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Missouri Position-by-Position Recruiting in the SEC: Offense

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Let’s go position by position and see how the Tigers’ recruits historically stack up with their SEC mates.

NCAA Football: Missouri at South Carolina
How does a recruit with the profile of, say, Jalen Knox stack up with the receivers the rest of the SEC is bringing in?
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s go back to one of my favorite topics of statistical discussion for a moment. Well, for a two-part series.

Missouri recruiting’s talent profile when compared to the rest of the SEC.

You can look at a team like Missouri that tends to finish in the 30s or 40s of the national recruiting rankings and around 12th in the league and say, “Well, the Tigers just don’t bring in the same caliber of recruits as the rest of the league.”

What I want to do is go, position by position, through the 2015-19 classes — the ones that make up almost all (if not all) of this year’s teams — and see where the Tigers are the most and least competitive on an average-player basis.

To do this, we looked at 247Sports’ composite player ratings, since it’s a nice distillation of different sites’ valuations of players. We also included 2019 transfers because, well, 247Sports does, along with either a high school or transfer rating for each of them. So, yes, Kelly Bryant is included.

Today, the offense. Plus “athletes.”

Overall

SEC Avg. Star Rating: 3.43
MU Avg. Star Rating: 3.11
Pct. Difference: -9.26
SEC Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8869
MU Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8588
Pct. Difference: -3.17

QB

SEC Avg. Star Rating: 3.56
MU Avg. Star Rating: 3.29
Pct. Difference: -7.66
SEC Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8929
MU Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8865
Pct. Difference: -0.72

RB

SEC Avg. Star Rating: 3.52
MU Avg. Star Rating: 3.22
Pct. Difference: -8.41
SEC Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8921
MU Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8496
Pct. Difference: -4.76

WR/TE

SEC Avg. Star Rating: 3.41
MU Avg. Star Rating: 3.00
Pct. Difference: -12.1
SEC Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8869
MU Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8521
Pct. Difference: -3.92

OL

SEC Avg. Star Rating: 3.39
MU Avg. Star Rating: 3.15
Pct. Difference: -7.14
SEC Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8837
MU Avg. 247Sports Rating: .8576
Pct. Difference: -2.96

So, on average, Missouri is signing players that are about 9 percent less highly rated stars-wise and 3 percent less highly rated 247 rating-wise than its SEC counterparts.

Those numbers compare favorably with Kentucky (3.12 stars, .8598) and Vanderbilt (2.98, .8436) and not so favorably with, say, Alabama (3.98, .9318), Georgia (3.85, .9200), Auburn (3.68, .9104), LSU (3.65, .9008) and Florida (3.53, .8979).

Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida, not so coincidentally, are the schools that have beaten Missouri out for either the SEC East or SEC crown in each of its seven years in the league. Because, while recruiting rankings may miss on a player-by-player basis, the cumulative effect is real.

Missouri has been able to compete the most at quarterback — thanks a lot to Drew Lock and Kelly Bryant — and line, where it is only about 7-8 percent off the league star average. At the skill positions — receiver especially — the Tigers fall off a bit more. All the way to 12 percent underwater at receiver.

Skill pieces like Larry Rountree, Damarea Crockett, Emanuel Hall, Albert Okwuegbunam and Jalen Knox are very nice pieces, yes. Skill pieces like the kind Alabama (.9287 receivers, .9382 average backs) and Georgia (.9052 receivers, .9402 average backs) get challenge for national championships.

Next time, the defense. And here’s my work: