2024 SEC EDGE Rankings: Tennessee’s James Pearce Jr. Primed To Dominate Again

    The 2024 SEC EDGE Rankings are once again brimming with explosive talents, but everyone is battling for No. 2 behind Tennessee's James Pearce Jr.

    Year after year, the SEC trots out game wreckers at the EDGE position, and 2024 is no different. Alabama’s annihilators Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell and Missouri’s monster Darius Robinson left for the NFL Draft, so who forms the top of the 2024 SEC EDGE Rankings?

    SEC 2024 EDGE Rankings

    10) Landon Jackson, Arkansas Razorbacks

    After flashing his skill set in 2022, Landon Jackson shined as a full-time starter in 2023. He notched 10 more tackles for loss with 3.5 more sacks and showcased a nuanced pass-rush package on true pass sets. With another season to build his repertoire and an FCS star playing alongside him, Jackson could put up numbers in 2024.

    9) Ethan Downs, Oklahoma Sooners

    Ethan Downs is a stout run blocker with a motor that never quits. Combine that with strong tackling and at least one pass-rush pressure per game, and he’s the total package. His physical tools trail others in the 2024 SEC EDGE Rankings, but there are few holes in his game.

    8) Mykel Williams, Georgia Bulldogs

    At 6’5″ and 265 pounds, Mykel Williams began his career as a defensive end for Georgia but has since moved to outside linebacker.

    MORE: 2024 SEC Power Rankings

    He’s long and powerful enough to set the edge against the run, with the violence to shed blocks before linemen know what happened. Shooting off the line with a blazing first step, Williams can dominate when he’s at his best.

    7) Anton Juncaj, Arkansas Razorbacks

    There were few edge rushers — at any level — more productive than Albany’s Anton Juncaj was last season. He generated 55 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, three pass deflections, and five forced fumbles. He began his career at D2 Southern Connecticut State but will finish it terrorizing SEC QBs alongside Landon Jackson.

    6) Shemar Turner, Texas A&M Aggies

    The decision to move Shemar Turner from DT to EDGE proved to be the right one for the Aggies, as he went from 6.5 TFLs and two sacks in 19 games to 10.5 and six in 12 contests last season. He even threw in two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks for good measure.

    Now, Turner needs to keep his cool on the field, as many will know him as the Texas A&M player who threw multiple punches at an Ole Miss lineman last season.

    5) Johnny Walker Jr., Missouri Tigers

    Johnny Walker Jr.’s potential was evident with two sacks in each of his first two seasons, but he began to tap into it as the full-time starter in 2023. After racking up 9.5 TFLs, five sacks, and three forced fumbles, SEC tackles won’t be caught sleeping again. Regardless, he has the active hands and bend to finish at the QB even more in 2024.

    4) Nic Scourton, Texas A&M Aggies

    What do Fresno State, Syracuse, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana have in common? They were all victims of Nic Scourton’s brute force last season. The Purdue EDGE transfer brings his nauseating spin move to College Station and aims to make it mean more in the SEC.

    3) Jalen McLeod, Auburn Tigers

    Jalen McLeod made his name known in the conference by posting two sacks and two forced fumbles against Texas A&M while with Appalachian State in 2022. He transferred to Auburn that offseason and only improved his standing, generating 10.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks.

    With a full year of SEC competition and coaching under his belt, McLeod is primed for an explosive 2024 campaign.

    2) Princely Umanmielen, Ole Miss Rebels

    Princely Umanmielen has taken shots at Florida since transferring to Ole Miss, complaining about his lack of development and coaching with the program. His film last season also showed several low-effort plays, so a change of scenery was definitely needed.

    But if 2023 was Umanmielen without substantial coaching and living off his athletic tools, just how good could he be in 2024?

    1) James Pearce Jr., Tennessee Volunteers

    James Pearce Jr. isn’t only the best returning player in the conference; he is one of the best returning players in the nation.

    KEEP READING: 2024 SEC QB Rankings

    As a true sophomore, he tallied 14.5 TFLs, 10 sacks, one INT, two pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. Watch the bowl game against Iowa to see how his length and explosiveness combine to form an elite defensive playmaker who is one season away from hearing his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft.

    2024 SEC EDGE Rankings | 11-20

    11) Trey MooreTexas
    12) Bradyn Swinson, LSU
    13) Chaz Chambliss, Georgia
    14) Cashius Howell and Shemar Stewart, Texas A&M
    15) Caiden Woullard, Oklahoma
    16) J.J. Weaver, Kentucky
    17) Kyle Kennard and Zaylin Wood, Vanderbilt
    18) Ethan Burke, Texas
    19) Zion Young, Missouri
    20) George Gumbs, Florida

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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