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SI.com Tabs 11 SEC Stars As NFL First-Rounders

mock-draft-silhouette-goodellFirst, a simple point: Projecting the NFL draft in September seems a wee bit silly.  Many college teams have yet to play four games and exactly none of the professional teams have played more than three contests.  There are two months of college ball to be played.  There have been no combines or workouts (college or personal).  No early entrants have declared themselves eligible.  No one can even guess at the NFL draft order at this point, which is kind of a biggie since team needs usually dictate team selections.

All that said, SI.com has posted its 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 today.  And on that list you’ll find the names of 11 current SEC stars.  What you won’t find is an SEC player — cough, cough, Jadeveon Clowney, cough, cough — in the top spot.  According to SI.com’s Chris Burke, the first pick next April will be quarterback Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville.  Burke believes he’ll go to the quarterback-deficient Jacksonville Jaguars.

As for the SEC’ers on the list…

 

2.  Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina to the Oakland Raiders

6.  Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M to the St. Louis Rams (via trade)

8.  Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama to the Arizona Cardinals

10.  Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M to the Philadelphia Eagles

11.  CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama to the New York Giants

15.  Dominique Easley, DT, Florida to the St. Louis Rams

16.  Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee to the Tennessee Titans

17.  Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M to the Cleveland Browns (via trade)

19.  Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama to the Green Bay Packers

23.  Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt to the Kansas City Chiefs

32.  Adrian Hubbard, LB, Alabama to the Denver Broncos

 

Johnny Football to the Eagles to play in Chip Kelly’s hurry-up, huh?  Interesting.

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22 SEC Players Receive All-America Recognition From The Associated Press

The Associate Press has handed out its All-America honors for 2012 and the SEC landed 22 players on the three-tiered squad.  Nine SEC players were named 1st Team All-Americans.

Alabama led the way with six All-Americans total, four of whom received 1st Team notice.  Florida and Texas A&M each featured four All-Americans, with the Aggies putting two on the 1st Team and the Gators one.

 

ALABAMA — 6 players, 4 1st Team

Chance Warmack, OG, Sr, 1st Team

Barrett Jones, C, Sr, 1st Team

CJ Mosley, LB, Jr, 1st Team

Dee Milliner, CB, Jr, 1st Team

DJ Fluker, OT, Jr, 2nd Team

AJ McCarron, QB, Jr, 3rd Team

 

ARKANSAS — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Cobi Hamilton, WR, Sr, 3rd Team

 

FLORIDA — 4 players, 1 1st Team

Matt Elam, S, Jr, 1st Team

Caleb Sturgis, K, Sr, 3rd Team

Shariff Floyd, DT, Jr, 3rd Team

Kyle Christy, P, So, 3rd Team

 

GEORGIA — 1 player, 1 1st Team

Jarvis Jones, LB, Jr, 1st Team

 

KENTUCKY — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Larry Warford, OG, Sr, 3rd Team

 

LSU — 3 players, 0 1st Team

Kevin Minter, LB, Jr, 2nd Team

Eric Reid, S, Jr, 2nd Team

Sam Montgomery, DE, Jr, 3rd Team

 

MISS. STATE — 1 player, 0 1st Team

Johnthan Banks, CB, Sr, 2nd Team

 

S. CAROLINA — 1 player, 1 1st Team

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, So, 1st Team (2012 Season Highlights)

 

TEXAS A&M — 4 players, 2 1st Team

Johnny Manziel, QB, Fr, 1st Team (2012 Season Highlights)

Luke Joeckel, OT, Jr, 1st Team

Damontre Moore, DE, Jr, 2nd Team

Jake Matthews, OT, Jr, 3rd Team

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Florida Helps Tourney Resume, Bama & MSU Do Not

Yesterday we showed you which SEC basketball squads “fit the profile” of a traditional NCAA Tournament team.  Like Greg Brady fitting the suit of the new Johnny Bravo, 95% of the time, you call tell which teams will reach the Big Dance by simply looking at a few numbers: RPI, strength of schedule, record versus Top 50 RPI, quality road wins, bad losses to teams outside Top 100 RPI.

Last night, Florida further locked up a bid to the NCAAs with a win at Alabama.  The Tide and Mississippi State failed to help their causes.  LSU — which is too far off the bubble to begin with — got a nice win that should help its NIT status:

 

Florida 61, Alabama 52

If the Gators weren’t a lock before last night — by the numbers they were between a “lock” and “probable” — they’ve punched their ticket now.  Patric Young (19 points) and the Gators dominated Alabama inside for a nine-point road win.  The win is the second road victory over a Top 50 RPI club for the Gators and it gives UF its 14th consecutive 20-win season.

Alabama struggled in the paint without suspended stars JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell.  Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele did return for the Tide last night, but the team is now 0-2 with both Green and Mitchell out of action.  Anthony Grant — who’s really paying an on-court price for taking a bold off-court stand — says he’ll evaluate the status of Green and Mitchell before Saturday’s game with Tennessee.

The fact that Bama was shorthanded shouldn’t impact the Gators’ tourney resume.  Alabama, on the other hand, is now just 2-5 against Top 50 RPI clubs.

 

LSU 69, Mississippi State 67 in OT

Rick Stansbury’s team had a chance to steal a road win at Baton Rouge last night.  Instead, they saw their overall record fall to 19-7 as LSU’s Anthony Hickey sank a driving floater with 1.4 seconds remaining in overtime.  The win pushes LSU’s record to 15-10 overall. The loss was the second in a row for MSU… both coming in overtime (Georgia won at Starkville on Saturday).

Ralston Turner led the Tigers with 17 points.  Dee Bost and Rodney Hood scored 15 and 14 to lead the Bulldogs.

For MSU, last night’s loss did not hurt so much as it failed to help the Dogs’ NCAA hopes.  We would conclude that their resume still lands them in the “probable” category for an invitation to March Madness.

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South Carolina Signees – The Latest

Signed So Far:

 

Kelvin Rainey, TE

Brock Stadnik, OT

Clayton Stadnik, C

Jerrell Adams, TE

TJ Holloman, LB

TJ Gurley, S

Jody Fuller, WR

Rico McWilliams, CB

Chaz Elder, CB

Kendric Salley, RB

Brendan Nosovitch, QB

Nick St. Germain, K

Darius English, DE

Joe Harris, OG

Mason Zandi, OT

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Auburn Signees – The Latest

Signees So Far:

 

Shane Callahan, OT

Patrick Miller, OT

Ricky Parks, TE

Joshua Holsey, CB

Gimel President, DL

Jonathan Jones, CB

Robert Leff, OL

Javiere Mitchell, OLB

Zeke Pike, QB

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Early 2012 Mock NFL Draft: Six SEC Players In Round One

andrew luck

We’ve updated our NFL mock draft order for 2012. We based our order on preseason power rankings. We’ll update again once the NFL season begins, and factor in team needs at that time. This mock does not take needs into account.

 

1. Buffalo, Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Yes, he was extremely nuts to give up all that money that comes with being the #1 pick. And yes, that’s unprecedented, a #1 overall staying in school. We’ll never know why, we just know he’s going to be the first pick next year. As of now.

Luck as a NFL prospect, possibly the #1 NFL Draft prospect,- his strong arm, excellent read-and-recognitions, quickness and mobility, poise and intelligence on the field or his excellent standing off of it.

In preparation for his match-up with Luck and his Stanford teammates this week, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly discussed what impresses him most about the redshirt quarterback.

“He was hitting the wide field, go route, intermediate, and the thing that really got my attention is his ability to run. I think he had a 50 something yard run for a touchdown. So his ability, his escapability, I didn’t know what it was. I now know what it is. The guy is extremely athletic, as well, and he can run. So he brings a big dimension to the table and not just throwing the football,” Kelly said.

