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 tight ends in the SEC — and there are a bunch of them. Who are the guys who make the key block, catch that first down pass over the middle? 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. DEANDRE GOOLSBY, SR. — FLORIDA
THE SKINNY: Ivey (6-5/305) spent the past two seasons starting at left guard, which may end up being his position in the NFL one day — who knows? But for now? He's made the switch this spring to the all-important blindside left tackle spot. This Apopka, Fla. native was well-known through recruiting and hasn't disappointed. Last year he was a two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and received all-SEC honors from several media outlets. He has a very bright future ahead of him and could easily end up going pro after this season.
STATS: Goolsby has caught 55 passes for 619 yards and 4 TDs the past two seasons.
2. C.J. CONRAD, JR. — KENTUCKY
THE SKINNY: Conrad (6-5/250) is a great example of the hybrid kind of tight end that has emerged in the past decade in the professional and college ranks. If he gets into the perfect pro system one day, he could end up being as much a pass target as a blocker — but he can do both well. And he's in a great situation at Kentucky with two years to go.
STATS: Conrad had caught 34 passes for 411 yards and 5 TDs in two seasons.
3. HAYDEN HURST, JR. — SOUTH CAROLINA
THE SKINNY: Hurst will be 24 years old when the season kicks off, as he is a former minor league baseball player who came back to play college football as a walk on. Now he'll likely get a chance to try to make an NFL roster in 2019, but first things first — he'll continue to build upon the incredible start he's had to his career. With two years left and with him already picking up preseason All SEC honors with some media entities, look for Hurst to continue to ascend in the eyes of NFL scouts.
STATS: Has caught 56 passes for 722 yards and 1 TD in two seasons.
4. JEB BLAZEVICH, SR. — GEORGIA
THE SKINNY: With the emergence of Isaac Nauta last season and a bevy of talented tight ends on Georgia's roster, Blazevich (6-5/250) may not have gotten 95 percent of the reps, but NFL scouts still love him. He can catch the ball, has decent 4.7-second range speed, and he can block. He's a well-rounded prospect and will also be an integral part of the Bulldogs offense — sharing time with Nauta.
STATS: Has caught 39 passes for 482 yards and 3 TDs the past three seasons.
5. ETHAN WOLF, SR. — TENNESSEE
THE SKINNY: Wolf (6-6/245) has been a consistent cog in the Tennessee offense for years, and one would think he'll explode in his final year. There's no question this guy will be mentioned when the 2018 NFL Draft comes around, as he has proven to be a great receiving target and a solid blocker. Keep an eye on Wolf.
STATS: Wolf has caught 67 passes for 740 yards and 4 TDs.
Is five not enough? Here's a look at the next best batch of great offensive tackles in the SEC: