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Take Two: Debating SEC's best defensive linemen in past decade

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sometimes those opinions are just wrong.

Maybe we were even off base at points last week when we tried to nail down the SEC's top five players at each position over the last decade. In some cases, the SEC blog's readers let us know just how wrong we were -- and so we decided to chime in with our own thoughts this week.

Each day this week, we will revisit those position rankings, with one of our SEC writers discussing his thoughts on the position with the colleague who came up with the original top five.

Next up, Alex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf take turns debating last week's defensive linemen rankings.

Scarborough: Terrence Cody was a great nose guard, that much is true. But his value, to me, doesn't merit him being a top-five defensive lineman. Heck, if I was drafting the 2009 Alabama defense, he'd be my fourth selection behind Rolando McClain, Marcel Dareus and Mark Barron. Again, a great player but let's not get carried away.

So if not Cody, then who? Well, I'd consider sliding Myles Garrett up, but seeing as his career at A&M isn't finished, what I'd be more likely to do is slot Shane Ray there. From 2013-14, he had 19 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss. In a field of tremendous Missouri defensive linemen, he stands out.

One final thought: Trey Flowers should have been mentioned. While I'm OK with him not being ranked, you can't overlook the career he put together at Arkansas. All he did was make plays. He filled up the stat sheet. During his four-year career, he had 48.6 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, 26 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, an interception and a blocked kick.

Ostendorf: First of all, I agree with you 100 percent on Flowers. He played on mediocre Arkansas teams for the most part, but he was still plenty productive throughout his career. It felt like the guy lived in other teams' backfields. Is he top five? Probably not. But I should've at least mentioned his name at the bottom.

As for Cody, I don't think you value a really good nose guard. He's never going to fill up a stat sheet, but that's not his job. You want to know why McClain made so many plays during the 2008 and 2009 seasons? Let's just say that having Cody in front of him, taking on double teams almost every play, had a lot to do with it. Alabama finished second in the country in rushing yards allowed per game (79.3) in 2009. Again, it was Cody who forced teams to try and run outside because you weren't running up the middle against that defense.

You did bring up another interesting name, though, as a possible replacement for Cody. Ray was easily one of the better pass-rushers in the past decade, but was he even the best defensive lineman at Missouri during that time? I struggled with who from “D-line Zou” to put on the "just missed the cut" list. Sheldon Richardson, Michael Sam, Kony Ealy and Markus Golden all warranted consideration. I'm curious Missouri fans, who has been the team's top defensive lineman in the past decade? I went with Ray, but it wasn't an easy call.