Given the SEC’s success churning out 1st round draft picks over last decade though, this should hardly be a surprise. It’s interesting to see the differences between Rivals and ESPN’s 2009 mock draft 1st round.
LSU leads the way with 6 players, followed by Florida with 5, Georgia with 4, Tennessee and Alabama with 3, Arkansas and Ole Miss with 2, and Auburn, South Carolina, and Mississippi State with 1 a piece. Here’s a look at the players and what Rivals has to say about each.
* indicates underclassmen
1. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Oher has a rare blend of size, athleticism and girth. He entered the 2008 NFL draft, then pulled out a few days later even though he was considered a first-round pick. New coach Houston Nutt is glad he stayed. This time around, Oher – now a senior – could be the first player taken in the draft. He is No. 1 on the Rivals.com list of the top 100 pro prospects and could be the second consecutive offensive tackle chosen No. 1 overall; the Miami Dolphins took Michigan's Jake Long with the No. 1 pick earlier this year.
2. Andre Smith *, OT, Alabama
A massive tackle with great feet, in the mold of former first-round pick Shawn Andrews.
3. Matthew Stafford *, QB, Georgia
The most natural pocket passer in the nation. He has a skill set similar to Carson Palmer's.
12. Knowshon Moreno *, RB, Georgia
He is the most "natural" running back in the nation, with a combination of vision, quickness and balance. He has a good burst and a second gear.
16. Jonathan Luigs, C, Arkansas
The best center prospect we have seen in the past five years.
18. Ricky Jean-Francois *, DT, LSU
Was the quickest and most disruptive LSU defensive lineman in the national championship game last season and, yes, that includes Glenn Dorsey.
20. Jermaine Cunningham *, DE, Florida
A compact, powerful end with speed, power and change-of-direction skill on the edge.
22. Herman Johnson, G, LSU
He's an amazing physical specimen at 6 feet 8 and 360 pounds who can move and re-direct in space. He's fluid and agile for a man his size.
23. Percy Harvin *, WR, Florida
An explosive athlete in space who can make a play any time he has the ball.
31. Tim Tebow *, QB, Florida
A dual run/pass threat who has all the intangibles. He can buy time in the pocket but needs to learn to read defenses more consistently in the passing game.
32. Geno Atkins *, DT, Georgia
Another explosive SEC three-technique defensive tackle. He will get a lot more attention from opposing linemen with the season-ending injury to Bulldogs DT Jeff Owens.
35. Derek Pegues, FS, Mississippi State
He is built and runs like a corner, but is a ballhawk as a safety.
36. Rico McCoy *, LB, Tennessee
Undersized but has the most impressive fluidity and range of any linebacker in the draft. He should really rise up draft boards.
39. Ciron Black *, OT, LSU
Displays a compact stance and moves well laterally. He can re-direct and has the quickness to reach the corner.
47. Greg Hardy *, DE, Ole Miss
His long limbs and speed make him difficult to block. He has the quickness to beat tackles outside or inside off the snap.
48. Brandon Spikes *, LB, Florida
A powerful linebacker who showcases good instincts inside, and does a nice job stacking and shedding versus the run.
53. Louis Murphy, WR, Florida
Showcases great deep speed and is a constant vertical threat. Is a raw route runner and lacks consistent hands.
57. Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
A smooth tackle who can handle speed off the edge. He is coordinated re-directing but needs to improve his technique.
58. Antoine Caldwell, C, Alabama
Has a great combination of power and athleticism. He is natural in space and gets a good push as an in-line run blocker.
64. Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Georgia
A sideline-to-sideline athlete who has a nose for the ball and makes plays all over the field.
68. Sen'Derrick Marks *, DT, Auburn
A big-bodied tackle who can eat up space on the inside, and shows the power to push the pocket and anchor versus the double-team.
69. Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas
Ideal for a zone-blocking scheme. He displays great feet and body control, and can really get out to the second level.
72. Darry Beckwith, LB, LSU
Has a big, strong frame and is powerful attacking downhill. He has the athleticism to run sideline-to-sideline.
A strider who is sudden out of his breaks and does well going up and attacking the ball.
75. Anthony Parker, G, Tennessee
He's thickly built, with a compact frame. Has smooth lateral mobility and a strong punch, showcases good body control and never over-extends.
78. Keiland Williams *, RB, LSU
Dynamic with the ball in his hands, but lacks the girth and instincts to be successful between the tackles.
82. Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Possesses great size, length and suddenness off the edge. He needs to play with more power and more of a mean streak.
94. Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee
Possesses great size and quickness through the tackles, but tries to run like a scatback too often and doesn't lower his head and drive for tough yards.
100. Terrence Cody *, DT, Alabama
Displays amazing athleticism for a man who weighs 370 pounds. He could really soar up draft boards with a strong season.