Thursday, December 17, 2009
Six SEC players on Kiper's latest Big Board
By ESPN.com staff
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has six SEC players on his latest Big Board of the top 25 prospects in April's NFL draft.
Five of the six are underclassmen, led by Tennessee safety Eric Berry at No. 3.
Florida cornerback Joe Haden is No. 7. Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain is No. 11. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap is No. 16. Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, the only senior among the SEC players, is No. 17, and Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez is No. 18.
Of note, Alabama senior noseguard Terrence Cody isn't listed among Kiper's top-25 prospects and hasn't been for several weeks now. Also, Florida senior linebacker Brandon Spikes has dropped off the Big Board.
One of the most intriguing underclassman in the SEC remains Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who's a third-year sophomore and eligible to turn pro. According to several close to the draft process, Mallett is continuing to seek out information about where he projects and is 50-50 right now.
It helps all of the quarterbacks in this draft that Washington's Jake Locker has decided to return for his senior season.
Florida's the team in the SEC that could have the most underclassmen leaving early. As many as five or six Gators could end up declaring for the draft.