Any questions about the talent level of Alabama’s national championship team were answered Tuesday, when the NFL released its official list of invitees to the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Crimson Tide landed nine players on the list, including a group that could go in the first round. Georgia added eight more, Auburn has three and Georgia Tech will send one player.
No SEC team has fewer than two players invited to the NFL Combine, which will be Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis.
Running back Trent Richardson, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, safety Mark Barron and inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower could be first-round draft picks off of the Alabama team that went 13-1 and beat LSU in the BCS national championship game.
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Wide receivers Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks, nose tackle Josh Chapman and cornerback DeQuan Menzie round out the Crimson Tide’s contingent headed to the Combine.
Menzie, a Carver graduate, has NFL size at 6 feet, 200 pounds, and his experience at Alabama landed him on NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt’s initial list of the top 100 draft-eligible products.
Offensive lineman Cordy Glenn leads the pack of Georgia players. Glenn, the biggest player at the Senior Bowl at 6-5, 346 pounds, is the top-rated guard in the 2012 draft class, according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper, and most draft experts expect Glenn to be picked in the first round.
Three more Bulldogs have a chance to be picked in the first three rounds. Tight end Orson Charles, center Ben Jones and cornerback Brandon Boykin are ranked among Brandt’s top 100 players.
Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, offensive tackle Justin Anderson, kicker Blair Walsh and punter Andrew Butler earned invitations. They are projected to be picked on the final day of April’s NFL Draft or sign with teams as undrafted free agents.
Another specialist leads the way for an Auburn class focused heavily on the line. Recognized as the draft’s best long-snapper, former Tigers walk-on Josh Harris played in the Senior Bowl, and he is the only snapper invited to the NFL Combine after starting for Auburn for three years.
Tackles Brandon Mosley, a mid-round prospect, and A.J. Greene, a late-round pick or undrafted free agent, round out Auburn’s class of three. Quarterback Barrett Trotter, who decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and plans to go through Auburn’s pro day in March, is one of 10 underclassmen who was not invited. A record 65 underclassmen declared for the NFL Draft this season.
Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill, a junior wide receiver, earned an invitation to the NFL Combine after making the surprising decision to leave early. Hill’s NFL Draft evaluation did not place him in the first three rounds, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, but at 6-5, 206 pounds, Hill has the size and speed to be an NFL prospect.