There are too many.
I mean it, there are too many to choose from.
This used to be easy. These days it is difficult.
In fact, I could put together a list of the 25 best players in the SEC and not include anyone ON THIS LIST, and you probably would nod your head in agreement (with the possible exception of a certain quarterback whose name you learned how to pronounce last season).
This league is ridiculously stacked, even more so than normal. The best players keep flocking to the SEC like Kardashians to silicone.
Usually in the summer, we give you our top 25 SEC players one-by-one leading up to SEC Media Days. This year, we have a different project, which will start Thursday at Gatorsports.com, and hopefully you will enjoy it.
But my penchant for lists and rankings makes it impossible to go another day without giving you my Top 25. Don’t @me. There are a lot of great players not on this list.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama quarterback — OK, so he was benched in the SEC title game. The guy is still the straw that stirs this conference and could well be the first player taken in the 2020 NFL draft.
2. Andrew Thomas, Georgia offensive lineman — One reason there is optimism in Athens is an offensive line that could be special. We already know Thomas is.
3. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver — There is not a better big-play guy in the league or maybe the country. Darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate.
4. Grant Delpit, LSU safety — Nose for the ball may be a cliche, but Delpit had three SEC games with double-digit tackles last year.
5. Derrick Brown, Auburn defensive lineman — It was a bit of a surprise that he returned for his senior year after starting the previous three. We’re about to find out why, a big season could make him a top-10 NFL pick.
6. Jake Fromm, Georgia QB — You get the feeling Fromm may be on the verge of a Heisman-like season. OK, I get that feeling.
7. Raekwon Davis, Alabama DL — He didn’t have the kind of dominant junior year that was expected, so he’s back to give it another shot with a chip on his shoulder.
8. CJ Henderson, Florida defensive back — The only thing that will keep his stats from being All-America worthy is that nobody is going to want to throw his way.
9. Dylan Mises, Alabama linebacker — Heat-seeking missile and a freak athlete. The latest in a long line of standout Tide linebackers.
10. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt running back — Maybe I have him too high, but I think he’s as explosive as any running back in the league.
11. Kristian Fulton, LSU DB — If he comes back from foot surgery 100 percent, watch out.
12. Najee Harris, Alabama RB — He averaged 6.7 yards per carry last year and figures to get more of the load in 2019.
13. Albert Okwuegnunam, Missouri tight end — Talk about a guy with untapped potential. Expect it to be tapped this season.
14. Lynn Bowden, Kentucky WR — He had 67 catches last year, 24 of them in his last five games. Love his athleticism.
15. D.J Wonnum, South Carolina DL — Injuries held him back last season. If he can stay healthy, could be dominant.
16. Nick Poe, Auburn DL — The NFL loves this guy and his seven sacks last year show he can be productive.
17. Feleipe Franks, Florida QB — I’ll say it one more time. Last year he took a big step. If he takes another one, Florida has a chance for a special year.
18. Anfernee Jennings, Alabama LB — If his knee is OK, he’s one of those SEC freaks who is big, strong and fast.
19. DeMarkus Acy, Missouri DB — He played his best football against Mizzou’s best opponents.
20. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M QB — He is either way too high or way too low. Jimbo Fisher has a way with quarterbacks, but is he consistent enough?
21. Jabari Zuniga, Florida DL — He was overshadowed by Jachai Polite last year, but was a major impact player. This is his turn.
22. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt TE — He put up great numbers in 2018, including the most catches by a Vandy tight end in 34 years.
23. Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU OL — After two years as the starting center for the Tigers, he may be the key to getting them over the hump.
24. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina, DL — Another guy who had a decision to make and decided to return. There’s a pattern here.
25. Rashard Lawrence, LSU DL — Stats may not be overwhelming, but he’s the force in the middle every team needs.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.