NFL pipeline begins, ends with SEC

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Mike Detillier, a veteran NFL analyst from Raceland, La., has produced some research that validates what most in college football already knew: There's not a deeper league in the country when it comes to marquee talent than the SEC.

By Detillier's count, the SEC leads the way with 137 projected starters on NFL rosters in 2008. The ACC is second with 121, followed by the Big Ten (105) and the Big 12 (72).

Detillier, in breaking down all 32 NFL teams, concedes that injuries and other factors once preseason camp begins could skew his numbers, but his point is well taken. There's a reason NFL scouts spend so much time on SEC campuses.

According to Detillier's numbers, the SEC will have more starting quarterbacks, running backs, offensive linemen and tight ends than any other conference this season. The SEC also leads the way with more starting defensive linemen, inside linebackers and cornerbacks and is tied with the ACC for most starting safeties.

The breakdown within the SEC is also interesting. Detillier's numbers show that Tennessee has the most projected NFL starters in 2008 (20). Georgia is second with 19, and Florida and LSU each have 16. Detillier has Auburn with 13, Alabama with 12, Mississippi State with 11, South Carolina with nine, Arkansas with eight, Ole Miss with seven, Vanderbilt with five and Kentucky with one.