Auburn football: Ranking the 5 toughest QBs Tigers will face in 2021

Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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New defensive coordinator Derek Mason has done a good job fortifying the defense in the wake of major Auburn football departures after turnover hit just about every part of the program.

It obviously started at the top, with the trade-off from Gus Malzahn to Bryan Harsin, but the defense lost leaders to the NFL and was hit hard by the transfer portal in an offseason where immediate eligibility is causing chaos in recruiting departments across the nation.

That said, adding the likes of Tony Fair, Eku Leota, Bydarrius Knighten, Donovan Kaufman, and Dreshun Miller will more than keep the Tigers afloat after losing K.J. Britt, Jamien Sherwood, Jordyn Peters, Big Kat Bryant, Jay Hardy, and Jaren Handy to the NFL/portal.

Keeping them afloat could mean a measly seven wins this season, though. The SEC West is the far better half of college football’s toughest conference, and the talent level is always on another level.

The SEC made up 12 of the 32 first round draft picks in the NFL. An SEC QB has been the NFL MVP over 25% of the last 15 years. It’s not a stretch to say the level of competition in the SEC is second only to professional football.

Hence, the Tigers defense will struggle against several opponents…particularly those with a strong signal caller.

When it comes to Auburn football’s level competition this coming season, these will be the five toughest QBs they will face, ranked:

5th toughest QB Auburn football will face in 2021: KJ Jefferson, Arkansas

Bryan Harsin’s first 10.5-hour drive to Fayatteville will be on October 16th, and one of his biggest potential headaches on that drive will be trying to figure out how to handle Arkansas Razorbacks QB KJ Jefferson.

The Sardis, Mississippi product proved in his three-TD, 274-yard performance against Mizzou last season that sleeping on him is a mistake, and as the clear #1 option in the Hogs’ QB room, he’ll have a chance to elevate his profile in the college football world.