2014 SEC Preseason Defensive Tackle Rankings
Written By: Gridiron Leatherheads Staff
1. A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama (SO): Boy does the Alabama scheme fit Robinson’s game, he can play either the one gap or two gap technique and do it at a high level. Robinson will be asked to do a lot this year as he will need to be the anchor on this D-Line. The sky is the limit for this kid and hopefully for the Tide he can have a repeat performance.
Last Season: 38 Tackles 8 TFL 5.5 Sacks
2. Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (SO): Some will say Nkemdiche has the most upside of any of the players in this ranking and I guess time will tell considering the top 4 are sophomores. Talk about freakish athletic ability, after sacking a QB this kid could be there running the ball on offense. Time for him to shine and prove himself this year, as the best D-Lineman in the SEC.
Last Season: 34 Tackles 8 TFL 2 Sacks
3. Chris Jones, Miss State (SO): It was a real tossup between Jones, Robinson and Nkemdiche, but Jones at #3 doesn’t mean anything, because he could easily be 1 or 2. Jones a 5 star last year really showed promise on the Miss State D-Line. The Bulldogs should be excited about Jones, at 305 pounds he can move like a linebacker but is powerful enough to play NT.
Last Season: 32 Tackles 7 TFL 3 Sacks
4. Darius Philon, Arkansas (SO): Talk about a diamond in the rough, Philon is by far the best football player on Arkansas’ roster. And that’s a good thing because the Hogs got a good one here. Philon will look to try and prove himself as elite and show everyone he is the future of Razorback football.
Last Season: 46 Tackles 9 TFL 3 Sacks
5. Gabe Wright, Auburn (SR): Wright came out of nowhere in 2013, just like the whole Auburn team. We will see if Wright’s prediction in April that Auburn will have the best D-Line ever holds true.
Last Season: 30 Tackles 8.5 TFL 3 Sacks
6. Isaac Gross, Ole Miss (JR): This isn’t your typical SEC DT, this kid only tips the scales at 250 pounds. But that doesn’t stop Gross’ incredible quickness from penetrating opposing offensives, watch for Ole Miss to more Gross around more this season and utilize his speed.
Last Season: 34 Tackles 9 TFL 3.5 Sacks
7. Matt Hoch, Mizzou (SR): Hoch actually went unnoticed last season, he was the anchor to that 2013 stellar D-Line at Mizzou. He will look to anchor the fresh pass rushers and help make another run at SEC’s best D-Line.
Last Season: 41 Tackles 4 TFL 3 Sacks
8. JT Surratt, South Carolina (SR): Surratt might be the dark horse on this list, after being overshadowed by Clowney and Quarles, Surratt will be looking to make a name for himself.
Last Season: 33 Tackles 4 TFL 1.5 Sacks
9. Leon Orr, Florida (SR): Orr will look to be the anchor this year on the Gator D-Line, he will have some big shoes to fill with the departure of Floyd and Easley to the NFL. Watch for the 305 pound Orr to possible have a breakout season.
Last Season: 21 Tackles 4.5 TFL 2.5 Sacks
10. Adam Butler, Vanderbilt (SO): Butler moved from Offensive line to Defensive line last season and showed he deserves to start and stay on the D-Line.
Last Season: 25 Tackles 6 TFL
Newcomers To Watch:
Montravius Adams, Auburn (SO)
Gerald Willis III, Florida (FR)