#5 - Tyler Bray - Tennessee
Bray put up good numbers last season despite playing in just seven games.
Last season Bray threw for just under 2,000 yards for the Volunteers despite playing in just seven games. If he were eligible, his 144.4 efficiency rating would have been in the top half of the league among starting quarterbacks. But what his stats don't show is that he was working behind a poor offensive line at Tennessee. The Volunteers were among the worst in the country at running the football at just 2.8 yards per carry, but were still able to rank in the top 50 in sacks allowed. A big part of that was Bray, who was effective when he had the chance, but learned quickly when to get rid of the football as well. Tennessee Coach Derek Dooley thinks his line will be much improved this season, and if it is, that could be bad news for opposing defenses.
#4 - James Franklin
Most know Franklin as a dual-threat quarterback, and that's certainly fair. Franklin ran for over 980 yards last season, more even than Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. But he also threw for over 2,860 yards with a completion percentage of 63.3 (the second highest percentage on this list.) Obviously the question for Franklin is how well Missouri's offense works in the SEC East, but I for one don't expect the Tigers to have too much trouble on that side of the ball. They have good speed across the board and their reliable receivers should keep defenses on their toes. That said, it would be extremely impressive if Franklin put up the same kind of numbers this year as he did last season.
#3 - Aaron Murray - Georgia
At 6-1, Murray might not be the prototype quarterback for the SEC, but it's hard to argue with his production. Murray is considered by many the best returning quarterback in the SEC, but I have him at third because of his interceptions. Murray threw 14 picks a season ago, and completed 59.1% of his passes. That's not a bad percentage, but it's the lowest on this list. The other question for Murray is who exactly he's going to be throwing the ball to this season. The Bulldogs lost three of their top four receivers from last season. One thing Murray excels at though is getting the ball into the endzone. He led the SEC in touchdown passes a year ago with 35.
#2 - AJ McCarron - Alabama
This writer thinks that AJ McCarron is a darkhorse heisman candidate this season. Last year while mostly being held under wraps by his coach, he still threw for 2,600 yards, 16 touchdowns, and an incredible 66.8% completion rate. More importantly, he threw just five interceptions all season. This year, with some young players in key positions on defense, and a talented offensive line, look for the Crimson Tide to unleash McCarron at times.
#1 - Tyler Wilson - Arkansas
Tyler Wilson enters the season as a legitimate candidate for the Heisman.
While McCarron might be a Hiesman darkhorse, Wilson is a full fledged candidate to start the season. He's also the only senior on this list (all juniors.) Wilson led the SEC in completions, attempts and yards while throwing just six interceptions all season. With the return of preseason All-SEC back Knile Davis, it stands to reason that Wilson's attempts might go down, but the opportunity for big plays out of play action will go back up. The question for Wilson is what happen when adversity strikes this team. With essentially a stopgap as head coach, nobody nows how the Razorbacks will respond this season. If Wilson can put up similar numbers again against the schedule they face, he'll deserve to be in the conversation for the Heisman.