We continue our series on the Best of The SEC. Who are the top five tight ends in the SEC? It is not a who’s who list like some of the other positions in the conference. That is not saying there is not talent and intrigue at that spot because there definitely is. Last season saw the emergence of superstar Kyle Pitts at the position for the Florida Gators. That season translated into being drafted at number four by the Atlanta Falcons. The potential is there for other tight ends in the SEC to reach the level that Pitts reached last season.
Top Five SEC Tight Ends
#5. Darnell Washington, Georgia
Darnell Washington will not wow anyone with his 2020 statistics. He only had seven catches for 166 yards and zero touchdowns. He did average 23.7 yards per catch on his few receptions. What makes Washington one of the better tight ends in the best conference is his pure athletic ability and potential opportunities with the weapons at receiver on the Bulldogs roster. Attention paid to the likes of Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson will give Washington opportunities to shine. The Las Vegas native also has a huge frame at 6’7 and 265 pounds. He should be an easy target for quarterback J.T. Daniels this fall.
#4. Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama
With all the talent on the 2020 Crimson Tide offense, the tight end position did not get a lot of attention. Jahleel Billingsley split time with Miller Forristall but will be the focus of the position this season. Billingsley only had 18 catches on the season but came on strong late in the season. Particularly, in the College Football Playoff against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl. Billingsley had four catches on the day for 39 yards a touchdown. With Forristall, Devonta Smith, Jaylon Waddle, and Najee Harris all gone, Billingsley should become an even bigger factor in the offense.
#3. Ben Bresnahan, Vanderbilt
2020 was a pure struggle for the Commodores going 0-9 on the season. Nothing seemed to go right. This is a team heading into the upcoming season where pass-catchers should be a strength. Ben Bresnahan returns along with three starters at receiver. Bresnahan finished last season third among tight ends in the SEC with 28 catches for 300 yards. He also added in four touchdowns. His best performance of the season was in a late October loss to Ole Miss. He the 54-21 defeat he totaled six catches for 72 yards and one touchdown.
#2. Nick Muse, South Carolina
It is no secret that the 2020 South Carolina Gamecock offense was bad. In fact, they were downright awful. The Gamecocks finished 10th in total offense in the SEC, but a bright spot was Nick Muse. The senior was second on the team in receptions (30), yards (425), and yards per reception (14.2). Having Muse back is huge for the Gamecocks with the inexperience at receiver. Another positive will be having consistency at quarterback with Luke Doty. Combine those two factors and the numbers should go up for Muse and enhance his draft stock.
#1. Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M
There is no debate about who is the best tight end in the SEC prior to the 2021 season. Jalen Wydermyer led all players at the position in receptions last season with 46 catches. That was ahead of all-world player Kyle Pitts for the Florida Gators. Wydermyer also added in 506 yards and six touchdowns. His best performance of the season was a mid-season win over Arkansas. Against the Razorbacks, Wydermyer had six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-31 victory. He also had eight-catch performances against both Alabama and Auburn. He very well could be the first tight end drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft.