News & Analysis

Quinnen Williams – the highest-graded FBS player – highlights PFF's All-SEC selections

Nov 24, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Auburn Tigers during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 regular season is in the books and the College Football Playoffs are set. With the culmination of the regular season comes PFF's awards and all-conference selections as well as our All-American lists for both the first and second team.

The All-conference selections have been made by each of PFF's leading conference analyst based mainly on PFF's play-by-play grading process for the entire season as well as cumulative grades, game grades against quality opposition, other PFF advanced statistics and playing time.

The All-SEC selections below are headlined by the first team with the second team listed below each position.

For all other all-conference teams: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MWC | MAC | Sun Belt

 

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Quarterback

First Team: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Despite the injury sustained in the SEC Championship, Tagovailoa was one of the nation's most dominant players on either side of the ball in 2018. He completed 67.2% of his passes and still averaged a yards per attempt of 11.3 – 2.0 yards higher than the next closest SEC quarterback.

Second Team: Jake Fromm, Georgia

Running Back

First Team: Najee Harris, Alabama

Harris averaged a ridiculous 4.50 yards after contact per attempt, forcing 34 missed tackles on just 102 carries this season.

Second Team: Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

Running Back

First Team: Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

Holyfield was the more dominant back in the Georgia backfield, but just barely. He averaged a healthy 4.10 yards after contact per attempt and broke off 32 combined first-down and touchdown runs to lead the team in both.

Second Team: D'Andre Swift, Georgia

Wide Receiver

First Team: Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

The true freshman dominated in Alabama's new-found offensive prowess, hauling in 41 receptions for 803 yards, catching 73.2% of passes thrown his way this season. His 139.9 passer rating when targeted was good enough for seventh among all FBS receivers with at least 50 targets.

Second Team: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Wide Receiver

First Team: Emmanuel Hall, Missouri

Hall's deep-pass ability was apparent once again in 2018 as he led the conference with 11 receptions and 448 yards on passes targeted at least 20 yards downfield.

Second Team: Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt

Wide Receiver

First Team: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Samuel can do it all and he showcased that once again in 2018. He led all SEC receivers with at least 45 targets by averaging 9.7 yards after the catch per reception.

Second Team: A.J. Bown, Ole Miss

Tight End

First Team: Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Sternberger led all conference tight ends in yards, touchdowns, first downs and yards after the catch in 2018.

Second Team: Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Jonah Williams, Alabama

Williams' overall grade topped all offensive tackles this season as he allowed just nine pressures on 410 pass-blocking snaps. His run-blocking grade of 85.4 also paced all FBS tackles as he was dominant in all facets.

Second Team: Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Offensive Guard

First Team: Jervontius Stallings, Kentucky

On 278 pass-blocking snaps, Stallings allowed just nine pressures while his run-blocking grade of 74.1 was the second-best in the SEC.

Second Team: Damien Lewis, LSU

Center

First Team: Bruno Reagan, Vanderbilt

Reagan bounced around the line for the Commodores but left his mark at center. For the year, he allowed just eight pressures on 432 snaps in pass protection.

Second Team: Lamont Gailliard, Georgia

Offensive Guard

First Team: Solomon Kindley, Georgia

Kindley allowed all of one QB hit and kept a clean sheet in the sack column, finishing with the conference's fourth-best pass-blocking grade among guards.

Second Team: Deion Calhoun, Mississippi State

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn

Tega Wanogho led all SEC tackles with his 90.7 pass-blocking grade, allowing just two combined sacks and hits on 411 pass-blocking snaps.

Second Team: Jawaan Taylor, Florida

 

DEFENSE

Edge Defender

First Team: Josh Allen, Kentucky

The highest-graded edge defender in the country, Allen was unstoppable on the pass-rush this season. Highlighted by his national-best 93.5 pass-rush grade, Allen brought in 51 total pressures that included 14 sacks, nine QB hits and an additional 28 hurries. Rounding out his game, he dropped into coverage on 141 snaps and allowed just 130 yards on 19 targets without allowing a touchdown.

Second Team: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Edge Defender

First Team: Jachai Polite, Florida

Few players at any position had the breakout year that Polite had as he finished the season with 38 pressures on just 240 pass-rushes. He recorded 31 defensive stops and missed just two tackles on 32 attempts.

Second Team: Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia

Defensive Interior

First Team: Quinnen Williams, Alabama

No defensive player graded as well as Williams did this season as he was dominant in every contest. He racked up 43 total QB pressures including a ridiculous 24 combined sacks and QB hits that tied for the national lead among interior defensive linemen. His 48 defensive stops were seven clear of the next-best defensive interior as he constantly wrecked opposing offensive schemes.

Second Team: Derrick Brown, Auburn

Defensive Interior

First Team: Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

Simmons had yet another dominant season for the Bulldogs, recorded 27 total pressures and 30 defensive stops. He missed just two tackles on 46 total attempts.

Second Team: Jordan Elliott, Missouri

Linebacker

First Team: Devin White, LSU

White flew around the field for the Tigers in 2018 making a ridiculous 82 solo tackles. His presence was felt by opposing quarterbacks as well as on 98 pass-rushes, he got home with a pressure on 28 of them.

Second Team: Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State

Linebacker

First Team: Cale Garrett, Missouri

Garrett was a sure tackler for the Tigers defense, recording 105 total tackles despite just seven misses. His 39 defensive stops were good enough for eighth among conference linebackers.

Second Team: Darrell Williams, Auburn

Cornerback

First Team: Kristian Fulton, LSU

Allowing just 40.5% of targets thrown his way to be caught, Fulton was stingy in coverage and saw just a 63.8 passer rating when targeted.

Second Team: Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

Cornerback

First Team: Deandre Baker, Georgia

Baker finishes as the conference's second-highest graded cornerback and second in coverage grade as he allowed just 20 receptions on 42 targets and no reception longer than 17 yards.

Second Team: Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

Safety

First Team: Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Thompson made all the splash plays you'd expect from a top graded safety, and some plays you wouldn't think were possible. In total, he brought down 71 total tackles and allowed a 64.1 passer rating on 32 targeted passes.

Second Team: Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Safety

First Team: J.R. Reed, Georgia

Reed's splash play in the SEC Championship game was indicative of his strong play all season long. In coverage, he was targeted 32 times and allowed a passer rating of just 66.0 when targeted.

Second Team: Daniel Thomas, Auburn

Flex Defense

First Team: Shyheim Carter, Alabama

Carter finished the season strong for the Crimson Tide and was particularly strong in run defense where his 91.6 grade was first among cornerbacks.

Second Team: Derrick Baity Jr., Kentucky

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

First Team: Cole Tracy, LSU

Tracy did not miss an extra point in 2018, finishing a perfect 38-of-38 while he also holds the advantage in total field goal make percentage (86.2%) over Matt Gay of Utah. He connected on 9-of-12 field goals from at least 40 yards out and didn't miss a single attempt in the 20-29 yard ‘chip shot' range.

Second Team: Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

Punter

First Team: Braden Mann. Texas A&M

The nation's highest-graded punter, Mann knocked 29 of his 47 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line and averaged the nation's best 45.0 net punt average. In total, he allowed 19 punts to be returned but averaged the third-highest hangtime at 4.34 seconds, relenting only 5.8 yards per return on average.

Second Team: Arryn Siposs, Auburn

Kick Returner

First Team: Josh Jacobs, Alabama

Jacobs finishes with the nation's highest overall returning grade and highest kick-return grade, averaging a whopping 30.6 yards per return. He returned 13 kicks for a staggering 398 yards and had a long of 77 yards and a touchdown.

Second Team: Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky

Punt Returner

First Team: Mecole Hardman, Georgia

Hardman was electric with his punt returns, gaining a conference-high 307 yards on just 14 returns. He averaged a ridiculous 21.9 yards per return and didn't muff a single attempt.

Second Team: Marquez Callaway, Tennessee

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