The 2017 regular season is finished, and so is conference championship week. Georgia came out of the smoke as the best team in the vaunted SEC after whooping Auburn in Atlanta.
But this isn’t about the best individual team. I’m here to deliver the best possible starting eleven on offense, defense, and the best special team guys.
I’m just being honest, but this team could coast to an SEC and National Championship, not trying to brag or anything.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the (real) All-SEC team!
The offense will be a typical modern offense – 1 quarterback, 1 running back, 3 receivers, and a tight end.
Quarterback – Drew Lock
Drew Lock broke the SEC single season record for touchdown passes. He also leads the conference in passing yards. It helps that Lock’s primary competition in the SEC’s arms race, Shea Patterson, was injured against LSU. Nonetheless, Lock had a phenomenal season, and he was the easy choice here.
Running Back – Kerryon Johnson
Kerryon led the SEC in rushing yards as he led Auburn to the SEC West crown. Unfortunately, he was injured in the Iron Bowl, which nullified his effectiveness in the SEC Championship game. In a league stacked with talented running backs, Kerryon carried the torch in 2017.
Wide Receiver – A.J. Brown
A.J. Brown may be the best receiver in the country, and he is just a sophomore. He broke or tied the following Ole Miss records: Single game receiving yards, single game receptions, single-season yards, and single season touchdowns. Most of the records were owned by Laquon Treadwell – There is just something about Ole Miss receivers wearing the number 1 jersey. A.J led the SEC in reception yards and tied for the most touchdown receptions.
Wide Receiver – J’Mon Moore
Moore led the prolific Missouri passing attack in receptions and yards, while coming in second in touchdowns. At 6 feet 3 inches tall, Moore is a beast on the outside and an easy choice.
Wide Receiver – Calvin Ridley
I would have incited a riot if I didn’t include Ridley. He was third in the conference when it comes to receiving yards on a team that prefers to run the ball and has a quarterback who struggles passing the football at times.
*If I was a defensive coordinator coaching against this set of receivers, I would resign before the game.
Tight End – Albert Okwuegbunam
Yes, I snubbed Hayden Hurst. While Hurst had more yards, Okwuegbunam tied A.J. Brown for the most touchdown receptions in the league. He caught 25 passes, and eleven went for touchdowns, which is a 44% touchdown rate! Albert is a problem for defenses in the red zone and would be the perfect compliment to the rest of this receiving core. Sorry not sorry, Hayden Hurst. It’s not personal.
Left Tackle – Greg Little
Little is going to be an early first-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He anchored the left side of the Ole Miss offensive line phenomenally. In my opinion, Little is already the best in the conference, and he has only just started to scrape the surface of his potential.
Left Guard – Will Clapp
Clapp plays center for LSU, but I have zero doubt he would dominate at guard. Plus, I’m trying to build the best possible offensive line, so I will do that and figure out the particulars later.
Center – Frank Ragnow
Oh, come on, this is easy. Arkansas fans had season schedules with Ragnow’s picture hanging above the toilets in their bathrooms. You know how good a center has to be for that to happen? Also, maybe that says a lot about Arkansas as a team.
Right Guard – Trey Smith
Smith is an absolute monster that will probably move to Left Tackle before his career is over. Regardless, he is the easy choice to me at right tackle. He dominated in the SEC as a Freshman!
Right Tackle – Martinas Rankin
I don’t have much to say here. Rankin’s experience is just a personal preference. If you want to argue other guys, let’s do it! Plus, Rankin has appeared in the first round of some Mock Drafts.
On defense, we will go with a 3-4 defense because, frankly, I prefer the 3-4 defense. Sue me.
Left Defensive End – Jefferey Simmons
Simmons is a freak, plain and simple. He can play anywhere on the defensive line, which makes him the perfect lineman. Also, he consistently blocks punts. Simmons is the guy you have to employ the Sunshine strategy against – just knock him out with a pass right to the helmet.
Defensive Tackle – Raekwon Davis
Insert unstoppable Bionic Alabama Defensive Tackle number 198347225 here. Davis is a certified freight train in the middle of the defensive line. What more could you ask for?
Right Defensive End – Breeland Speaks
Call me a homer, fine, but I saw something in Breeland Speaks when he moved to defensive end. Speaks can effectively pass rush from both the inside and outside, and he is no slouch against the run. Speaks was an outright beast once moved to defensive end. In the Egg Bowl, he feasted on Martinas Rankin, who also made this team. Speaks offers insane versatility.
Left OLB – Arden Key
Arden Key kind of speaks for himself. Do I need to say more?
Middle Linebackers – Roquan Smith and Devin White
Smith and White were unequivocally the best, most consistent inside linebackers in the SEC. Others on, say, Alabama could have made a case, but they could not stay healthy. Advantage Smith and White, which sounds like a great law firm, doesn’t it?
Right OLB – Montez Sweat
Sweat typically plays defensive end for Mississippi State, but they played multiple fronts throughout the 2017 season. His pure skill in pass-rush made this a no-brainer for me. He led the SEC in sacks.
Corners – Andraez Williams, Levi Wallace
Andraez “Greedy” Williams has a claim for being the best corner in the entire country. On the other hand, Wallace is a former walk-on who started on the vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide defense. Give me the freak in Andraez Williams and insanely hard-working Levi Wallace combination any day of the week.
Safeties – Minkah Fitzpatrick, J.R. Reed
Fizpatrick is (probably) the best defensive player in the entire conference, need I say more? As for Reed, he transferred in from Tulsa and promptly became one of the Bulldogs best, most consistent performers on the defensive side of the ball.
1 kicker, 1 punter, kick-and-punt-return men.
Kicker – Daniel Carlson
He has the nickname “Legatron” for a reason.
Punter – Johnnie Townsend
Townsend owns two Florida records that no coach ever really wants his team to break – most punts in a season and most career punts. Anyways, Townsend averaged a cool 47.5 yards per punt.
Kick Returner – Deebo Samuel
In 2017, Deebo Samuel returned two kicks. Both kicks were returned for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Samuel was injured early in the season, which prevented further fireworks.
Punt Returner – Christian Kirk
Ha, I managed to sneak two of the most explosive receivers in the country on the team as returners- Deebo Samuel and Christian Kirk. Kirk had a punt return touchdown in 2017.