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Thursday, February 21, 2013
Breaking down combine totals for the SEC

By Chris Low

With the 2013 NFL combine underway, we know that LSU leads the way this year nationally with 13 invitees.

Over the last three years, the Tigers also lead the SEC with a total of 29 players invited to the NFL combine.

What’s that suggest?

For starters, it says LSU has had as much or more talent than anybody in the SEC -- or the country, for that matter -- over the last three years. The players invited to the NFL combine are viewed by pro personnel officials and scouts as legitimate draft prospects, which is always a pretty good indicator of talent.

The schools sending a ton of players to the combine every year also deserve credit for developing those players.

Right behind LSU in the SEC is Georgia, which has had 27 players invited to the combine over the last three years.

LSU and Georgia are the only two teams in the league that have sent eight or more players to the combine each of the last three years.

Alabama is third with 24 players. The Crimson Tide have had 19 players invited to the combine over the last two years, but only had five in 2011.

South Carolina is tied for fourth in the league with Florida with 19 players invited to the combine over the last three years, which would help explain the Gamecocks’ recent success. They’ve won 11 games each of the past two seasons and played in the SEC championship game in 2010.

On the flip side, look at where Tennessee ranks in combine invitees over the last three years. The Vols have sent just nine (only Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt rank below them in the SEC) and have suffered through three straight losing seasons.

And while Vanderbilt might be last in the SEC with only three combine invitees over the last three years, somebody’s obviously doing something right in Nashville. The Commodores are coming off back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in school history and won nine games last season for the first time in nearly 100 years.

Below is a breakdown of NFL combine invitees over the last three years for all 14 SEC schools: