Top 10 NFL Prospects Coming Out of the SEC in 2010
This is a list of the top-10 NFL prospects coming out of the SEC this year. Not necessarily the best 10 players in the conference.
This list indicates who will be the highest rated prospects by the time the 2010 NFL Draft rolls around next year.
The SEC is a conference known for their defense, so of course, defensive players highlight most of the list.
Honorable Mentions include:
Jermaine Cunningham, Carlos Dunlap, Chad Jones, and Geno Atkins
If you think I left someone off or I have anyone ranked higher or lower than they should be, leave a comment and let me know.
1. S Eric Berry/ Tennessee
There is no question who the No. 1 NFL prospect in the SEC will be this year. In fact, some people will tell you that there is no question who the best player in the country is this year.
Eric Berry is just about everything you can ask for in a safety at 5-foot-11, 195 punds. In only two years at Tennessee, Berry has already accumulated 158 tackles, 12 interceptions and three interceptions returned for touchdowns.
But he just isn't a coverage guy, this Tennessee Volunteer also packs a punch. Ask Denver Bronco and former Georgia Bulldog Knowshon Moreno.
The only way Berry isn't a top-5 pick in next year's draft is if he stays at Tennessee for another year.
And him leaving early is no guarantee, especially with the recent trend in college football with superstars returning for their senior year.
But I expect to see him playing on Sundays in 2010.
2. LB Brandon Spikes/ Florida
Spikes has been the unquestioned leader in the middle of a very good Florida Gator defense for the past two seasons.
In 2007, he racked up 131 tackles, a forced fumble and a sack and established himself as a leader with his actions on a very young Florida defense.
In 2008, Spikes had somewhat of a down year with 87 tackles, two sacks, and four interceptions, but he established himself as the vocal leader on the defense.
A national championship and a dominating performance in the 24-14 defeat of the Oklahoma Sooners, which boasted one of the most unstoppable offenses in college football history.
With every Florida starter returning from last year's defense, all should expect more from Spikes and the other 10 players on that side of the ball that feed off of his emotion and hunger.
3. LB Rolondo McClain/ Alabama
From the first day McClain stepped foot on campus at the University of Alabama, he was the unquestioned leader of that defense and there are very few players in the country who carry such a undeniable stature.
He does it effortlessly.
In two years as a starting middle linebacker at Alabama, McClain has amassed 165 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.
Last season, he led the charge for one of the more dominating defenses in the country and at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds he will surely be a polarizing figure the NFL Combine.
4. DT Terrence Cody/ Alabama
At 6-foot-5, 365 pounds, "Mount" Cody is about as big as they get when it comes to collegiate defensive lineman.
He imposes his will in every game and offenses have to gameplan to stop him, which is about one of the greatest compliments a defensive lineman can get.
Alabama was on their way to successfully installing Nick Saban's 3-4 defense, but after Cody came to town, that good defense became a great defense.
Alabama allowed only three teams to rush for over 100 yards all of last season and had the No. 2 rush defense and No. 3 overall defense in the nation.
With many teams switching to the 3-4 in the NFL, Cody will be a hot name in next year's draft. With any 3-4 defense, the key to it's success is the big fella in the middle.
And Cody is a REALLY big fella.
No.5 DE Greg Hardy/ Mississippi
While Hardy is probably one of the lesser-known names of all the guys on this list, that doesn't take away from the dominance he has displayed over the past three years at Ole Miss.
He has already accumulated 130 tackles, 32.5 for loss and 21.5 sacks.
In games at Florida, at LSU and at Alabama last season he gathered 3.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks.
This guy will be a big-time player in the NFL, the only question with him is his health.
But there has never been any questions about his abilities.
6. CB Trevard Lindley/ Kentucky
Lindley, like Hardy, isn't as heralded around the nation as some of the other names on this list, but there isn't any question that he is the best cornerback in the SEC this year and he has a chance to fight for All-America honors if he has a big season.
This 6-foot, 180-pound senior has started every game since his arrival at Kentucky and has gathered 158 tackles and nine interceptions during his career.
On Kentucky's official athletic site, ten different game-changing plays made by Lindley over his career are chronicled on his player bio and he is considered to be one of the best players to come through Kentucky in the past 20 years.
While this might not be saying much for a school known more for it's basketball program than it's football, there is no denying the talent Lindley possesses and his ability to make big plays in big games.
7. QB Jevan Snead/ Mississippi
I know people are going to start bashing me because I have a quarterback on this list that supercedes Tim Tebow, the greatest thing to ever happen to college football.
But for all those Tebow-lovers, I would like you to take a glance over at the picture I have posted of Jevan Snead.
That is Ole Miss' starting quarterback celebrating a victory last season on Tebow's turf last season.
While this is not enough to prove Snead is a better quarterback than Tebow, there is no doubt Snead's performance in The Swamp last season open the eyes of scouts across the NFL and his stock for next year's draft skyrocketed.
Not to mention, Snead is more of the conventional drop-back passer that NFL teams look for, and the leadership he displayed in the only loss of Florida's National Championship season will have NFL coaches delighted to add him to their roster.
8.OT Ciron Black/ LSU
Black is one of the top offensive lineman heading into next season and has been a leader on the LSU offense ever since he stepped foot on campus.
Black has been the starter at left tackle for the Tigers ever since his freshman year and has set records at LSU for most snaps played consecutively and over a season, showing how durable he is.
He was probably a sure bet for the first round last season, so there is no question he will be a top-10 to 15 player in this year's draft.
9. QB Tim Tebow/ Florida
Two National Championships, a Heisman Trophy, over 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 110 career touchdowns.
10. WR Brandon LaFell/ LSU
LaFell has had his ups and downs during his tenure at LSU, but this senior reciever has built up quite a resume over his three years as a Tiger.
With another consistent season, LaFell can leave LSU in the top-3 in reception, yards and touchdowns, with a national championship under his belt, as well.
He is an explosive receiver who consistently get open and has become more and more reliable as a pass-catcher with every passing year.
He has a chance to be one of the top two or three receivers come time for the 2010 Draft.