Scout looks at NFL Draft

When you peruse Scout.com's NFL Draft rankings, you wonder how Southern Cal lost a game in 2007. You wonder how Arkansas lost five times. And you wonder how Tennessee won the SEC East.

According to Scout, last fall's talent-rich Trojans had five of the 50 finest players who will be available for this weekend's draft. Included are two top-10 picks – linebacker Keith Rivers at No. 6, defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis at No. 7 – and another elite prospect in tight end Fred Davis at No. 20.

The other USC stars given top-50 grades by Scout are offensive tackle Sam Baker (No. 41) and guard Chilo Rachal (No. 43).

Arkansas featured some big-time superstars last fall, as well. Star tailback Darren McFadden is Scout's top-rated player for the entire draft. Backfield running mate Felix Jones checks in at No. 31 and Razorback defensive tackle Marcus Harrison at No. 47. How the Hogs lost 34-13 to Tennessee is a major mystery.

Speaking of the Vols, they can claim but one top-50 player, linebacker Jerod Mayo checking in at No. 22. For what it's worth, that's the same number of top-50 prospects as Vanderbilt (offensive tackle Chris Williams at No. 10) and Tennessee State (cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at No. 32).

Tennessee's heated SEC East rival, Florida, had a pair of top-50 players last fall – defensive end Derrick Harvey (No. 12) and wideout Andre Caldwell (No. 39).

National champ LSU also benefited from having two of Scout's top 50 NFL prospects last season – defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey (No. 2) and wideout Early Doucet (No. 42).

The only other SEC player who qualified for Scout's top 50 was Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves, who checks in at No. 19.

As you might expect, seven members of Scout's top 50 played high school ball in Florida, and six more honed their skills in California. Four of the Scout superstars played earned their prep spurs in Texas. Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia produced three each.

Interestingly enough, all three of the Pennsylvanians can be found in the top dozen prospects – Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan of Philadelphia (No. 4), Penn State linebacker Dan Connor of Wallingford (No. 9) and Pittsburgh offensive tackle Jeff Otah of Wayne (No. 11).

Only one of the top 50 prospects hails from Tennessee. That would be Cordova native Phillip Merling, a Clemson defensive end who is ranked No. 27.

Scout's positional rankings list six Vols as potential draftees. They are as follows:

Mayo, ranked No. 2 at linebacker, is rated a 5-star prospect.

Brad Cottam, ranked No. 6 at tight end, is rated a 3-star prospect.

Jonathan Hefney, ranked No. 11 at safety, is rated a 3-star prospect.

Erik Ainge, ranked No. 9 at quarterback, is rated a 2-star prospect.

Eric Young, ranked No. 17 at guard, is rated a 2-star prospect.

Antonio Reynolds, ranked No. 27 at defensive end, is rated a 2-star prospect.

Chris Brown is not among the 24 tight ends Scout.com lists as draft-worthy. Xavier Mitchell is not among the 28 defensive ends rated draft-worthy.

To check out Scout.com's complete NFL Draft rankings, here's the link:

http://profootballexperts.scout.com/a.z?s=211&p=9&c=12&nid=83&lnid=124&yr=2008


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