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2021 SEC East Predictions

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Picks for 2021 in the SEC East.

A summer look at the upcoming fall in the SEC East.

1. Georgia -- The additions of hybrid tight end/receiver Arik Gilbert and cornerback Derion Kendrick only reinforce the notion that the Bulldogs are one of the top national favorites and the clear frontrunner in the SEC East. This is a roster with talent, experience and balance and a program with championship expectations. Ahead of a showcase season opener, the spotlight is on Kirby Smart, quarterback J.T. Daniels, tackle Jordan Davis and Georgia.

2. Florida -- Don't forget about the ever-talented Gators, who won the division a year ago. Though there has been considerable roster turnover, a strong defensive core returns featuring All-American cornerback Kaiir Elam. The experienced unit is poised to take a major step forward and become one of the SEC's best. Recruited by Dan Mullen, quarterback Emory Jones is now ready to lead the way.  

3. Missouri -- With four starters back on the offensive line and edge Trajan Jeffcoat and tackle Kobie Whiteside anchoring the defensive front, the Tigers are poised to be one of the most physical teams in the SEC. Missouri also has returning experience at quarterback in Connor Bazelak, who completed over 67% of his passes as a redshirt freshman. Eli Drinkwitz and the Tigers turned some heads in year one.

4. Kentucky -- Another strong offensive front, led by All-American candidate Darian Kinnard at tackle, means the Wildcats are ready to win at the line of scrimmage. Running back Chris Rodriguez ran for eleven touchdowns a year ago and is a rising star with big play potential. Questions remain at quarterback, though there are options. Versatile, veteran safety Yusuf Corker is a key standout defensively.

5. South Carolina -- Running back Kevin Harris, 1,138 yards and 15 touchdowns at 6.15 yards per carry, is one of the best in college football. He led the SEC with 113.8 yards per game this past season. The defensive line, with All-SEC edge Kingsley Enagbare, former five-star Jordan Burch and transfer Jordan Strachan, who paced the nation in sacks a year ago at Georgia State, has the potential to be elite. There remain some questions in the passing game.  

6. Tennessee -- Transition is the theme for new head coach Josh Heupel and the Volunteers as the entire roster, along with the coaching staff, is in flux. The quarterback competition, with Harrison Bailey, Virginia Tech-transfer Hendon Hooker and Michigan-transfer Joe Milton, will likely continue into the fall. Cornerback Alontae Taylor is one of the few returning playmakers on defense. 

7. Vanderbilt -- Former fullback Clark Lea takes over a program that has clear work to do. The Commodores do have their quarterback in Ken Seals, who threw 12 touchdowns as a freshman. Lea, previously the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, will look to help the Vanderbilt unit make more big plays. Former Alabama kicker Joseph Bulovas should help the Commodores on special teams.