For the second straight season, LSU had the most players of any school to leave early for the NFL Draft. Now that underclassmen have officially declared, its time to start looking at who is going to fill their spots. ESPN put together a list of the players in the SEC that will be stepping up next year in new roles, and here is what they had to say about the LSU players: WR Odell Beckham Jr.
quote:WR Jarvis Landry
The replacement: Travin Dural. One of the most dynamic athletes in the country, Beckham's value as a return man and wideout cannot be understated. Speedster Dural played a limited role as a freshman (7-145, 2 TDs), but flashed some impressive playmaking skills when he combined with Anthony Jennings for a 49-yard, game-winning touchdown catch in the closing minutes against Arkansas.
quote:RB Jeremy Hill
The replacement: Quantavius Leslie. The third-down security blanket for LSU's quarterbacks, Landry (77-1,193, 10 TDs) was one of the most clutch wideouts in the league. Juco transfer Leslie barely played in 2013, so he's hardly a lock here. If the Tigers secure a commitment from Malachi Dupre -- ESPN's No. 1 receiver and No. 17 overall prospect for 2014 -- he could also make an immediate impact.
quote:DT Anthony Johnson
The replacement: Leonard Fournette. When available, Hill was one of the most productive backs in the nation. He had his share of off-field issues, which superprospect Fournette would do well to avoid. Recruiting analysts say Fournette is the closest thing to Adrian Peterson they’ve seen since the former Oklahoma star entered college, so he will almost certainly play early and play often. The Tigers also have veterans Terrance Magee (626 yards, 8 TDs) and Kenny Hilliard (310 yards, 7 TDs) to alleviate some of the pressure on the freshman.
quote:DT Ego Ferguson
The replacement: Christian LaCouture. The Nebraskan was a key reserve on LSU's 2013 defensive line as a true freshman. LaCouture (11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss) needs to make huge strides between now and August, however, in order to solidify the middle of a line that lost both starters (Johnson and Ego Ferguson) to early entry into the draft.
quote:OG Trai Turner
The replacement: Quentin Thomas. Thomas (9 tackles, 0.5 tackles for a loss) started against Iowa in the Outback Bowl when Ferguson didn't make the trip, so he might be the favorite here for now. Filling the holes left by Johnson and Ferguson in the center of the line will be one of the big keys when LSU opens spring practice.
quote:RB Alfred Blue
The replacement: Fehoko Fanaika. Redshirt sophomore Turner made one of the stranger early entry decisions in the league, opening the door for former junior college transfer Fanaika to possibly fill the lone opening on the offensive line at right guard.
quote: Complete Story
The replacement: See Jeremy Hill. The NCAA granted Blue a fifth year of eligibility following a season-ending knee injury in 2012, but he opted not to use it after rarely playing a leading role in LSU's backfield.