2. Cincinnati Bengals, Matt Kalil, OT, USC

usc-song-girl-swim

3. Minnesota Vikings, Matt Barkley, QB, USC

For bikini photos of the USC Song Girls (their cheerleaders) swim charity event go here

usc-song-girls-bikini

4. Carolina, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

5. Tennessee, Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy’s NFL Draft stock is about as high as anyone in the Spartans, or even anyone in the Big Ten. He also has a tattoo that entails everything that makes college football such an awesome game. Go here to see it. Take a closer look and notice the tattoo’s homage to the rivalry with Michigan. What an affront it is to the Wolverines, love it!

For more on Worthy go here

6. Washington, Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

7. Oakland, Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

8. Denver, Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

9. Arizona, Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

manti-te'o

10. San Francisco, Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

When he was a freshman, the 6-2, 245 lb LB posted the third-most tackles ever by an Irish rookie; and ranked fourth on ND with 63 stops in 2009. His 2010 season was even better

His defensive coordinator Bob Diaco described him thusly:

“He’s definitely in the top cut of maturity. He’s just a mature person with a big heart. Always in service, in service to the student body, his teammates, his coaches, helping out his buddies. So when you factor that with his tangible skill set on the field, that’s really a special blend.”

Go here for more about Teo

Teo yesterday at ND Media Day

on the differences in defense from last year to this year…

“I think you are going to see a completely different team. We will be more seasoned and confident. We have become more comfortable. The more comfortable we get the smoother things will be.”

on the play of the linebackers so far in practice…

“It has been good. The competition has been there. Every day, we are critiquing ourselves and the coaches are critiquing us. There are a lot of linebackers, so that puts in place a competitive environment where every day you know you could lose your starting spot if someone else outperforms you. No place is guaranteed to anyone on the team. It makes the team that much better.”

on the advice he gives to new players…

“The best advice I could give anyone is to be humble. Second is to always remember where you came from and whom you represent. Third is to be coachable. As a freshman you don’t know what is going on. You are in a totally different environment. College football is a completely different game than high school. You have to be able to accept criticism from both the coaches and other players in order to make yourself a better player and person.”

11. Jacksonville, Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers

12. Seattle, Vontaze Burflict, ILB, Arizona State

13. Miami, Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

14. Cleveland Browns, Cliff Harris, CB/PR, Oregon

For the definitive collection of Hot Oregon Cheerleader pictures go here

oregon-cheerleaders

15. Dallas, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

16. Kansas City, Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

17. Cleveland Browns, Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

18. Detroit Lions, Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa Hawkeyes

19. Tampa Bay, Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

20. Houston, Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State

21. St. Louis Rams, Mike Brewster, OL, Ohio State Buckeyes

Brewster is a 6-5, 293 senior from Orlando, FL with three years of starting experience. He was a NFL ready talent in 2011, but the best at the position don’t often get picked until the third round at the earliest. Therefore “Brewster’s Millions” (yeah, you knew it was coming, an ’80s pop culture reference, I just couldn’t past that up) must wait to 2012. And I think he made the right decision in putting the NFL off until after his senior season.

For more on Brewster go here

22. Indianapolis Colts, Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State Buckeyes

23. San Diego, Baker Steinkuhler, DE/DT, Nebraska

24. Chicago Bears, Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

25. NY Jets, Devier Posey, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

Posey may not have the same GQ wardrobe or late ’90s boy band good looks of Sanzenbacher, but he does have a ton of NFL potential. Scouts love his ideal size, speed and ball skills for a professional receiver.

