The SEC’s most irreplaceable players

LSU: Cornerback Patrick Peterson. On any level of football, lockdown cornerbacks come at a premium. Not only is Peterson a lockdown corner, but he’s an exceptional tackler, a budding leader and the kind of player who rubs off on everybody else around him with his unyielding confidence. The LSU coaches love the potential of Morris Claiborne on the other side. But if Claiborne all of a sudden has to become the “man” at corner, that changes things for the Tigers in what should be the best secondary in the SEC. Ron Brooks would be one of the candidates to replace Peterson, or the Tigers could also move converted safety Jai Eugene back to cornerback.

Mississippi State: Defensive end Pernell McPhee. The Bulldogs think they have the talent, size and athleticism in the defensive line to give opposing offenses fits next season. The guy who makes it all happen up front is McPhee, who’s powerful enough to play inside, but has the burst to play outside.