LSU Replaces Nine Drafted Players With Youth
The draft has come and gone and LSU must reload after NFL teams selected nine Tigers this year.
Will it be tough to replace such immense talent? Yes. Can it be done? Of course.
Replacing talent has become a trend at LSU. Twenty-three players have been drafted in the last three years, including five first-round selections. But coach Les Miles and company brought in the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class this year and expects to fill in the vacated spots.
Here is what the Tigers lost to graduation and the potential replacements.
Jeremy Hill, selected in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals, rushed for 1,401 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall. His replacement, Leonard Fournette, is facing lots of pressure. He was the No.1 recruit in the country and could eventually bring a national championship and win the Heisman Trophy. That's a high ceiling.
The tandem of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry are considered the greatest wide receiver duo in school history. Beckham was drafted in the first round by the New York Giants and Landry went in the second round to the Miami Dolphins. They combined for 2,310 receiving yards and scored 18 touchdowns last season. They were also the first LSU duo to each eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.
Malachi Dupre and Trey Quinn were the No. 1 and 10th-ranked receivers in the country, respectively. They're for real. Dupre has serious hops and can grab anything put in the air, while Quinn has “Landry-esque” hands, but with more speed. They have the potential to bring the thunder and lightning back to the receiving corps.
Zach Mettenberger was considered one of the best quarterbacks to come through LSU. With help from Coach Cam Cameron, he made big strides as a senior and the Tennessee Titans took him in the sixth round. He threw for 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns last year. Brandon Harris is a dual-threat quarterback and will most likely beat out Anthony Jennings for the starting job. Not only does Harris have a cannon, he brings speed as an extra weapon. He can carve up defenses with his legs, but look for him to throw often.
Trai Turner decided to forgo his senior season and the Carolina Panthers drafted him in the third round. He was a key player on the offensive line and is the only starting lineman not returning. It's unlikely Garrett Brumfield will take his place at guard this season, but he should start the following year. Brumfield is an absolute monster who will dominate for years to come.
Ego Ferguson had 58 tackles and one sack last season. The Chicago Bears drafted him in the second round. Travonte Valentine has a good chance to get some playing time, especially since he has such a big frame to stuff up the middle of the line. Valentine is more suited to play nose tackle in 3-4 set, but he will be expected to stuff the line in a variety of formations.
The Denver Broncos selected Lamin Barrow in the fifth round after he led the Tigers with 91 tackles. Clifton Garrett was the top-ranked outside linebacker in last year’s class and fits the linebacker mold. He is going to become an absolute star in this LSU defense and I expect him to dominate at the collegiate level.
LSU has lost phenomenal players on both sides of the ball, but this is not the first time they have had to deal with the problem. Thanks to an amazing recruiting class, the Tigers will once again be filled with young, talented players who come ready to play.