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ESPN: LSU, Tennessee Are Falling Heading Into Summer

Two big-name SEC programs might be slipping heading into next season.

This week, ESPN unveiled stock reports on all 14 SEC programs. They're designed to give you an idea on how each team is trending heading into the off-season.

According to ESPN's Edward Aschoff, two prominent SEC teams are trending downward. Aschoff sees Tennessee in the East and LSU in the West taking a hit.

Here's his reasoning for Tennessee:

There's no question that a defense that ended the season as one of the SEC's worst will see improvement in 2017, but replacing first-round draft pick Derek Barnett off the edge won't be easy. It's time for linemen Jonathan Kongbo and Kahlil McKenzie to live up to their respective expectations, and the Vols need interior beast Shy Tuttle to get healthy. Tennessee figures to be in good hands at linebacker and in the secondary, but offensively, there are questions just about everywhere. Quinten Dormady literally had a perfect spring game and Jarrett Guarantano wasn't far behind him, but both are limited in ways that Joshua Dobbs wasn't. A go-to receiver needs to emerge, and the offensive line, as a whole, is still a mystery.

And LSU:

These Tigers lost valuable defensive talent to the NFL draft and a weather-shortened spring game showed that even with Matt Canada running the offense, that side of the ball still needs a lot of work, especially with quarterback Danny Etling struggling as much as he did. Don't be surprised if there's a bit of a quarterback battle this fall, especially with talented freshman Myles Brennan enrolling soon. Derrius Guice should be just fine filling in for Leonard Fournette full-time, but he'll need help. Right now, help isn't exactly guaranteed. Not having Arden Key this spring left the defense searching for pass-rushers, and while the secondary is talented, the safety position has more questions this time around.

Aschoff is also down on Arkansas and Ole Miss, while he expects much of the SEC East to remain status quo.

You can check out his assessments of every team in the links above.