After the 2010 NFL Draft, there were plenty of talented players headed to NFL teams that prospered on one of the SEC’s many outstanding football programs. Here is a list of the schools, a couple of the players from each of those schools, and what they bring to the team that drafted them.
Rolando McClain, Inside Linebacker, Oakland Raiders
McClain is an outstanding linebacker with excellent tackling skills as well as instincts to go along with them. He should be able to provide the Raiders with a spark on defense from the first snap of the season.
Kareem Jackson, Cornerback, Houston Texans
The future cornerstone of the Texans’ defense has an excellent combination of size and athleticism that will lead to plenty of success on Jackson’s part. His confidence and instincts will make him a future Pro-Bowler.
Mitch Petrus, Guard, New York Giants
Petrus does an outstanding job of reading the defense pre-snap and being aware of twists and switches, but doesn’t have the size or strength to match up against some of the better defensive lineman in the league.
Ben Tate, Running Back, Houston Texans
An outstanding running back who has a good mix of both power and speed, the Texans will have a tough time finding reasons not to put him onto the field. Tate can be a immediate playmaker if given the opportunity.
Walter McFadden, Cornerback, Oakland Raiders
Although he isn’t the greatest tackler, McFadden is a ballhawk that can make an impact while adding depth to the Raiders secondary.
Tim Tebow, Quarterback, Denver Broncos
Considered one of the most questionable boom-or-bust prospects in years, Tebow has the raw athletic ability and drive to be one of the best players in the NFL. As to whether he can be a decent quarterback, it’s too early to tell.
Joe Haden, Cornerback, Cleveland Browns
Has the potential to be an elite cornerback in the NFL if he can develop and learn from his coaches. Despite his questionable draft status, being picked seventh overall gives homage to his undeniable talent.
Rennie Curran, Outside Linebacker, Tennessee Titans
Despite being undersized by linebacker standards, he was an extremely productive linebacker and has the instincts and athleticism to be a strong linebacker in the NFL. Definitely will have a challenge competing against NFL-sized lineman.
Geno Atkins, Defensive Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals add another big body to their already strong defensive line. With Atkins in the rotation, the line will have even more depth from a player with excellent strength and technique.
Corey Peters, Defensive Tackle, Atlanta Falcons
Although he isn’t in the best physical shape and lacks elite strength, he is a solid big body that will give the Falcons depth on the defensive line. Has quickness to put pressure on the quarterback on passing downs.
John Conner, Fullback, New York Jets
More of a traditional fullback, Conner will provide the Jets with a future fullback to learn from veteran Tony Richardson. Considering the Jets outstanding power running game, Conner fits perfectly as a lead blocker.
Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
Has excellent potential despite a disappointing senior season. He has outstanding playmaking ability and could take over the No. 1 receiver spot with Steve Smith out due to injury if he plays up to his potential.
Trindon Holliday, Kick Returner, Houston Texans
The fastest man at the NFL Combine, Holliday looks to be a threat in the Texans’ return game. Despite his lack of size, his speed should allow him to make plays and be a home run threat every time he touches the ball.
Dexter McCluster, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs
His speed and explosiveness will get him immediate playing time for the Chiefs despite his lack of size and strengh. With the ability to play both running back and wide receiver, McCluster will be a big factor in the Chiefs attempt to get themselves out of the bottom of the NFL barrel.
John Jerry, Offensive Tackle, Miami Dolphins
With ideal size and strength, along with plenty of talent, Jerry is one of the most promising offensive tackle prospects coming out of this year’s draft. With time and good coaching, he should become a solid starter.
Anthony Dixon, Running Back, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers add a bruiser into the running back mix with Dixon, who should be a good compliment to Frank Gore. He runs with a poweful, punishing style that should bring a new physicality to the 49ers offense.
Jamar Chaney, Inside Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles
Chaney is a player with an outstanding motor who is great in pursuit and does a good job of reading plays and tracking down the ball. He is physical but can sometimes be overwhelmed by blockers. Will compete for immediate playing time, at least on special teams.
Eric Norwood, Inside Linebacker, Carolina Panthers
Norwood is a playmaker who was a steal in the fourth round. Although he lacks outstanding athletic ability, his reads and instincts of tracking down a play are impecable. Shows a good pass rush and could work into the rotation right away with the Panthers lacking any outstanding pass rushers.
Clifton Geathers, Defensive End, Cleveland Browns
A mountain of a man, Geathers has the raw potential to be a playmaker. With natural size and strength, he has the tools to be a force on the defensive line, but will start as a project who needs lots of coaching.
Eric Berry, Safety, Kansas City Chiefs
One of the dynamic defensive backs to enter the NFL since Ed Reed, Berry will be an immediate force on the Chiefs defense and will be the building block for the future of that defense.
Dan Williams, Defensive Tackle, Arizona Cardinals
A menacing nose tackle, Williams will bring much help to the linebacking corp of the Cardinals by taking up multiple blockers and leaving the linebackers free to roam. Will be a nightmare for opposing NFC West teams.
Myron Lewis, Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Having the versatility to play just about every defensive back position, Lewis will be a strong addition to the Tampa defense. Should eventually become the starter at cornerback in the next year or so with some coaching.
Thomas Welch, Offensive Tackle, New England Patriots
A tight end-turned-tackle, Welch still has a lot of learning and growth before he can contribute in the NFL. However, he has the size and raw talent to be a solid backup in the future. Needs lots of work.
So there are some of the key former SEC players who are testing the NFL waters in hopes of making a name for themselves. Only time will tell if they can handle the challenge.