In his annual list ranking the NFL’s top 100 players, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports three former Kentucky Wildcat outside linebackers made the cut.

The highest-rated former Cat to make the cut was Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith. Smith recorded a career-high 13.5 sacks in his first season with Green Bay in 2019.

“He showed off his versatility in his first season with the Packers, rushing both from the inside and outside, Prisco said. “He proved to be an outstanding free-agent signing by Green Bay.

Next came, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree. The former Cat was drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft by Pittsburgh. After struggling to find a grove in his first four pro seasons, he made a career-high 11.5 sacks last season and earned the franchise tag from Pittsburgh as a result.

“He had his breakout season in 2019, getting 11.5 sacks and becoming a force in the run game,” Prisco wrote. “There’s a reason why the Steelers put the franchise tag on him.”

The final former Wildcat to make the cut is Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen. Allen, who is Kentucky’s all-time sack leader was drafted by the Jags with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and led all NFL rookies with 10.5 sacks last season.

“This is an emerging player who should be higher on this list next year,” Prisco said. “As a rookie, he had 10.5 sacks to lead all rookies.”

In all, a total of 28 players who played their college football in the SEC made the cut.

Here are all of the conference’s representatives:

6. Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina), New England Patriots

14. Julio Jones (Alabama), Atlanta Falcons

25. Danielle Hunter (LSU), Minnesota Vikings

28. Za’Darius Smith (Kentucky), Green Bay Packers

34. Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Kansas City Chiefs

36. Chris Jones (Mississippi State), Kansas City Chiefs

40. Alvin Kamara (Tennessee), New Orleans Saints

42. Jamal Adams (LSU), New York Jets

45. Mike Evans (Texas A&M), Tampa Bay Buccaneers

46. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Dallas Cowboys

47. Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), Cleveland Browns

52. Tre’ Davious White (LSU), Buffalo Bills

53. Geno Atkins (Georgia), Cincinnati Bengals

54. Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State), Philadelphia Eagles

59. Marlon Humphrey (Alabama), Baltimore Ravens

6o. Bud Dupree (Kentucky), Pittsburgh Steelers

63. A.J. Green (Georgia), Cincinnati Bengals

64. Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU), Cleveland Browns

69. Derrick Henry (Alabama), Tennessee Titans

71. Nick Chubb (Georgia), Cleveland Browns

75. Patrick Peterson (LSU), Arizona Cardinals

77. La’el Collins (LSU), Dallas Cowboys

81. Amari Cooper (Alabama), Dallas Cowboys

83 Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt), Los Angeles Chargers

88. Josh Allen (Kentucky), Jacksonville Jaguars

89. Preston Smith (Mississippi State), Green Bay Packers

96. Darius Slay (Mississippi State), Philadelphia Eagles

98. D.J. Chark (LSU), Jacksonville Jaguars

 

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