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SEC Draft Prospect Big Board

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Ranking the top 25 2021 NFL Draft prospects from the SEC.

1. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (6'6'', 240)
Pitts is the prototype. He can do it all. The star tight end is such a playmaker that he was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, recognizing college football's best wide receiver, in addition to winning the Mackey. On 100 career receptions for the Gators, Pitts scored 18 times and averaged 15 yards per catch, a testament to his big play ability. His size and athleticism makes Pitts a very difficult matchup problem for opposing defenses.  

2. Jamar Chase, WR, LSU (6'0'', 208)
It goes without saying that Chase is the ultimate home run threat. In 2019, he averaged a stunning 21.19 yards per catch on 84 receptions, scoring 20 times. The national championship, two years ago, came with Chase catching nine passes for 221 yards and two scores. A physical talent, he can overpower defenders with his strength or run by them with his speed. Chase opted out of this past college football season.

3. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (6'1'', 175)
Everything that a college wide receiver could possibly do, Smith did. From his walk-off in the national championship game as a freshman to the Heisman Trophy and title game MVP honors as a senior, Smith has had an unparalled career. He holds many single season and career records. Smith is a fluid, smooth route runner with near-perfect technique. Though undersized, his quickness makes him hard to contain in space. 

4. Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama (6'5'', 310)
Barmore finished the season on an absolute tear, recording seven tackles for loss over his final six games. He recorded 15.5 the past two seasons The Defensive MVP of the national championship game, Barmore's impact was on full display in the biggest contest of the year. A front line anchor with some positional versatility, he is the type of talent you could build a defense around. Barmore is a rare interior pass rusher as well.

5. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (6'2'', 202)
The son of a former NFL star, Surtain has everything look for in a number one cover corner. His size and length is the modern standard, giving him the stature to go head-to-head with bigger receivers. That potential has translated to production. Surtain just led the SEC with 12 pass deflections and was named league defensive player of the year. He was great against Ohio State in the national championship game.

6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (5'10'', 182)
A total of 848 yards receiving at nearly 19 yards per catch and 14.5 yards per punt return; that was what Waddle did as a true freshman for the Crimson Tide. A big play waiting to happen, Waddle has elite track speed and go-to ability on the perimeter or in the slot. Before suffering a serious ankle injury, Waddle opened this past season with at least 120 receiving yards in four straight games.

7. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina (6'1'', 205)
Though his father Joe was a playmaking receiver in the NFL, Jaycee excels at stopping them. A physical defender built almost like a safety, Horn can completely take over games. See the 2020 Auburn contest, where he led the Gamecocks to victory with two interceptions and four more pass deflections. Horn is capable of consistent success in man coverage and has a great blend of size and speed.

8. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia (6'3'', 240)
The reigning SEC sack leader with 8.5, Ojulari is a disruptive playmaker off the edge. He can line up different places defensively depending upon the scheme. Ojulari is remarkably quick, playing with a burst that is hard to block, and compiled an impressive 34 quarterback hurries over the past two seasons with his combination of athleticism and instincts. Simply put, Ojulari is the type of talent who attacks the offensive backfield.

9. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama (6'6'', 312)
The latest pro-ready offensive lineman for the Crimson Tide, Leatherwood has everything you look for in a first round pick at tackle. This winner of the Outland Trophy helped Alabama win the Joe Moore Award recognizing the nation's best offensive line. Leatherwood was a foundational tone-setter for the best offense in college football and all of the production that came with it.

10. Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee (6'6'', 330)
Smith looks the part and plays it. A towering and physically-imposing lineman with great technique and agility, he has the potential to play either guard or tackle at the next level. This is a player who can do it all. Starting 12 games as a true freshman for the Volunteers in 2017, Smith later overcame blood clots that forced him to miss all of 2018 to become one of the best blockers in all of college football.

11. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida (6'0'', 193)
In addition to being a consistent playmaker in the traditional sense, Toney has all of the versatility that makes modern football so much fun. He was a go-to perimeter option for the Gators, but also ran the football and was featured in the return game on special teams. Toney is the type of receiver who can be moved all over the field and create matchup problems for opposing defenses. 

12. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri (6'0'', 235)
Check the tape, Bolton is all over the football field. A true sideline-to-sideline defender, he plays with great speed and reaction time. Bolton finds the football and makes plays when he does. Over the past two years, Bolton compiled 202 total tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss for the Tigers, to go along with 13 pass breakups. He is equally effective in run support and pass coverage.  

13. Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama (6'6'', 325)
The Rimington Award winner as the nation's best center, Dickerson was the tone-setter for much of the Crimson Tide's historic offensive production. He thrives at physical play and is always around the chaos. Dickerson can also line up elsewhere on the offensive line if need be, including tackle, as was the case early in his career. His size and success makes him a standout prospect at his position.

14. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (6'2'', 229)
The all-time leading rusher for the Crimson Tide with 3,833 yards, all at six yards per carry, Harris is a true every down back and a player capable of being an offensive focal point at the next level. His 26 rushing scores from this past season were the most in Power Five football since Derrick Henry. Harris also caught 16 passes over his final three games, jumping clear over defender and landing right in stride along the way.

15. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (6'3'', 214)
As if a national championship wasn't enough, Jones is now college football's single season record holder with a passer rating mark of 203.06. He led the nation in passing yards (4,500), completion percentage (77.4%), yards per attempt (11.2) and finished second with 41 touchdowns. It was a near perfect season for Jones, who almost certainly played his way into the first round.

16. Terrace Marshall, Jr., WR, LSU (6'3'', 201)
Relatively quietly, the numbers Marshall compiled in Baton Rouge were very impressive. After 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns for the national champions two seasons ago, he added 48 catches for 731 yards and ten more scores in just seven games last year. Clearly a proven redzone option, Marshall's touchdown numbers very much stand out. His size, at 6'3'', does as well.

17. Elijah Moore, WR, Ole MIss (5'9'', 195)
It was actually Moore, not Alabama's DeVonta Smith, who led the nation with 149.1 receiving yards and 10.8 receptions per game this past season. In eight outings, Moore had three 220-yard performances. Remarkably, he had at least ten catches in every contest but one. Moore is quick and finds seams in coverages, making him an ideal candidate to be featured slot receiver at the next level.

18. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia (6'1'', 185)
The speedy Stokes emerged as one of college football's top cover corners and has good size as well. He is also a proven ballhawk downfield, with four interceptions in nine games in 2020. Not just happy with the turnover, Stokes actually took two of those picks back for touchdowns. A highly-graded defender with notable technical marks, his consistency was impressive during his career with the Bulldogs.

19. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia (6'2'', 185)
The size and length that NFL teams want is certainly there as Campbell can be quite the presence in downfield pass coverage. He can also be active in run defense as Campbell recorded 45 total tackles as a true freshman and added three tackles for loss this past year. His measurables could mean that Campbell may have more potential than some of his comparable positional peers.

20. Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky (6'4'', 234)
An athletic, versatile defender who can do a number of different things well. Davis led the Wildcats with 102 total tackles and was second on the team with three interceptions in 2020. There is a lot of upside to a player with a rare combination of potential and production. In the open field, Davis plays with tremendous quickness which makes him multi-faceted in run and pass defense.   

21. Kyle Trask, QB Florida (6'5'', 240)
It was Trask, long-time reserve to eventual Heisman Trophy finalist, who led the nation with 43 touchdown passes in a dream season. He proved more than capable of being the offensive focal point for the Gators, throwing a college football-high 437 attempts in a year for the record books. The 6'5'' Trask turned heads with 408 yards and three scores against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.  

22. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama (6'3'', 240)
Another great Crimson Tide linebacker, Moses just led national champion Alabama in total tackles with 80. It was a very successful bounce back season after a knee injury forced him to miss all of 2019. Moses was a proven leader and playmaker, with 22 career tackles for loss in three years, for the Crimson Tide. He also fits the NFL linebacker standard at a physical 6'3'', 240 pounds. 

23. Jabril Cox, LB, LSU (6'4'', 231)
There is an appealing versatility to Cox, who starred at FCS superpower North Dakota State before transferring to the Tigers. A two-time All-American with the Bison, compiling 258 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 14 sacks, he recorded 6.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and three interceptions with LSU last year. The multi-faceted Cox can line up at numerous different positions.   

24. Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU (6'3'', 346)
Simply put, Shelvin is massive people-mover at the line of scrimmage who demands constant double-teams in the trenches. He has the size and strength to play in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defensive scheme and be a consistent anchor. A zero-technique position in a three-man front may be Shelvin's best role. His value is especially-high in short-yardage and goaline defensive situations.

25. Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina (6'4'', 205)
You just don't see many cover corners who look like wing players for the basketball team. Mukuamu is a talented and fascinating athlete. His seven career interceptions, with three of them coming in an upset win at Georgia in 2019, show how his potential can result in production. Given his size, Mukuamu will present his new defensive coordinator with several options.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports