Georgia is coming off their third National Championship in program history. Florida is looking to reload its program with an exciting head coach and quarterback. Tennessee has playmakers all over the field and an offense that can challenge any team in the country. Missouri is flying under the radar with some of the best young talent in the conference. There is seemingly no end to the prospects in this division. It is loaded with pro talent and high-priority targets for your leagues. In our second installment of the college football conference preview series, I examine the SEC East through a devy lens.
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia | 6’4″ 230 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Very few TEs in the country are featured playmakers in their offense. Even fewer have the athleticism Bowers possesses and are productive enough to be named on the Biletnikoff Award watch list. Bowers has a strong case to be the best TE in college football. He is my devy TE2 as of my latest update, and it’s truly a coin flip between him and Michael Mayer. His versatility makes him a nightmare for defenses, even in college football’s premier conference. He is big, strong, and fast and has rare ball skills. Bowers ran a verified 4.5 40 in high school with a 40-inch vertical, so we can be confident in the measurables. Bowers led Georgia in every major receiving category and likely will again this fall. The list of draftable TEs in devy is short, but Bowers is worth a selection in the second round of startups. I look forward to seeing how Georgia attacks defenses with Arik Gilbert in the mix as well.
Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida | 6’4″ 237 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
There is no player in college football who I am more excited to watch this season than Anthony Richardson. He is the 2023 QB3 and the only QB prospect in this class capable of entering the Young/Stroud tier. I look forward to seeing what he can do with a massive coaching upgrade. He is one of the nation’s most dynamic players, and we now have the opportunity to see that on full display. Richardson has all the tools that NFL scouts look for in a modern QB packed into a pro-ready frame. He looked ready for the big stage in Florida’s spring game, and all reports have been very positive this offseason. I see a much more confident, comfortable passer capable of being an exceptional prospect.
Luther Burden, WR, Missouri | 5’11” 210 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Short of Nick Singleton, no freshman is more exciting than Luther Burden for devy purposes. He is a force on the football field and dominated high school ball against some of the best teams in the country (34 TD as a senior). Burden is the most complete receiver prospect in this class and has a clear path to immediate impact. His size and strength make him more physically prepared to contribute as a freshman at Missouri. Being a difference maker on special teams should help get him involved early in his career, too. The high school and spring game films show a WR who plays with quick feet and runs with aggression. He will be a yards-after-catch monster from Day 1. After back-to-back strong recruiting classes, Missouri’s offense is flying under the radar, and it may revolve around Burden. When it comes to freshman wide receivers, it’s Burden and Evan Stewart. Then everyone else.
I’ve been thinking about it lately & I might be starting to consider Luther Burden as my #C2C supplemental 1.01— Cory P. (@FF_Guitarist) June 15, 2022
May not have eye-popping raw production at Mizzou but should produce in advanced metrics like MS%, DOM, YPTPA etc. Similar to Quentin Johnston #Devy
Spring game⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ySB2yOdgda
Kendall Milton, RB, Georgia | 6’1″ 220 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Kirby Smart has sent six of his Georgia RBs to the NFL, and Milton will soon add to that total. He will be the lead back for the Bulldogs this fall. Part of what I like about Milton is he should have plenty of tread on his tires. He only has 94 total touches in his college career. Milton might not be the flashiest RB prospect, but his film shows top-tier vision and great patience as a runner. Being a Georgia RB makes him a good bet to return fantasy value as a second-round pick in rookie drafts. Today, I project him as a late Day 2 NFL Draft pick.
Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee | 6’3″ 215 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️
One of the biggest risers in the devy community this summer has been Tillman. The Tennessee WR is coming off a breakout 1081-yard season as a junior. Along with his 6’3″ frame, he showcased excellent ball skills and hands. Another major strength is his ability to fight through contact to make the catch. Many in the community are hyping Tillman as a top 5 receiver in a stacked 2023 class. This is mostly just noise until next April because so much of Tillman’s stock will depend on his draft capital. One thing I love about his game is how well he adjusts positionally and uses his frame against defenders. I expect Tillman to produce at an elite level again as a senior and spark those annual film vs. analytics debates.
Cedric Tillman is a top-five wide receiver in the 2023 class. pic.twitter.com/2mv802hQfM— Christian Williams (@CWilliamsNFL) July 3, 2022
Jaheim Bell, TE, South Carolina | 6’3″ 232 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Twelve months ago, he wasn’t even on the devy radar, but now Bell is considered the 2023 TE2 by many across the industry. There will be varying opinions of Bell’s NFL outlook due to his atypical skillset, but there is no denying he is an offensive weapon. The league will need to get creative with how they utilize Bell for him to be most effective. His elite athleticism makes him a receiving threat at all three levels of the field. The biggest knock on Bell is his blocking ability, which has been below-average to this point. His skills in the passing game should make an impact immediately, though. He’s unlike any TE prospect we have seen in recent memory with his unique blend of explosiveness, physicality, and ability to stretch the field.
