If you're a diehard SEC football fan, you know how critical every position is. If you have a subpar tackles? Good luck with those defensive linemen and linebackers, right? Ineffective defensive backs? Good luck stopping the opposing wide receivers. There's very little room for error.
Every position is crucial.
So today, we take a look at the top quarterbacks in the SEC — and there are a bunch of them. Who are the guys who make the key pass, or take the hit but preserve the drive? And who holds their own when that defensive onslaught the SEC is known for comes?
HERO Sports will break down every position and let you know what we think. We realize we may have a backup listed here and there in the list below, but we think we have the top players at the position listed.
1. JALEN HURTS, SOPH. — ALABAMA
THE SKINNY: Hurts (6-1/215) has it all, and he proved it instantly. It's an impressive story, actually. Coming out of high school, Hurts wasn't even considered a Top 100 national prospect or even a Top 25 prospect in Texas by the 247Sports.com composite ranking. But in his first season he led the Crimson Tide to the national championship game with his arm and his wheels. He has quite the career ahead of him, and he'll hurt you many ways.
STATS: Hurts was just as effective in the run game as he was passing, rushing for 954 yards and 13 TDs, while passing for 2,780 yards and 23 TDs to only 9 INTs.
2. JACOB EASON, SOPH. — GEORGIA
THE SKINNY: Eason (6-5/215) will be in the same NFL Draft class with Hurts above, granted they actually stay for all four years (2020 draft class). Eason is actually rated slightly ahead of Hurts as far as being an NFL Draft pick (No. 4 vs. No. 6 QB by NFLDraftScout.com). One thing is for sure, this is going to be a fun rivalry to watch over the years. Eason is a polished pocket passes with all kinds of upside. Can you say, Matt Stafford?
STATS: In just his first season, he didn't disappoint, passing for 2,430 yards in 13 games, with 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions — even with a stellar running game.
3. DREW LOCK, JR. — MISSOURI
THE SKINNY: Lock (6-3/205) has been the stable factor in the offensive backfield for two seasons now, and he has two more to go. Any major step forward the Tigers take this fall will undoubtedly be because of their junior leader under center. The SEC is a grueling place, one that exposes an offense's flaws much like an NFL team would, but Lock has the ability to shake that off.
STATS: In two seasons, Lock has thrown for 4,731 yards and 27 TDs.
4. JARRETT STIDHAM, SOPH. — AUBURN
THE SKINNY: Stidham (6-2/215) is a very special quarterback, don't be fooled by the first couple of years of question marks — between the Baylor 2015 season and sitting out 2016 while attending a junior college. He kept himself sharp by adhering to a strict strength and conditioning system and also threw to receivers at a local high school. He went through spring ball and threw for 267 in the spring game and made quite the impression, but as we know, there's always competition for the QB position. Still, he is considered the No. 5 QB prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft.
STATS: Stidham transferred from Baylor to a junior college last year and is now in the SEC. In 2015 he threw for 1,265 yards and 12 TDs with only 2 INTs for Baylor.
5. AUSTIN ALLEN, SR. — ARKANSAS
THE SKINNY: Allen (6-1/210) has been in the Razorbacks program for several years now and he proved he has picked up the playbook with his impressive season a year ago. He'll be a senior this fall and will be a rock solid, experienced signal caller under center. Expect great things.
STATS: Allen had only played in six games before last year, but he exploded in 2016 with 3,430 passing yards and 25 TDs.
Is five not enough? Here's a look at the next best batch of great quarterbacks in the SEC:
|6||Nick Fitzgerald||Mississippi State||6'4"||225||Jr.|
|8||Jake Bentley||South Carolina||6'2"||225||Soph.|
|9||Shea Patterson||Ole Miss||6'1"||195||Soph.|