May 11, 2016
When it comes to top-notch defensive players, the Southeastern Conference is loaded with them, and it seems like the Tennessee football team must battle against the majority of them in 2016.
Ranking the top five is an extremely difficult chore with all the talent in the SEC on that side of the ball, and you know any time a Missouri defensive lineman or Georgia defender failed to make the list that it’s a strong year in the league.
Not even anybody on Virginia Tech legendary defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s unit made this list, and you know the Hokies always have stellar defensive playmakers.
The Volunteers are just glad they don’t have to go up against Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Cameron Sutton and Derek Barnett. At least they’re on the right side of the ball.
But that won’t keep there from being studs the Vols must deal with each week. Rival Alabama is absolutely loaded with defensive studs, even after a season where the Crimson Tide placed several of their national championship defense in the NFL. A couple of those guys made the list.
Florida has its annual recipient of “Player Who Is Most Likely to Give Tennessee Fits.” And that isn’t even counting the top-ranked player on this list, who may just be the top overall pro prospect in the nation.
Yes, UT has a slew of stars for offensive coordinator Mike DeBord to game-plan against this year. Let’s rank the top five defenders the Vols will face, taking into consideration their collegiate production, pro prospects and overall leadership makeup, and big-game swagger.