Reading through the 2018 ALL-SEC prognostications and found many of the lists lacking. The lists are a combination of trendy picks mixed in with safe bets. The best example of a trendy pick is Tua Tagovailoa being selected by many as 1st Team QB despite only playing one half of football. The logic I used in determining my All-SEC team for 2018 is the players opposing coaches do not want to line up across from on Saturday.
QB – Jake Fromm – Georgia – Ask any NFL coach the quarterback that scares them the most and the answer is not Cam Newton it is Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady. The quarterback that knows where everyone on the field is going to be at all times and that can mentally pick you apart gives defensive coordinators nightmares. With another year under his belt Fromm will be the best in the SEC at dissecting opposing defenses.
RB – Najee Harris – Alabama
RB – D’Andre Swift – Georgia – When given opportunities as a true freshmen Swift emerged as one of the most explosive playmakers in the SEC. He is powerfully built back with a low center of gravity that allows him to bounce off tackles and the speed to run away from opposing defenders. Add in his dynamic make you miss ability and Swift is poised for a monster year.
WR – A.J. Brown – Ole Miss
WR – Jerry Jeudy – Alabama
TE – Albert Okwuegbunam – Missouri
OT – Andrew Thomas – Georgia – Thomas was a stud as true freshmen. He was reliable in pass protection and occasionally flat out mauled opposing defenders in the run game. With another year in the conditioning program and his raw natural tools and there may not be a better offensive lineman in the SEC.
OT – Greg Little – Ole Miss
OG – Trey Smith – Tennessee
OG – Ben Cleveland – Georgia – When the Dawgs inserted Ben Cleveland into the starting lineup in 2017 the offensive line went from good to near great. The Dawgs averaged 8.7 YPC against Kentucky, 5.7 vs. Tech, 5.8 vs. Auburn, 9.3 against Oklahoma and ran for 133 yards against the Crimson Tide after Cleveland’s insertion into the lineup. A more confident Cleveland in 2018 may be the baddest man in the conference along the offensive line.
C – Ross Pierschbacher – Alabama
DE – Jonathan Ledbetter – Georgia – The light bulb really started to come on for Ledbetter in the end of 2017. He has always been stout at the point of attack but his ability to convert from playing the run to rushing the passer became evident toward the end of last season. Ledbetter doesn’t get much hype but is a well rounded player who will make his fair share of splash plays in 2018.
DE – Montez Sweat – Mississippi State
DT – Raekwon Davis – Alabama
DT – Derrick Brown – Auburn
LB – Devin White – LSU
LB – Dylan Moses – Alabama
LB – De’Jon Harris – Arkansas
CB – Deandre Baker – Georgia – Minkah Fitzpatrick got all of the publicity last season but Deandre Baker was quietly the best cornerback in the SEC. The Miami native is a gamer who routinely blankets opposing receivers making them miserable. He has the kind of swagger it takes to be a shutdown corner in the SEC.
CB – Greedy Williams – LSU
FS – Richard LeCounte, III – Georgia – No player flys further under the radar in the SEC than Richard LeCounte. The former 5-star recruit spent 2017 learning behind Dominick Sanders and is poised to explode onto the national scene in 2018. He may not have ideal measurables but the young man can flat out play football. I’m on records as saying he has a little bit of that Honey Badger in him.
SS – Mike Edwards – Kentucky
K – Rodrigo Blankenship – Georgia
P – Corey Fatony – Missouri
KR/PR – Mecole Hardman, Jr. – Hardman is an electric athlete and add that with the confidence that he gained last season Hardman is poised to be a monster weapon for the Dawgs on special teams. There will be at least one punt taken back to the house by Hardman during his junior season.