Best SEC Offensive Linemen Returning For 2022

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The title for the best SEC offensive linemen returning for the 2022 season is not going to jump right off the page. All eight of ten offensive line members of the 2021 All-SEC teams were drafted in the 2022 NFL draft. By contrast, the Big XII has five of its ten total selections (three first-team selections) retuning for the 2022 college football season. That isn’t to say the SEC is any less talented upfront than the Big XII. Some of college football’s biggest offensive stars reside in the SEC, but won’t be showing out if it weren’t for the best of the big fellas up front.

Best SEC Offensive Linemen Returning For 2022

Number Five: Layden Robinson

Layden Robinson made his starting debut for the Aggies in 2021, missing only two games last season. The junior guard from Manvel, Texas helped open up lanes for both Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane to go over 1,000 yards of total offense. Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, who has plenty of quote-worthy sound bites recently, has said of Robinson, “[he] is one of the most powerful guys I ever coached.” The 2021  All-SEC Second Team member looks to anchor a unit looking to take the Aggies to the top of the SEC.

Number Four: Ricky Stromberg

Along with Robinson, Ricky Stromberg was another 2021 All-SEC Second Team member. Stromberg started all 12 games at center for the Razorbacks. According to Pro Football Focus, he earned a grade of 74.8. Stromberg enters his fourth season as a starting offensive lineman for Arkansas. He also is one of four offensive line starters returning for head coach Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks.

Number Three: Darnell Wright

Tennessee made quite an unexpected jump in head coach Josh Heupel’s first year. A true anchor of this Volunteer’s team, both physically and metaphorically, is Darnell Wright.  Wright, who stands at 6-foot-6, 335-pound, has appeared in 34 career games for the Vols in three seasons. His adaptability has been on display during those three seasons. In Wright’s 29 starts, 14 were at right tackle, 13 at left tackle, and two at right guard. When it comes to the best SEC offensive linemen, it will be hard to find one as versatile as Wright. The former five-star recruit out of Huntington High School in West Virginia is currently projected as a first-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Number Two: Nick Broeker

Another three-year letterman joins Wright on the best SEC offensive linemen returning for 2022. Nick Broeker has an opportunity to elevate his NFL draft grade. Broeker wasted no team leaving his mark at Ole Miss. He earned selections on two Freshman All-American Teams (247 and Pro Football Focus). Broeker has remained at left tackle during his career in Oxford. Last season, Broker did a solid job of protecting Matt Corral before Corral was drafted by the Carolina Panthers this spring. He will now get a chance to keep (presumably) USC transfer Jaxson Dart protected this fall as the Rebels look to hit double-digit wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1959-1960.

Number One: Sedrick Van Pran

The defending national champs come into the 2022 season in an unfamiliar position. After winning the title for the first time in 40 years, Georgia now has to fend off all challengers aiming to knock them off the top of the mountain. While the defense is going to drive a lot of the headlines heading into the season, the quarterback of the offensive line is solidified. Sedrick Van Pran started at center for Georgia in every game last season. Not only did he start, he never came off the field. Van Pran played in 90% of total offensive snaps. This includes playing on every offensive play in eight of those games. His durability might only be trumped by his toughness. Reports surfaced after this season that Van Pran played most of the season with an injured wrist. Although it isn’t clear when he suffered the injury. If Georgia has any chance of repeating, Van Pran’s talent and leadership will need to continue to shine for the Dawgs.