According to ESPN’s Scouts Inc., Alabama has the most NFL talent in the SEC this season.
We’ll find out soon enough if that translates into a second straight national championship for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama had six players ranked among the top 150 NFL draft prospects for the 2011 draft. North Carolina and Ohio State topped the list, each with seven prospects. Alabama was tied for third nationally along with Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Southern California.
Florida was right behind Alabama with five players among the top 150 prospects, while LSU was third in the SEC with four top 150 prospects.
The top-rated SEC player was Georgia receiver A.J. Green at No. 4 overall.
One of the biggest surprises was that Auburn had just one top 150 prospect. Lee Ziemba was ranked No. 84 overall and No. 8 among the draft-eligible offensive tackles for the 2011 draft.
Ole Miss and Tennessee also had just one player apiece to make the cut, while Kentucky and Vanderbilt didn’t have any players listed among the top 150 prospects.
Florida center Mike Pouncey was the SEC’s top-rated offensive lineman at No. 41 overall, but Arkansas offensive tackle DeMarcus Love was close behind at No. 45 overall.
It’s hard to believe that three cornerbacks were rated ahead of LSU’s Patrick Peterson, who’s No. 21 overall. Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara was No. 3, Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling No. 7 and Florida’s Janoris Jenkins No. 10.
Here’s a breakdown of the SEC teams. The players’ positions are what they’re projected to play in the NFL:
No. 5 – Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle
No. 19 – Mark Ingram, running back
No. 32 – Julio Jones, receiver
No. 52 – Mark Barron, safety
No. 99 – Dont’a Hightower, inside linebacker
No. 120 – James Carpenter, offensive guard
No. 10 – Janoris Jenkins, cornerback
No. 41 – Mike Pouncey, center
No. 78 – Ahmad Black, safety
No. 112 – Will Hill, safety
No. 144 – Brandon Hicks, outside linebacker
No. 21 – Patrick Peterson, cornerback
No. 61 – Terrence Toliver, receiver
No. 71 – Kelvin Sheppard, outside linebacker
No. 79 – Drake Nevis, defensive tackle
No. 12 – Ryan Mallett, quarterback
No. 45 – DeMarcus Love, offensive tackle
No. 107 – D.J. Williams, tight end
No. 4 – A.J. Green, receiver
No. 51 – Brandon Boykin, cornerback
No. 73 – Clint Boling, offensive guard
MISSISSIPPI STATE (3)
No. 77 – Pernell McPhee, defensive end
No. 123 – Derek Sherrod, offensive tackle
No. 124 – K.J. Wright, outside linebacker
SOUTH CAROLINA (2)
No. 55 – Weslye Saunders, tight end
No. 102 – Cliff Matthews, defensive end
No. 84 – Lee Ziemba, offensive tackle
OLE MISS (1)
No. 46 – Jerrell Powe, defensive tackle
No. 67 – Luke Stocker, tight end