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Will Anderson Jr. is the 2021 Southeastern 14 SEC Football Defensive Player of the Year

 Chris Lee   in Football

The SEC was loaded with elite defenders this year; Alabama's Will Anderson was the best and we also rank the rest. 

Will Anderson Jr. photo courtesy of the University of Alabama.

1. Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama: 31 stops for loss and 17.5 tackles and there's no telling where the 'Bama defense would have been without him.

2. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia: His stats didn't pop the way Anderson's did (10.5 stops for loss, six sacks) but certainly passed the eye test, and then some.

3. Sam Williams, edge, Ole Miss: 12.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and was right up there with Anderson as the guy his defense couldn't have done without. 

4. Lewis Cine, S, GeorgiaThe Defensive MVP of the CFP title game led Georgia with nine break-ups and really packs a punch when he hits. 

5. Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia: Was the Bulldogs' highest-graded defensive lineman, according to

6. Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia: No player in the country had a bigger reputation, but he only played 37% of the Bulldogs' snaps.

7. Nolan Smith, edge, Georgia: Was a real force off the edge, as his nine stops for loss and 27 hurries showed.

8. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama: PFF graded him higher than Anderson; returned two of his three picks for scores.

9. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn: PFF's highest-graded corner in the country; was incredibly consistent his past three seasons.

10. Josh Paschal, edge, Kentucky: His 15.5 stops for los tied for second in the league even though he missed the bowl game.  

11. Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia: Led the Bulldogs (and tied for third in the SEC) with four picks.

12. DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M: Durable defender led a great Aggie defense with 12.5 stops for loss and 8.5 sacks. 

13. Kingsley Enagbare, DL, South Carolina: Potential '22 first-rounder whom PFF graded well as a pass-rusher even though the numbers (2.5 sacks, 10 hurries) didn't always show it. 

14. Jaylan Foster, S, South Carolina: Tied for the league lead with five picks; add in two forced fumbles, and no SEC player caused more turnovers than Foster.