<
>

Recapping the weekend's top undrafted players from the SEC

The SEC led all conferences in NFL draft picks for the 10th straight year -- its 51 edged the Big Ten's 47 -- but plenty of important SEC players still went undrafted.

Here are 10 of the biggest names and where they landed as undrafted free agents, plus a list of some other significant undrafted players from the conference:

CB Jonathan Jones, Auburn (Patriots): This oversight is almost certainly due to Jones' 5-foot-9 height. The former All-SEC performer also dealt with more injuries than NFL teams might have liked, but he was an outstanding player when healthy. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds during an outstanding showing at the NFL combine. Perhaps his size will limit him to playing as a nickelback in the NFL, but Jones should find a home in the pros.

OL Denver Kirkland, Arkansas (Raiders): Disappointing showings at the combine and Arkansas' pro day might have knocked Kirkland off draft boards, but this is still a player who started his last 34 games at Arkansas -- including all 13 as the Hogs' left tackle in 2015 -- before skipping his senior season to turn pro.

WR De'Runnya Wilson, Mississippi State (Patriots): Another early entrant whose stock tumbled after ordinary performances in pre-draft workouts, Wilson's 6-5 size and redzone touchdown potential are exciting, but his 4.78 time in the 40 was an apparent red flag. It's also worth mentioning that although the former basketball standout is still learning the position, he still finished 2015 with 918 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

LB Curt Maggitt, Tennessee (Colts): Injuries affected Maggitt's play for much of his Tennessee career, although an All-SEC 2014 season (11 sacks, 15 tackles for loss) hinted at his potential. He's a raw prospect, and the injuries were surely a concern, but Maggitt has the motor to make it in the NFL if he can ever stay healthy.

LB Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State (Packers): Brown could have returned for a fifth season of eligibility, but opted to enter the draft after recording 99 tackles and 11 tackles for loss as a redshirt junior. Brown is not the most explosive athlete at his position, but he was a productive -- and highly intelligent -- college player.

WR Marquez North, Tennessee (Rams): Yet another undrafted early entrant, the oft-injured North played in just seven games (finishing with six catches for 58 yards) as a junior before entering the draft. He was Tennessee's leading receiver as a freshman (496 yards) before injuries prevented him from fulfilling his potential in the next two seasons. However, North has the size (6-2) and sure hands to make a roster if he sharpens up his game and stays healthy.

RB Tra Carson, Texas A&M (Bengals): He might not be an every-down NFL back, but Carson is a power runner (1,165 rushing yards in 2015) who can catch the ball out of the backfield and contribute on special teams. His versatility will give him a chance to make Cincinnati's roster.

RB Peyton Barber, Auburn (Buccaneers): The redshirt sophomore is a grinder whose physical limitations (5-10, 4.64 speed) wouldn't have helped him fare better against a deeper crop of running backs in the 2017 draft pool. Barber is a slippery runner who consistently gets positive yardage and rushed for 1,017 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He's not an electrifying talent, but he gets the job done.

C Mike Matthews, Texas A&M (Browns): He isn't the superprospect that big brother Jake was a couple of years ago, but Matthews certainly has the family pedigree to make it as a pro football player. He's undersized at 6-2, and yet Matthews was a consistent and tenacious blocker in college and could be a solid backup to Cameron Erving in Cleveland.

DE D.J. Pettway, Alabama (Saints): Surely teams had character concerns over Pettway's 2013 arrest, and he wasn't the most productive player (18 tackles, five TFLs, two sacks in 2015) on a deep Alabama line. He has the potential to play either end or outside linebacker in NFL sub packages, however.

Here are other notable SEC undrafted free agents and the NFL teams they planned to join:

Alabama: QB Jake Coker (Cardinals), OL Dominick Jackson (Redskins), LB Dillon Lee (Saints), DB Geno Matias-Smith (Redskins)

Arkansas: S Rohan Gaines (Rams)

Auburn: LB Kris Frost (Patriots), DE DaVonte Lambert (Buccaneers), LB Cassanova McKinzy (Buccaneers), WR Duke Williams (unsigned), OT Avery Young (Saints)

Florida: TE Jake McGee (Panthers), CB Brian Poole (Falcons)

Georgia: DE Sterling Bailey (Colts), DE Josh Dawson (Falcons), LB Jake Ganus (Vikings), FB Quayvon Hicks (Titans), DT Chris Mayes (Falcons), K Marshall Morgan (Bills), TE Jay Rome (Steelers)

Kentucky: DE Farrington Huguenin (Dolphins), DT Cory Johnson (Falcons), DT Melvin Lewis (Giants), S A.J. Stamps (Browns), OT Jordan Swindle (Rams)

LSU: TE Dillon Gordon (Eagles),LB Lamar Louis (Cardinals)

Mississippi State: DE Ryan Brown (Bengals), CB Taveze Calhoun (Bears)

Missouri: CB Kenya Dennis (Browns), RB Russell Hansbrough (Buccaneers)

Ole Miss: S Trae Elston (Saints), CB Mike Hilton (Jaguars), LB C.J. Johnson (Patriots)

South Carolina: S Isaiah Johnson (Buccaneers), RB Brandon Wilds (Falcons)

Tennessee: WR Pig Howard (Raiders), S Brian Randolph (Rams)

Texas A&M: OG Joseph Cheek (Saints), CB De'Vante Harris (Saints)

Vanderbilt: DE Caleb Azubike (Cowboys), TE Steven Scheu (Patriots), S Andrew Williamson (Colts)