10 SEC draft prospects and their NFL comparisons

Oct. 26, 2012 - Jacksonville, FL - LEAD PHOTO - Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones celebrates his recovery of a Trey Burton fumble with Georgia Bulldogs linebacker James DeLoach (89).  Georgia vs. Florida football at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.    BOB ANDRES  BANDRES@AJC.COM

In just five days, the SEC could set a new NFL Draft record with 13 players selected in the first round. The record is held by the ACC with 12.

It’s always interesting to see NFL scouts, experts and analysts compare current players to NFL players, and the comparisons are sometimes intriguing.

Here are 10 SEC draft prospects and their NFL comparisons:

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Comparison: AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: The long and lean Justin Hunter will remind folks of former Georgia star AJ Green. Hunter is super athletic, with long arms and good speed. But I’m not sure Hunter has the caliber of “hands” as Green.

Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Comparison: Nate Solder, OT, New England Patriots
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Some thought Luke Joeckel would struggle against better pass rushers in the SEC, but with his quickness he was able to block elite pass rushers and get to the second level as a run-blocker.

Jarvis Jones, OLB/DE, Georgia
Comparison: Chris Clemons, DE, Seattle
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Ironically, Chris Clemons is a former Georgia star who currently plays defensive end with the Seahawks, and he compares to pass rusher Jarvis Jones. Jones could be compared to Von Miller, but Miller has better speed. Jones will play some defensive end, depending on which team drafts him. Why is his stock falling again?

Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Comparison:  Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Although there’s a noticeably size comparison between the 6-1 Lacy and the 5-8 MJD, the ground-and-pound style is similar. Lacy projects to be a workhorse at the next level, with a smaller, speedier back spelling him at times.

Sam Montgomery, OLB/DE, LSU
Comparison: Aldon Smith, OLB/DE, San Francisco 49ers
Projected round: 1st to 2nd
Buzz: Analysts are comparing both Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo to the 49ers’ Aldon Smith, but Montgomery should have the better pro career. Like Smith, Montgomery probably projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker with elite quickness and a great motor.

Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Comparison: Daryl Washington, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Few linebackers can run sideline to sideline like a wide receiver, but Alec Ogletree is certainly one of them. Both Ogletree and Daryl Washington are violent players, even though Ogletree needs to put on some weight. Pass coverage is not a problem for either player.

Eric Reid, FS, LSU
Comparison: Eric Weddle, FS, San Diego Chargers
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Safeties must be able to cover receivers, drop back into a zone as a center fielder and be great tacklers as the last line of defense. Both Eric Reid and Eric Weddle excel in all three areas. Could Reid become the NFL’s best free safety?

Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Comparison: Henry Melton, DT, Chicago Bears
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Sheldon Richardson dominated games last year with his quickness, athleticism and motor much like Henry Melton. Richardson blows past would-be blockers on his way into the backfield.

Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Comparison: Marshall Yanda, OG, Baltimore Ravens
Projected round: 1st
Buzz: Everything Chance Warmack and Marshall Yanda do is strictly by the book, and it’s fun watching these two guys go to work every weekend. Warmack could be the No. 1 pick in the draft even as an offensive guard. He should fall in the top five.

Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Comparison: Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Projected round: 1st to 2nd
Buzz: There’s nothing flashy about either Tyler Wilson or Matt Hasselbeck, but both have quick deliveries and are tough competitors. Hasselbeck has had a long career, and Wilson projects to do the same.

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