Adonai Mitchell, WR, Georgia | 6’4″ 190 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Georgia WRs are some of the most challenging players to evaluate in college football, but I feel great about Mitchell as an NFL prospect. He had made big plays in every opportunity given to him, most recently when he balled out in both College Football Playoff games as a true freshman. George Pickens speaks very highly of Mitchell, and there’s no reason to think he can’t follow in Pickens’ footsteps. The WR class in 2024 is a toss-up after Xavier Worthy, but Mitchell could emerge as another top target in this group. He runs crisp, explosive routes and contributed from Day 1 in an offense that is tough to crack.
STETSON BENNETT TO ADONAI MITCHELL 😱— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 11, 2022
GEORGIA (-150 ML) RETAKES THE LEADpic.twitter.com/YGOM07R0T7
Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee | 6’4″ 218 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I watched Hooker live early in the 2021 season before he gained traction as a breakout prospect, and he immediately looked like the most talented player on the field. His dual-threat ability is a constant concern for defenses, but he also showcased surprising arm talent. There are valid concerns about his age and the Heupel offense stunting his development, but Hooker is an exciting prospect with Round 1 potential in the NFL Draft. Think of a slightly less athletic Colin Kaepernick. With easy velocity, polished mechanics, and the ability to attack all three levels, Hooker is one of the best QBs in the SEC. He is one of my favorite Heisman darkhorse candidates.
Branson Robinson, RB, Georgia | 5’10” 220 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Let’s talk about yet another Georgia Bulldog. Robinson is one of the most polished, P5-ready RB prospects I have scouted. His vision and power as a high school player jump off the film, and now he will benefit from one of the best programs in college football. In addition to those traits, he already looks like an NFL bruiser with his 220-pound frame. Did I mention he also ran track? Robinson is not expected to produce in year one, but very few freshmen have better NFL profiles. It is an embarrassment of riches in Athens, and Robinson is their latest devy prospect.
Sam Horn, QB, Missouri | 6’4″ 205 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Missouri QB Horn is one of my favorite devy names to target in deep drafts. The four-star gunslinger has a live arm and will have an opportunity to play in year one if Brady Cook fails to run away with the starting job. Horn went 12-0 against some of the best teams in Georgia as a senior on his way to a state championship. Also a top baseball prospect, there was some concern that Horn would be drafted early in the MLB Draft this summer. That did not happen, and from what I am told by folks close to the program, his commitment to football may have impacted his stock a bit. Losing him to baseball is no longer a concern of mine at all. His personal QB coach recently tweeted that Horn is now up to 220 lbs in preparation for his freshman season. There is a lot to love about Horn and the offense being built at Missouri.
Montrell Johnson, RB, Florida | 5’11” 218 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️
THE impact transfer in the SEC East is Florida RB Johnson. Demarkcus Bowman transferred again, this time to UCF, clearing the way for Johnson to take on a lead role. He followed his head coach Billy Napier from Louisiana, where Johnson ran for 891 yards and 12 touchdowns as a true freshman. He was named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and showed elite speed. With NFL size and a path to being the RB1 on a run-first team, Johnson’s stock might explode this fall. I am even more obsessed with him in C2C leagues.
Demarkcus Bowman transferring again, now leaving Florida. This clears the way for RB Montrell Johnson. Followed his head coach Billy Napier from Louisiana. Sun Belt Freshman of the Year with great size and speed. 891 yards and 12 TD as a tFR. #Devy pic.twitter.com/AvsH6RljCv— Justin Hulsey (@FF_Hulsey) June 25, 2022
Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina | 6’1″ 215 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Seven months ago, Spencer Rattler was unanimously considered the 2022 QB1 and a potential number one overall draft pick. Then Caleb Williams happened. Not much has changed with Rattler, the pro prospect, though. He still possesses natural arm talent, a quick release, and a certain creativeness in the pocket that translates to today’s NFL. I like Rattler’s odds to bounce back. The situation in South Carolina is sneaky good with major additions via the transfer portal along with key returning skill position players. Rattler is out of excuses and now has a unique opportunity to re-invent himself in the SEC.
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky | 6’3″ 232 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This wouldn’t be an SEC East preview without mentioning mayonnaise boy. When Levis isn’t going viral for putting mayo in coffee, he is busy being one of the most polarizing prospects in the devy community. The Kentucky signal-caller played well in his first season since transferring from Penn State, posting a 2826-24-13 passing line. He is in the middle of a large second tier of 2023 QBs where someone will surely emerge, but there is so much unknown with each of them at the moment. Levis is toolsy but struggled at times against SEC competition. Now he is back for his senior season without his WR1, who was 99th percentile in target share. While I like the freshman WRs at Kentucky, it is a very inexperienced unit. My more significant concern is the lack of experience on the offensive line. Levis may be due for a dip in production.
During my twitter hiatus I did start to dive into the 2023 class, consider me all the way in on Will Levis.— Andrew Harbaugh (@MandrewNFL) May 4, 2022
The arm strength and the lack of fear make for an interesting combo of traits to say the least. pic.twitter.com/WRohD2XQ5L
Marshawn Lloyd, RB, South Carolina | 5’9″ 212 lbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The final prospect worth mentioning is South Carolina, RB Lloyd. He finally seems to be healthy and has a massive opportunity in a much-improved offense. Lloyd’s quickness and receiving ability were on full display when he balled out in the team’s spring game. More importantly, he is free in devy leagues right now. Kevin Harris and ZaQuandre White have departed for the NFL, opening up a ton of work for Lloyd.
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