Auburn football: PFF grades Tigers DB duo CFB’s best secondary

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

While the SEC has long been known to produce the best DBs (and defenders in general) at the next level, Auburn football often trails behind many of their SEC rivals in recognition.

LSU has earned the nickname “DBU” and Alabama has been producing several top draft picks in the last few NFL Drafts such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marlon Humphry, and most recently, Patrick Surtain II.

Auburn football also has a long track record of success producing pro prospects on the Plains as well, though. Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis were key components in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers slowing down Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl and most recently saw Noah Igbinoghene selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

With former Tiger Zac Etheridge now in charge of developing the secondary and Vanderbilt HC Derek Mason in charge of the defense, that legacy stands to be continued. The pair has inherited a few defensive standouts that both graded as top 5 red zone coverage:

Luckily, the pair is not resting on their laurels. Mason expects Monday to be a leader on the less glamorous side of the football, while Roger McCreary returns as a top 5 graded CB among returnees.

If the Tigers have a chance at making noise in the SEC in 2021, their secondary will be among the reasons why. Auburn football fell in the bottom half in passing yards allowed last season, ceding 242.6 yards per game through the air to opposing quarterbacks.

This is a new year with a near-complete overhaul of the coaching staff and two fresh faces in Dreshun Miller and their most recent commit Bydarrius Knighten. One constant from the Gus Malzahn era should remain, though: the collective dominance of Monday and McCreary.

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