The Alabama Crimson Tide had four of their players drafted in the first round and a fifth player drafted early in the second round. The top Alabama player drafted was running back Trent Richardson. Alabama might take a tiny step back in the SEC next year, but it will still have some talent that NFL teams will desire.
Are any of them worthy of a top-10 pick like Richardson, though?
These are the 10 best NFL prospects in college football for the 2012 season:
Matt Barkley (QB) USCMatt Barkley seems like he will be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and is atop everybody's draft boards. It's not as much of a slam dunk as Andrew Luck, though. There are some people that are already trying to pick apart Barkley, particularly when it comes to his size. If Barkley falls out of favor with scouts then another quarterback could be on everyone's wish list.
Tyler Wilson (QB) ArkansasThe LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will still be as good as they normally are, but the Arkansas Razorbacks have put themselves in a good spot to win the SEC West crown. If Wilson has another great season and beats the defenses of LSU and Alabama then it would be hard to argue spending a high draft pick on the quarterback.
Jarvis Jones (OLB) GeorgiaJones was First Team All-American, finalist for the Butkus Award, and won the CFPA Elite Linebacker Trophy in 2011. During that season Jones recorded 70 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Jones recorded four of those sacks in one game against the Bulldogs' rival Florida Gators.
Alex Okafor (DE) TexasThe Texas Longhorns have struggled lately, but it's not the fault of the defense. Last season the Longhorns led the Big 12 in rushing defense, were sixth in the nation in rushing defense and 11th in total defense. The biggest reason why is the defensive end. Okafor recorded 58 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and seven sacks last season
Marcus Lattimore (RB) South CarolinaThere might be a health question after Lattimore missed a good portion of the 2011 college football season. If Lattimore is healthy he should be the top running back in 2013 NFL Draft. Lattimore rushed for 1197 yards in 2010 and increased his yards per rush in 2011, but had less rushes because of his injury. If he had kept up his 2011 average and rushed as many times as he did in 2010 then he would have recorded 1245 rushing yards in 2011. Lattimore also had an additional 412 yards receiving in 2010 when he was healthy.
Robert Woods (WR) USCIt never hurts to be the favorite target of the quarterback that is expected to win the Heisman and be drafted No. 1 overall. Last season Woods caught 111 passes for 1292 yards and 15 touchdowns. Woods is still only a sophomore, so he could improve even more next season. Woods will likely come out early though, especially since Barkley will not be around for Woods' senior season.
Tyrann Mathieu (CB) LSUSome colleges have a reputation for being able to produce players at a certain position, and LSU is beginning to become the place to go for cornerbacks. Mathieu will join Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne as the third LSU cornerback taken in the first round in consecutive years.
Sam Montgomery (DE/OLB) LSULSU doesn't just have a good reputation for cornerbacks, but it also has a good reputation for defense in general. That is why Mathieu's teammate Montgomery will also be a first-round draft pick.
D. J. Fluker (T) AlabamaFluker is the one Alabama player that deserves to be mentioned with other top talents in the 2012 college football season. Even though Trent Richardson was one of the best running backs to come along in years, he was blessed with an excellent offensive line at Alabama--and it started with Fluker.
David Amerson (CB) NC StateMathieu is the better cornerback, but Amerson's impressive stats are certainly going to turn some heads. Last season Amerson had 13 interceptions. The second best total was eight. Amerson also led the nation in interception yards, and he returned one interception for a touchdown. His 13 interceptions in one season ties Dre Bly for the ACC record. Amerson was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award but lost to LSU's Claiborne.
All player profiles and stats were found at Yahoo! Sports
Lee Andrew Henderson has lived for more than 30 years in the state of Alabama. Surrounded by Alabama and Auburn fans he is constantly immersed with the team schools, the rivalry, the SEC and college football in general. Lee Andrew Henderson can be found on Twitter @LeeAHenderson.