The 2015 NFL Draft is only days away, and as always we’re anxiously wondering which players from our favorite schools or conference will get picked, where they’ll go on draft day and which team will claim them.

Mock drafts are far from an exact science, but they do provide an expert’s opinion as to where the draft’s top prospects may be headed this time next week. Frankly, it’s all fans of the draft have to study in this dead period between pre-draft workouts and the draft itself.

So we took this as an opportunity to gauge how involved the SEC will be in Thursday night’s first round. We found six highly regarded mock drafts (two from ESPN, two from CBS Sports, one from the Associated Press and one from and sought out which SEC stars were included in those mocks. Between the six mock drafts, 11 different former SEC stars were listed at least once, more than any other conference in college football.

Check out who those 11 players are and where these mock drafts predict them to come off the board. We’ll continue this discussion below.

(NOTE: The ESPN mock drafts were published by Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay; the CBS drafts were published by Pete Prisco and Will Brinson; the NFL draft was published by Lance Zierlein and Chad Reuter together, and the AP draft was published by Barry Wilner.)

Player ESPN mock (McShay) ESPN mock (Kiper) AP mock mock CBS mock (Prisco) CBS mock (Brinson)
Dante Fowler 3 5 5 5 5 3
Amari Cooper 4 4 7 4 7 5
Shane Ray 5 9 8 21 16 12
Todd Gurley 6 19 24 26 23 17
La’el Collins 23 23 9 14 9 19
D.J. Humphries 28 25 29 17 28 25
Landon Collins 20 20 20 32 X X
Jalen Collins X 30 22 30 30 30
Bud Dupree 22 16 X 6 8 27
Benardrick McKinney X X 30 X X X
Cedric Ogbuehi X X X 25 X X

While most mock drafts have anywhere from 7-9 SEC alums projected to go in the first round, only six SEC stars are considered consensus first rounders through these six mocks: Fowler, Cooper, Ray, Gurley, La’el Collins and Humphries (which is ironic, since many thought Humphries early entrance into the NFL would be a mistake).

Two more players were listed as first rounders in five of six mock drafts, and another was listed in four of the six mocks. McKinney and Ogbuehi were both considered first rounders by just one mock draft, but it’s likely neither will be slotted that high. Ogbuehi is working to overcome injuries and a regression on the field in 2014, while McKinney may be preparing to move from inside linebacker to outside at the NFL level.

If these mock drafts are any indication, Fowler is the SEC’s best draft prospect, regarded as a top-five pick in all six mocks, and Cooper is close behind as a consensus top-seven pick at wide receiver. Other than these two stars, even the consensus first rounders listed above showed some wacky variability in terms of where they’ll be selected within the first round.

For instance, Todd McShay predicts Gurley will go as high as No. 6 overall, even though he’s coming off a torn ACL and even though no tailback has gone anywhere in the first round of the last two drafts. Other project Gurley will be taken in the final 10 picks of the round, leaving virtually the entire round wide open for someone to take a chance of the Georgia star.

But Gurley’s draft window isn’t nearly as wide and bizarre as Kentucky defensive end Bud Dupree’s. After proving himself to be one of the elite raw physical specimens of the draft class (at 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds he posted a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and a 42-inch vertical leap), he’s projected by some to go as high as the top 10 and by others to fall out of the first round entirely.

Dupree began and ended his senior season in 2014 as the SEC’s active leader in career sacks, and he has experience playing defensive end in a 4-3 defense as well as outside linebacker in a 3-4. However, UK is far from a football factory, and many still can’t seem to tell if he’s the real deal or just an incredible athlete with no NFL future.

La’el Collins and Shane Ray were the other two players projected by some as high as the top 10 and by others as low as the final 10 picks of the round. Collins could play either left or right tackle or even guard at the NFL level, so his draft positioning depends on the team and the fit. Ray was a consensus top 10 pick just a few weeks ago, but that has changed in the minds of some after recent issues arose regarding a turf toe injury he suffered in Missouri’s bowl victory in January.

At this point, we’re all stuck in a holding pattern until the draft kicks off Thursday night from Chicago for the first time ever. Any trades between now and then may impact the entire round, but as it stands today it seems the SEC should get at least seven first rounders. Who they’ll be and where they’ll be taken, however, remains to be seen.

And people wonder why the draft gets such high ratings…