It's looking bleak for Leak

Four years ago heralded freshman Chris Leak ousted sophomore Ingle Martin as the University of Florida's No. 1 quarterback midway through the 2003 season. As things worked out, however, Martin may wind up having the last laugh.

Unwilling to back up Leak for 2½ years, Martin transferred to Furman and resurrected his career. He played so well for the Paladins, in fact, that he was Green Bay's fifth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

While Martin's stock has risen since he lost the QB job at Florida, Leak's stock has plummeted since he won the QB job at Florida. Although he helped the Gators win the 2006 national championship, the 6-footer is considered by many scouts too small and too inconsistent to be a quality pro. Most projections rate him a Round 6 or 7 draft pick in this weekend's draft... meaning he probably will be selected later than the guy he uprooted four years ago.


Baton Rouge must have been swarming with NFL scouts last fall. LSU has produced just 26 first-round selections in program history – Tennessee has 37, by comparison – but the Tigers' 2006 roster included three first-round locks and a borderline Round 1 pick.

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick. Safety LaRon Landry will be a top-10 selection and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is projected to go in the middle of Round 1. Fellow wideout Craig Davis is projected as a second-rounder who conceivably could sneak into the late first round.

In addition, junior defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey would be a sure first-round pick this spring had he not elected to return for his senior year. Early projections rate him a top-five pick for the 2008 NFL Draft.

LSU isn't the only SEC team with multiple first-round draft picks this spring. Tennessee (wideout Robert Meachem, defensive tackle Justin Harrell) and Arkansas (defensive end Jamaal Anderson, cornerback Chris Houston) are expected to have two first-round draft picks each on Saturday.

Coincidentally, both the Vols (Arron Sears) and Razorbacks (Tony Ugoh) also have an offensive lineman projected to be picked early in Round 2.

Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis is a first-round lock, as is Florida safety Reggie Nelson. Gator defensive end Jarvis Moss and defensive tackle Ray McDonald are getting strong first-round consideration. Other SEC players considered possible first-rounders are Auburn guard Ben Grubbs, Georgia defensive end Charles Johnson and South Carolina wideout Sidney Rice.


The Southeastern Conference may produce the best teams in college football but the Atlantic Coast Conference has produced more NFL draftees over the past three years.

According to Gil Brandt of, the ACC cranked out 127 draft picks between 2004 and 2006. The SEC followed with 116. The Big Ten had 115, the Pac 10 had 96 and the Big 12 had 86. The Big East was a distant sixth with just 40 draftees.

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