Conference Preview: SEC: Forever Young

Conference Preview: SEC: Forever Young

This article is part of our Conference Preview series.

SEC Preview: Forever Young

All-SEC 1st Team

QB: Bryce Young, Alabama (9)

RB: Kevin Harris, South Carolina (6)

RB: Tank Bigsby, Auburn (22)

WR: Kayshon Boutte, LSU (4)

WR: John Metchie, Alabama (12)

TE: Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M (9)

All-SEC 2nd Team

QB: Emory Jones, Florida (27)

RB: Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M (12)

RB: Trelon Smith, Arkansas (18)

WR: Treylon Burks, Arkansas (20)

WR: Braylon Sanders, Mississippi (21)

TE: Keon Zipperer, Florida (35)

All-SEC 3rd Team

QB: Matt Corral, Mississippi (2)

RB: Jerrion Ealy, Mississippi (33)

RB: Ainias Smith, Texas A&M (45)

WR: Jaden Walley, Mississippi State (52)

WR: Wan'Dale Robinson, Kentucky (56)

TE: Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama (37)

Sleepers

Will Rogers, QB, Mississippi State

The Air Raid attack of coach Mike Leach will always make the quarterback valuable in fantasy circles, and Rogers played well down the stretch of the 2020 campaign.  In the final five games of the season, he threw for 1,440 yards and nine touchdowns.  He completed an impressive 67-percent of his passes over that span.  While Rogers does not bring much to the table in terms of running the ball, he will still be tasked with spraying the ball around the field in this potent offense.  He also developed a nice rapport with returning wideout Jaden Walley last season, who crossed the 100-yard mark in four of the final five contests of the season.

Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

Badie has been largely the receiving complement to Larry Rountree over the last few seasons, but Badie gets the backfield all to himself in 2021.  Badie averaged a career-best 5.0 yards per tote as a junior despite limited carries.  He caught at least 25 passes out of the backfield for the second-consecutive season, and has 16 total touchdowns from scrimmage in his Mizzou career.  Badie is now the unquestioned leading rusher for the 2021 campaign, meaning there is no reason he should not receive a similar workload as his predecessor Rountree of 20+ touches per contest.

Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama

For the first time in recent memory, the Alabama backfield is not being hyped.  A position that has churned out monstrous performers like Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Najee Harris and Damien Harris will be led in 2021 by Robinson, who has played second (or third) fiddle during his time with the Tide.  We know Alabama's offensive line will remain elite, and Robinson averaged 5.3 yards per tote and scored six times on the ground last season despite limited work.  If Robinson even approaches 150 carries this season, there's little reason to doubt he can achieve 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns on the ground.

Re'Mahn Davis, RB, Vanderbilt

Davis rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman at Temple in 2019, then racked up 385 yards through four games before opting out of the remainder of the season.  With Jamauri Wakefield graduating and Keyon Henry-Brooks in the transfer portal, Davis should step right into significant carries right out of the gate for the Commodores.  Ja'Veon Marlow remains in the fold, but has received limited run during his prior seasons at Vandy.  The Commodores may finally have some stability at quarterback with Ken Seals under center, and the receiving corps should be decent enough, so Davis may even have some red zone opportunities.

Justin Shorter, WR, Florida

Shorter played a part-time role in 2020 in a high-octane Florida offense, snagging 25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.  The Gators lost a plethora of talent at the skill positions, though, as Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney were first-round picks and Trevon Grimes also took his talents to the NFL.  Along with Jacob Copeland, Shorter will have the monumental task of attempting to replace the standout production of Toney, Grimes and Pitts.  Shorter is a big target at 6-foot-5, 225-lbs, and should prove a red zone threat.  The opportunities should be plentiful for Shorter as new quarterback Emory Jones takes the reins for the Gators.

Busts

KJ Jefferson, QB, Arkansas  

There's a lot to like about the Arkansas offense heading into the 2021 campaign.  Trelon Smith showed shiftiness and explosiveness in the running and passing game during Rakeem Boyd's injury-plagued final season with the squad, and Smith returns as the undisputed bell cow this season.  Jefferson will have a bona fide No. 1 receiver in the form of Treylon Burks as well; only Alabama's John Metchie returns with more yardage from a season ago.  Still, Jefferson is inexperienced, with basically one game under his belt, an impressive win in a shootout at Mizzou last season.  Unfortunately, not every game will be against a porous defense like the one the Tigers possessed in 2020.  Jefferson has the chance to be special as a dual-threat option in a much-improved Arkansas offense, but there could be some growing pains, especially when the schedule features matchups on the road against Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

Bo Nix, QB, Auburn

This could be the last hurrah for Nix.  He should start for Auburn for the third-straight year to begin the 2021 campaign, but there's a new coach at Auburn in the form of Bryan Harsin, and Nix hasn't exactly lit the world ablaze during his first two seasons with the Tigers.  Though his completion percentage improved slightly as a sophomore, Nix still completed under 60-percent of his throws for under 2,500 yards.  He had just one 300-yard passing game to his credit last season, while posting a pedestrian 12:7 TD:INT.  Nix has some dual-threat ability, as he rushed for over 300 yards and seven touchdowns for the second-straight season, but is far from a game-breaker with his legs.  It will be interesting to see how Harsin handles the quarterback position if Nix continues to be mediocre, as he did not recruit Nix and has highly touted freshman Dematrius Davis waiting in the wings.

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

Hooker transferred to Tennessee from Virginia Tech and his competition for the starting job is rather thin.  Jarrett Guarantano and JT Shrout both transferred out, leaving Joe Milton, Harrison Bailey and Brian Maurer as competition.  Hooker is a dual-threat quarterback who ran for 620 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, but struggled passing the ball downfield.  He averaged just 8.9 yards per attempt, tossed nine touchdowns as compared to five picks and was shuffled back and forth from the bench.  Hooker gets a fresh start at Tennessee, through the Vols continue to lag behind most of their SEC counterparts, which could make Hooker's job difficult, and his production rather unreliable.

Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU

Coach Ed Orgeron is waiting for one of his formerly highly touted backs to take charge of the backfield, but thus far that has not happened for the Tigers.  Davis-Price was the leading rusher for the Tigers in 2020, though he essentially split carries with classmate John Emery.  While Davis-Price did have two 100-yard outputs to his credit last season along with three touchdowns on the ground, he managed just 4.3 yards per carry and finished with just 446 rushing yards.  Davis-Price also has yet to prove his capabilities as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, as he snagged just eight passes for 47 yards in nine games played in 2020.  The aforementioned Emery was equally mediocre in a disappointing season for the Tigers, though, so the timeshare is likely to continue to begin the 2021 campaign.

Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia

What can we expect from Burton, perhaps the de facto No. 1 wide receiver for the Bulldogs due to the ACL injury to George Pickens?  Burton had a monstrous game against Mississippi State late last season, hauling in eight passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.  Otherwise, his numbers were rather pedestrian, though he was just a freshman, and the Bulldogs did not have clarity at the quarterback position until JT Daniels firmly took hold of the offense.  An added wrinkle is that Kearis Jackson also returns, while LSU transfer Arik Gilbert gives the Bulldogs another talented target, particularly in the red zone.  It could be boom or bust for Burton.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jesse Siegel
Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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