and sometimes he’s playing linebacker.
Leonard Floyd, Georgia (6-4, 231) — Floyd was called the LeBron James of UGA’s defense by one of the teammates, which means he must be an excellent player, right? Maybe it was because Floyd was UGA’s defensive MVP in 2014.
Kendell Beckwith, LSU (6-2, 252) — After claiming the starting linebacker position in the middle of last season, Beckwith never let it go. He finished with 77 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss despite starting just seven games in 2014.