For more on Posey go here

26. NY Giants, Marcus Forston, DT, Miam

27. Pittsburgh, Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

28.Philadelphia, Devin Taylor, DE/OLB, South Carolina

29. Baltimore, Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

30. New England Patriots, Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

31. Green Bay Packers, Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

With three alcohol related legal offenses during his time in South Bend, you know character concerns will be front and center. Of course no story about Michael Floyd is complete without mentioning that the true key to his realization of that enormous potential is staying healthy. Floyd led all FBS wideouts in the nation with a 29.09 yards per catch average and he was tied for the national lead in receiving TDs when he suffered a broken collarbone against Michigan State in ’09.

But last year he only missed one game, and when you look at his stats, ND records and size, you see what makes him a blue-chip prospect.

Floyd yesterday at Notre Dame Media Day

on putting everything behind him…

“The past is the past. I’ve moved on to the future, so I’m not even thinking about what happened anymore. I just have to make sure that the decisions I make are good because they are going to follow me forever.”

on if things seem as though they are back to normal now…

“It does. This time of year, I can just focus on schoolwork and football now. It helps me move on from the past. It feels good to know that I can put that behind me now and focus on school and football.

on his goals for this up coming season…

“I’m just trying to make myself an all-around better receiver. My goal is to be the best receiver in the country, so I have to work hard every day to make sure that I have the best possibility for that. I am a guy that likes to be pushed. If you are not being pushed, then you won’t perform to the best of your ability.”

on how he can be better this season…

“When our quarterback is in trouble, I need to get out of my routes faster, and I need to work on my blocking downfield, which is something you can always get better at. It isn’t all about catching the ball and running routes – you have to be able to do the little things that help the team win.”

on the records he could potentially break this year…

“I don’t even know what they are. I never look at things like that. Whatever happens, happens. I am just trying to win games for Notre Dame and this team.”

michael floyd

32. New England Patriots, Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois Fighting Illini

Allen, is yet another in a great line of OLs to come from Champaign to the NFL (Tony Pashos, David Diehl, Jon Asomoah, Brad Hopkins). The Illini switch guards and tackles given the play call. SO there is no true right/left guards and tackles. This versatility will serve him well for the next level.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter


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Big Numbers: 10 SEC Players Nabbed In 1st Round

Five of the first six.  Seven of the first 15.  Ten of the first 32. 

When it comes to NFL draft first rounds, year-in and year-out about a third of the top talent in the land comes from the Southeastern Conference.  Last night, as noted above, was no exception.

Below are the SEC’s draft picks on the first night of the draft:


1.  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn — Carolina Panthers

No surprise with this one.  Newton was expected to be the draft’s top choice.  Let’s hope the Panthers are more patient with him than they were with last year’s QB pick, Jimmy Clausen.

Newton said he was blessed to land in Carolina.

In Charlotte, the Panthers got “an equalizer behind center.”  (Maybe, but they didn’t get the Equalizer.)


3.  Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama — Buffalo Bills

The Bills eschewed a quarterback in order to grab Bama’s big tackle.  Perhaps that’s because Buffalo ranked dead last against the run last year.

The folks in Buffalo say Dareus is the best defensive player the Bills have drafted since Bruce Smith.


4.  AJ Green, WR, Georgia — Cincinnati Bengals

It looks like the Bengals might have a ready-made replacement for Chad Ochocinco should they part ways with the temperamental veteran.  Now, will Green be enough to lure quarterback Carson Palmer back?

Green’s got talent, but folks there’s concern in Cincy about who’ll throw him the ball.


5.  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU — Arizona Cardinals

Peterson will team with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in Arizona’s secondary.  If the NFL hadn’t changed its kick return rules it’s possible Peterson would have gone a slot or two higher.

The Cardinals wanted any one of five guys… Peterson was the last of the five left when they picked.


6.  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama — Atlanta Falcons (traded up from Browns)

The Falcons went all in to add Jones to their high-powered offense, giving up three picks this year and two more — including another first-rounder — next year.  That’s a lot to give up for a receiver who played through a number of injuries at Alabama.

