College football is almost here! At the beginning of August we compiled our list of the top 50 college football players in the country for 2017. Now it’s time to break things own by conference, starting with the SEC.
For this list we combined our assessment of each player’s pure talent and our expectations for how they will perform this season. So being an NFL prospect is part of the consideration, as are their projected numbers.
Here’s our list of the top 10 college football players in the SEC for 2017:
10. Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
Bret Bielema loves to run the football. Preseason All-American Frank Ragnow loves to facilitate that activity. A second team All-SEC pick as a junior in 2016, Ragnow is on a ton of preseason All-America lists entering his senior season. It’s well-deserved. The 6’5″ 317-pound Minnesota native will play on Sundays after one final go-around in Fayetteville.
9. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
One byproduct of the Crimson Tide’s revolving door on defense is the difficulty for some players to build up eye-popping numbers. So Rashaan Evans’ 53 tackles in two years don’t seem impressive, but the tape tells a different tale. The versatile 6’3″ 231-pounder had a career-high 11 tackles against Clemson in the national title game as a sophomore in 2016. The junior’s size, speed, instincts and versatility should make NFL coordinators salivate.
8. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Showed signs of regression last season, but Nick Chubb has one final NFL audition. Another year of 5.0 yards per carry isn’t going to cut it. As a junior in 2016, he rushed for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns. He’ll need to be better as a senior, but at 5’10” and 228 pounds with 19 100-yard rushing games in his career, pro scouts are hoping he rebounds.
7. Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The next in a long line of stellar Crimson Tide interior defensive linemen, junior Da'Ron Payne is a former five-star recruit and is poised to dominate on the interior. At 6’2″ and 319 pounds, the Birmingham native has the size, quickness and athleticism to develop into a first-round pick.
6. Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama
At 6’2″ and 235 pounds, Bo Scarbrough is a bruising back who punishes defenders. He ran for 812 yards on 125 carries (6.5 ypc) and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. He’s in line for far more carries as a junior as Alabama’s primary ball-carrier.