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2021 SEC West Predictions

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

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

1. Alabama -- This Crimson Tide defense looks like a vintage group for Nick Saban. Eight starters return, including second-team All-SEC talents Chris Allen at linebacker and Malachi Moore at safety. Alabama also added Henry To'o To'o, Tennessee's leading tackler last season. Quarterback Bryce Young is ready for his opportunity, with receiver John Metchie III ready for even more big plays. Massive tackle Evan Neal leads another top offensive line.

2. Texas A&M -- Nine returning starters on defense, most notably star lineman DeMarvin Leal, will be one of the best in college football. There are playmakers everywhere on Jimbo Fisher's offense, from running back Isaiah Spiller to receivers Ainias Smith and Chase Lane to tight ends Jalen Wydermyer and Baylor Cupp. Kenyon Green is An All-American up front. Haynes King and Zach Calzada are vying for the starting quarterback job.

3. LSU -- Even with last season's disappointment, the Tigers remain one of the most talented teams in the country. There are two proven options with starting experience at quarterback in Myles Brennan and Max Johnson. Derek Stingley, Jr. and Eli Ricks may be the premier cornerback tandem in the county. Notably, the defensive line has experience everywhere and the offensive front returns four starters.

4. Ole Miss -- Get ready for even more production from star quarterback Matt Corral, who just threw 29 touchdown passes, completed over 70% of his throws and averaged over ten yards per attempt. The versatile Jerion Ealy, who helped the Rebels lead the SEC in rushing, will also put up big numbers. Ole Miss needs to take another step forward defensively and has experience and talent at linebacker with Lakia Henry and Momo Sanogo.

5. Auburn -- It's hard to know what to expect from Bryan Harsin and the Tigers. Running back Tank Bigsby is one of the best playmakers in the SEC. The spotlight is on quarterback Bo Nix, a multi-year starter who Auburn needs to be more consistent. Defensively, standouts like tackle Tyrone Truesdell, linebackers Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe and cornerback Smoke Monday give the Tigers a strong foundation.

6. Arkansas -- There is a lot of returning production for Sam Pittman in year two. Linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool ranked one-two in the SEC in tackles per game a year ago with 12.3 and 11.2, respectively. Safety Jalon Catalon finished in the top five with 99 total stops as well. Cornerback Hudson Clark had a three-interception game. It's K.J. Jefferson time at quarterback and star receiver Treylon Burks will help him settle in.

7. Mississippi State -- Quarterback Will Rogers is the guy in Mike Leach's offense and he will put up numbers. He threw for 440 yards and three touchdowns in last season's Egg Bowl. Running back Ja'quavious Marks and receiver Jaden Walley combined for 112 catches a year ago. Tackle Charles Cross is an All-American candidate. Emmanuel Forbes had five interceptions as a freshman, including three returned for touchdowns.