By: Robert Craft
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The SEC is known as a Line of Scrimmage League and the strength up front won’t decrease much in 2020.
These players have demonstrated what it takes to effectively run-block, pass protect, and fight like hell in the trenches.
There’s nothing as satisfying as watching mammoth individuals opening holes, or being that stone wall that cannot be penetrated, or my personal favorite, pancaking a defender as big as they are.
Here are my top five offensive linemen in the SEC for 2020.
- Landon Dickerson, Center/Guard, Alabama: Dickerson was a graduate transfer from Florida State, who had a breakout season in 2019 with the Crimson Tide.
He started all 13 games, four at guard and nine at center. His versatility allows him to play every position on the offensive line effectively. The six-foot-six, 318 pounder will help set the tone for the boys up front this fall.
- Darin Kinnard, Tackle, Kentucky: Kinnard is an old school masher at right tackle for the Wildcats.
The six-foot-seven, 340 pounder will join senior teammates Drake Jackson, Landon Young and Luke Fortner as four of the top ten returning lineman in the SEC.
Kinnard’s running blocking is on an elite level; he must improve his pass protection and hand placement. Kentucky has one of the top offensive lines in the SEC in 2020.
- Deonte Brown, Guard, Alabama: Brown is an absolute beast at every bit six-foot four, 340 pounds.
He grew up in the Auburn game against Derrick Brown as a true testament to his strength.
Deonte Brown is a smooth athlete who gets to his spots on time. If he is to grow, he must improve his pass protection, especially against quicker pass rushers.
Expect another strong season from Brown as the Crimson Tide looks to regain the SEC West title.
- Trey Smith, Guard, Tennessee: Smith is one the most seasoned offensive linemen in the SEC, with 31 career starts.
He played tackle in his freshman season and earned Freshman All American and second team All SEC honors. Smith moved to Guard last season and earned first team All SEC while battling blood clot issues. I won’t be surprised if he is on the short list for the Outland Trophy in 2020.
- Alex Leatherwood, Tackle, Alabama: If you haven’t noticed, The Crimson Tide will have the best offensive line in the SEC and arguably all of College football in 2020.
Alex Leatherwood will be the heart and soul of the Tide’s offensive line. Bama returns four starters from a line that allowed the fewest number of sacks in the SEC last season.
They were also fourth in the SEC in rushing offense. The six-foot-six, 310-pound Leatherwood allowed only two sacks in the past two seasons.
Leatherwood was also first team All SEC and many experts predict he’ll follow in the footsteps of Jonah Williams, a first round draft pick.
Just outside the Top 5: Cade Mays, Tennessee; Drake Jackson, Kentucky; Trey Hill and Ben Cleveland, Georgia; Austin Deculus, LSU; Steward Reese, Florida; Dylan Wannam, South Carolina.