Jeff Schultz of The AJC says the Falcons picked the right time to make a big splash.


13.  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn — Detroit Lions

So Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh will play alongside one another on the same D-line?  Wow.  Here’s guessing QBs won’t look forward to facing the Lions anymore.

This Detroit writer says Fairley and Suh give Detroit “a genuine, undisputed strength.”


15.  Mike Pouncey, OG/C, FLoirda — Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins grabbed a versatile player who can start at three different spots on the offensive line.  Smart pick.

Pouncey might not be exciting, but The Miami Herald says he’s a safe pick.


25.  James Carpenter, OT, Alabama — Seattle Seahawks

Carpenter’s surprise selection might have helped draw the biggest laugh of the first round.  Nick Saban was caught on video with repeating Carpenter’s name with a “what the?” look on his face.

It was a shocking pick, but Seahawks brass seemed awfully secure in their selection.


28.  Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama — New Orleans Saints (traded up from Patriots)

The Saints now have two Heisman-winners in their backfield, sort of.  Reggie Bush had to give his back, of course.  Ingram landed in a great spot on a good team.  New Orleans traded away a second-rounder and next year’s first-rounder to get him.

Bush let it be known last night that he thinks he’s on his way out of The Big Easy.


32.  Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State — Green Bay Packers

So much for the Bulldogs 14-year drought in the NFL’s first round.  Talk about good landing spots.  Sherrod will begin his career with the reigning Super Bowl champs.

Sherrod looks to be the heir apparent at left tackle… destined to replace ex-SEC’er Chad Clifton.

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SI’s Banks: 6 Of First 8 NFL Picks Will Come From SEC

NFL writer Don Banks of SI.com — one of the best in the business, by the way — has posted his latest mock draft for tomorrow’s this week’s NFL selection party.  Among the first eight picks, he expects six ex-SEC names to be called.

His SEC first-round picks:


1.  Carolina Panthers — Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2.  Denver Broncos — Marcell Dareus, DE-DT, Alabama

4.  Cincinnati Bengals — AJ Green, WR, Georgia

6.  Cleveland Browns — Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

7.  San Francisco 49ers — Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

8.  Tennessee Titans — Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

15.  Miami Dolphins — Mike Pouncey, G-C, Florida

28.  New England Patriots — Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

29.  Chicago Bears — Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State


Nine SEC players in a 32-pick first-round?  Sounds about right.  The Southeastern Conference usually accounts for about one-third of the first round selections.

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SEC Headlines – 1/20/11 Part One

1.  Billy Donovan continues to stress free throw shooting to his team.

2.  With offensive line coach Stacy Searels heading to Texas, this writer wonders if its “abandon ship time” in Athens.

3.  The departure of Searels hasn’t hit Georgia in the commitment list yet.

4.  This writer plays “20 Questions” regarding Kentucky basketball.

5.  The last shall be first — South Carolina’s overtime win over Arkansas has propelled the Cocks to first place in the SEC East. 

6.  “I guess we’re not going to be boring at home,” Darrin Horn said after his team’s second OT win in conference play.

7.  Tennessee’s Brian Williams has improved since being moved into an off-the-bench role.

8.  The Vols’ Scotty Hopson is asking for forgiveness rather than permission these days.

9.  Vanderbilt blew another double-digit lead last night… but this time they recovered in time to vanquish Ole Miss.

10.  Must read: Fan ugliness is reaching new heights.  (And anyone reading this story who doesn’t see the problem with a few harmless threats… is part of the problem.)

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Vanderbilt Falls to Missouri in OT 85-82

Vanderbilt
Content provided by Vanderbilt Sports Line.

Tough loss for the ‘Dores tonight who played valiantly in a tough road game. Though this game was within reach, this is hardly a “bad” loss. Missouri is a good team, and they just managed to get the last punch in. Congratulations to them on a battle well fought.

Post your post-game comments here.
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