No surprise that the SEC leads the nation in producing star defensive players

The SEC fared well in our look at which league had the best players at each offensive position, and it shouldn't surprise any fan to find out the SEC fares well when it comes to defensive positions, too.

The SEC is filled with big-time defensive linemen and safeties, and it's not that bad at linebacker, either.

The ACC and Big Ten also have some things to crow about on defense.

Here's a look at which league is the best at each defensive position.

Defensive end

Top league: SEC
Buzz: The SEC is loaded with big-time ends; LSU (Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo) and South Carolina (Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor) have two each. (Interestingly, three of those four players, all but Mingo, are South Carolina natives.) Auburn has Corey Lemonier. Texas A&M has Damontre Moore. Missouri has Brad Madison. Alabama doesn't have a standout pass-rushing end, but the Tide still is deep at the position.

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Defensive tackle

Top league: SEC
Buzz: As usual, the SEC is filled with tackles. Other leagues have more individual star power (the Big Ten with Purdue's Kawann Short and Ohio State's Jonathan Hankins and the Pac-12 with Utah's Star Lotulelei), but no league comes close to the SEC in matching the sheer number of talented tackles. The SEC's best can play anywhere: LSU's Bennie Logan, Georgia's mammoth John Jenkins, Arkansas' Robert Thomas, South Carolina's Kelcy Quarles and Vanderbilt's Rob Lohr. Alabama and Florida have a few players poised for big seasons in the middle of the line. NFL teams generally gorge themselves on SEC defensive tackles, and there is talent aplenty again.


Top league: Big Ten
Buzz: This came down to the Big Ten and SEC, and the Big Ten barely wins. The SEC has the nation's best linebacker in Georgia's Jarvis Jones, but the Big Ten edges out the SEC overall by virtue of depth. Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State have at least one potential All-American at linebacker, and each team in the league has at least one linebacker who has a chance to garner at least honorable mention all-league honors.

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Top league: ACC
Buzz: North Carolina State's David Amerson led the nation with 13 interceptions last season (one off the NCAA single-season record) and he heads a deep group of good ACC corners. He is joined by Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller, Florida State's Xavier Rhodes and Greg Reid, Wake Forest's Merrill Noel (nation-leading 19 pass breakups last fall), Georgia Tech's Rod Sweeting and Virginia's Demetrius Nicholson.


Top league: SEC
Buzz: Three of the four or five best safeties in the nation play in the SEC: Alabama FS Robert Lester, Georgia FS Bacarri Rambo and LSU FS Eric Reid. Florida SS Matt Elam also should vie for All-America honors. The Pac-12 has some big-timers, as well, most notably USC FS T.J. McDonald and Oregon FS John Boyett. UCLA sophomore FS Tevin McDonald, T.J.'s younger brother, is another to watch.

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