8 Best SEC Draft Prospects For The 2016 NFL Draft

The SEC didn’t have a team in the national championship game for the first time in nine years, but the conference still produced more draft picks than anyone else this year. Who will be the top draft picks from the SEC next year?

8) QB Jeremy Johnson – Auburn 

“Like Nick Marshall, but bigger and better” is how one scout described Johnson, who completed 28 of 37 passes in 2014 with three touchdowns and no interceptions in mop-up duty this year. The Tigers will be a better team in 2015, and very few of their offensive weapons are graduating or leaving for the NFL. Gus Malzahn’s offensive scheme will ensure Johnson has the opportunity to put up Heisman-caliber numbers, and he’ll give Auburn a potent passing attack to go along with their dominant ground game.

7) WR Pharoh Cooper – South Carolina

Cooper was one of the only bright spots in a disappointing season for the Gamecocks in 2014. He’s a versatile threat that showed he can be an elite wideout (1,136 yards, nine touchdowns) that also makes plays in the running game (200 yards, two touchdowns) and can even throw the ball (5/8, 78 yards, 2 touchdowns).

With quarterback Dylan Thompson and running back Mike Davis gone, South Carolina’s offense will give Cooper as many touches as possible, turning him into a star on the national stage.

6) RB Derrick Henry - Alabama

Henry averaged 5.8 yards per carry while running for 990 yards with 11 touchdowns, and he should be in store for a huge season in 2015 with T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper in the NFL. However, scouts are more intrigued by his elite combination of size (6’3″, 241 lbs.), power, and speed.

5) WR Laquon Treadwell - Ole Miss

Treadwell is the only receiver that has preseason Heisman odds in Vegas, and he would be higher on our list if he wasn’t trying to come back from that horrific leg injury he suffered against Auburn. Ole Miss will have a new quarterback with Bo Wallace graduating, and Treadwell will provide a big security blanket for whoever wins the job.

4) CB Vernon Hargreaves III - Florida

Hargreaves is one of the best cover corners in the country, and he’s also good enough to make an impact stopping the run. He had 13 pass break-ups for the Gators as a sophomore and should be dominant again as a junior in 2015. Hargreaves would be a first-round draft pick if he was eligible this year, and ultimately will be whenever he declares.

3) WR D’Haquille Williams, Auburn

Williams decided to hold off on declaring for the NFL Draft for another season (Mel Kiper has him as the top-ranked receiver for the 2016 draft) much to the delight of Auburn fans. He’s a big receiver (6’2″, 216 pounds) that is a lethal deep threat, averaging over 16 yards a catch in 2014. Now that Jeremy Johnson is taking over the quarterback job, Auburn will start throwing the ball more, and Williams could see an Amari Cooper-like amount of targets in 2015.

2) DE Robert Nkemdiche - Ole Miss

Nkemdiche offers the versatility to play multiple spots along the defensive line, and the talent, strength, and speed to provide a solid pass-rush no matter where he lines up. The former No. 1 overall recruit has excellent size at 6-4 297 and will demand a double team from day one in the NFL.

1) OT Laremy Tunsil - Ole Miss15581261-mmmain

The top left tackle in college football has cornerstone quarterback protector written all over him because of his incredible strength, agility, and quick feet. The only concern that could keep Tunsil out of the top five would be re-injuring the ankle injury he suffered in the Peach Bowl.

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Related Topics: SEC Football Draft Prospects, SEC Football