LSU, Arkansas Star in NFL Draft

Well the annual NFL meat market has come and gone and it speaks volumes about the personnel in the SEC. The conference scored big early in the draft with four of the first ten picks, but then only two more SEC players were chosen for the remainder of the opening round.

It slowed even more for SEC schools with just two players from America's strongest conference getting chosen in round two.

The rest of the draft saw eight SEC players in round three, four in round four, three in the fifth round, two in the sixth and nine in the seventh and final round, It was not a banner year for SEC talent, which is a pretty good indication that the conference will be awfully strong next year.

But how to rank the SEC schools on draft day? Oh we could go with raw numbers, but that wouldn't be particularly accurate. So I came up with the VVS (Vettel Value System). The VVS awards ten points for a first round pick, seven in round two and five through one in the remaining rounds.

Three SEC teams had no one drafted. It's no surprise that Ole Miss and Mississippi State were two of those schools, but Alabama? The Crimson Tide had a pretty decent senior class with receivers D.J. Hall and Keith Brown, defensive end Wallace Gilberry and safety Simeon Castille. Yet none of those guys were among the 252 players chosen. Let's see how the other SEC schools measured up.

LSU (31 points) ----- The Tigers had a single first round pick in defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey and added three picks in the third round plus a four and two sevens.

Arkansas (28) ----- The Razorbacks were the only SEC team to have a pair of first round picks with runners Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. They added a third rounder and three more Hogs went in the seventh round.

Auburn (24) ----- I bet this is one that surprises many of you. Auburn had two guys chosen in round two with defensive end Quentin Groves heading to Jacksonville and corner Patrick Lee Green Bay bound. Auburn also added a three, a four and a seven.

Tennessee/Vandy (17) ----- The two schools along I-40 had identical drafts with a pick in the first, third and fifth rounds. Tennessee gets listed first because their first rounder (Jerod Mayo No. 10) was chosen earlier than the Commodores' Chris Williams (No. 14).

Florida (15) ----- As quiet as a day as it was for Gator fans, it was still better than almost half the conference. Derrick Harvey was expected to be a first-round pick, but No. 8 is quite the surprise. Bubba Caldwell goes in round three and that's that.

Kentucky (11) ----- I admit it, when the year began I would have wagered on Kentucky having a very busy NFL draft, but they had no picks until a pair of Wildcats went in round four (TE Jacob Tamme, WR Keenan Burton). It was stunning to see Andrew Woodson slide to round six.

Georgia (7) ----- How ‘bout dem Dawgs? Georgia had nothing until round five when LB Marcus Howard was called. A six and two sevens followed, but it's clear the best talent in Athens will be back in '08. The only concern for Bulldogs fans has to be the fact that they did have 13 seniors and that's a lot of experience and leadership to replace.

South Carolina (1) ----- If it wasn't for compensation picks the draft would have been over before RB Corey Boyd was chosen by the Tampa Bay Bucs. For those who saw the Florida/Carolina game in November this is not a surprise at all.

It appears the beasts will be in the east with the three SEC teams losing the most all in the Western Division. That doesn't bode well for competitive balance since the East beat the West head to head last season.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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