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SEC East: Who Will Replace The Departing Talent?

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Caption: Missouri Tigers RB Russell Hansbrough (32) runs against Auburn Tigers DT Montravius Adams (1) during the first quarter of the 2013 SEC Championship game.


The SEC accounted for 29 out of 98 early entries into the NFL Draft this year. There are some great players that will be missed by their formal schools, but ESPN gave us a list of potential replacements for the job. Here are a few from the list:

Leaving: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
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The replacement: Gerald Dixon. Clowney is a once-in-a-decade talent at defensive end -- he's the No. 1 overall draft prospect according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. and ESPN Scouts Inc. -- so expecting Dixon (17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss in 2013) to fill his void is unreasonable. He was a key reserve by the end of the 2013 season and is the only defensive end on the roster physically ready to be an every-down player right now, and the Gamecocks expect Dixon to grab a starting job in the fall.
Leaving: Tennessee OT Antonio Richardson
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The replacement: Dontavius Blair. Richardson's left tackle spot is only one opening on a Tennessee offensive line that will be mighty young in 2014. That was a strength of the team over the past two seasons, but will be perhaps the biggest question entering spring practice. Butch Jones' staff is depending on Garden City Community College transfer and early enrollee Blair to win Richardson's job and bring some physical maturity to the inexperienced line.
Leaving: Florida DT Dominique Easley
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The replacement: Leon Orr and Darious Cummings. Senior Easley turned down a chance at a medical redshirt to enter the draft, but Kiper lists him as the No. 4 defensive tackle prospect, so his ability to anchor the line has not gone unnoticed. Easley's impact was certainly evident after he was injured last season and Orr and Cummings struggled to disrupt opposing offenses in a similar fashion. They need to step it up this year or redshirt freshmen Caleb Brantley or Jay-nard Bostwick might steal playing time.

Leaving: Missouri RB Henry Josey
quote:

The replacement: Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy. Despite a solid 2013 season (1,166 yards, 16 TDs), Josey's draft stock is highly questionable following a career-threatening knee injury that forced him to miss all of 2012. He was the driving force in Missouri's impressive running game, but the other two pieces in the Tigers' three-pronged attack, Hansbrough (685 yards, 4 TDs) and Murphy (601 yards, 9 TDs) will be back.
Leaving: Vanderbilt WR Chris Boyd
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The replacement: Boyd did not play in 2013 -- he was dismissed as part of a rape investigation involving several former teammates -- so it's not a matter of replacing his production in 2014. Vanderbilt's passing game faces a massive hole next season thanks to the losses of Jordan Matthews (112-1,477, 7 TDs), Jonathan Krause (42-714, 3 TDs) and Boyd.
Complete Story
Originally published on SECRant.com

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