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Friday, August 20, 2010
Rating the SEC draft prospects

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

According to ESPN’s Scouts Inc., Alabama has the most NFL talent in the SEC this season.

We’ll find out soon enough if that translates into a second straight national championship for the Crimson Tide.

Alabama had six players ranked among the top 150 NFL draft prospects for the 2011 draft. North Carolina and Ohio State topped the list, each with seven prospects. Alabama was tied for third nationally along with Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Southern California.

Florida was right behind Alabama with five players among the top 150 prospects, while LSU was third in the SEC with four top 150 prospects.

The top-rated SEC player was Georgia receiver A.J. Green at No. 4 overall.

One of the biggest surprises was that Auburn had just one top 150 prospect. Lee Ziemba was ranked No. 84 overall and No. 8 among the draft-eligible offensive tackles for the 2011 draft.

Ole Miss and Tennessee also had just one player apiece to make the cut, while Kentucky and Vanderbilt didn’t have any players listed among the top 150 prospects.

Florida center Mike Pouncey was the SEC’s top-rated offensive lineman at No. 41 overall, but Arkansas offensive tackle DeMarcus Love was close behind at No. 45 overall.

It’s hard to believe that three cornerbacks were rated ahead of LSU’s Patrick Peterson, who’s No. 21 overall. Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara was No. 3, Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling No. 7 and Florida’s Janoris Jenkins No. 10.

Here’s a breakdown of the SEC teams. The players’ positions are what they’re projected to play in the NFL:

ALABAMA (6)

No. 5 – Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle

No. 19 – Mark Ingram, running back

No. 32 – Julio Jones, receiver

No. 52 – Mark Barron, safety

No. 99 – Dont’a Hightower, inside linebacker

No. 120 – James Carpenter, offensive guard

FLORIDA (5)

No. 10 – Janoris Jenkins, cornerback

No. 41 – Mike Pouncey, center

No. 78 – Ahmad Black, safety

No. 112 – Will Hill, safety

No. 144 – Brandon Hicks, outside linebacker

LSU (4)

No. 21 – Patrick Peterson, cornerback

No. 61 – Terrence Toliver, receiver

No. 71 – Kelvin Sheppard, outside linebacker

No. 79 – Drake Nevis, defensive tackle

ARKANSAS (3)

No. 12 – Ryan Mallett, quarterback

No. 45 – DeMarcus Love, offensive tackle

No. 107 – D.J. Williams, tight end

GEORGIA (3)

No. 4 – A.J. Green, receiver

No. 51 – Brandon Boykin, cornerback

No. 73 – Clint Boling, offensive guard

MISSISSIPPI STATE (3)

No. 77 – Pernell McPhee, defensive end

No. 123 – Derek Sherrod, offensive tackle

No. 124 – K.J. Wright, outside linebacker

SOUTH CAROLINA (2)

No. 55 – Weslye Saunders, tight end

No. 102 – Cliff Matthews, defensive end

AUBURN (1)

No. 84 – Lee Ziemba, offensive tackle

OLE MISS (1)

No. 46 – Jerrell Powe, defensive tackle

TENNESSEE (1)

No. 67 – Luke Stocker, tight end