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Old 04-28-2006, 12:16 PM   #1
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If there's one thing we know about college football fans, it's that they love rankings. They might not agree with where their team is ranked, but they love arguing about it nonetheless.
So we hereby offer another set of rankings to stoke the flames: The schools with the 10 best collections of prospects in this year's NFL draft.

1. USC
Top prospects: RB Reggie Bush, QB Matt Leinart, T Winston Justice, RB LenDale White, S Darnell Bing
Other likely picks: G Deuce Lutui, TE Dominique Byrd, G Fred Matua, FB David Kirtman
The Trojans boast the most star-studded crop since the 2002 Miami class that included Ed Reed, Jeremy Shockey, Clinton Portis, Phillip Buchanon and Bryant McKinnie. Bush and Leinart are both Heisman winners and potential superstars. The unfairly maligned White will make some team very happy.

2. Ohio State
Top prospects: LB A.J. Hawk, WR Santonio Holmes, S Donte Whitner, LB Bobby Carpenter, CB Ashton Youboty, C Nick Mangold
Other likely picks: DE Mike Kudla, T Rob Sims, S Nate Salley, LB Anthony Schlegel
The Bucks might not boast a franchise player such as Leinart or Bush, but depending on how the chips fall, they could tie Miami's 2004 draft record with six first-rounders (if Carpenter, Youboty and Mangold all make the cut). Hawk and Holmes will eventually be among the best at their positions.

3. Florida State
Top prospects: LB Ernie Sims, CB Antonio Cromartie, DT Brodrick Bunkley, DE Kamerion Wimbley
Other likely picks: S Pat Watkins, LB A.J. Nicholson, RB Leon Washington, WR Willie Reid
The 'Noles churn out defensive studs like Bobby Bowden throws out one-liners. FSU could have four go in the first round, including one, Cromartie, who is so talented that scouts don't seem to mind that he had one career start and missed last season with a knee injury.

4. Texas
Top prospects: QB Vince Young, S Michael Huff, CB Cedric Griffin
Other likely picks: TE David Thomas, DT Rod Wright, T Jonathan Scott
The offensive and defensive stars of last year's national title game, Young and Huff, are both expected to go in the top 10 picks. Thomas is underrated at his position, and Wright and Scott were cornerstones of the Longhorns' dominant offensive and defensive lines.

5. N.C. State
Top prospects: DE Mario Williams, DE Manny Lawson, DT John McCargo
Other likely picks: CB Marcus Hudson, LB Stephen Tulloch, LB Oliver Hoyte
What does it say about the Wolfpack's offense that despite boasting a defense that produced the top two defensive ends in this draft -- including potential No. 1 pick Williams -- and as many as six overall draftees, N.C. State went just 12-11 the past two seasons.

6. Miami
Top prospects: WR Sinorice Moss, T Eric Winston, CB Kelly Jennings
Other likely picks: CB Marcus Maxey, WR/CB Devin Hester, LB Roger McIntosh
The 'Canes' NFL assembly line has slowed down a bit the past couple of years, but with Moss, "The U" should have at least one first-round pick for the 12th straight year, and Winston and Jennings aren't that far behind.

7. Alabama
Top prospects: LB DeMeco Ryans, DT Mark Anderson
Other likely picks: S Roman Harper, QB Brodie Croyle, LB Freddie Roach, LB Charlie Peprah
The Tide's breakthrough 10-2 season was keyed largely by this group of weathered seniors, many of whom started for three or four years. Ryans is the only one getting significant NFL buzz, but watch out for Harper and Croyle.

8. Penn State
Top prospects: DE Tamba Hali, CB Alan Zemaitis
Other likely picks: CB Anwar Phillips, QB Michael Robinson
The Nittany Lions were another senior-laden team last year, and while their class doesn't go quite as deep as 'Bama's in the eyes of the NFL, Hali and Zemaitis have a chance to be valuable contributors, as could the athletic Robinson if he finds the right position.

9. LSU
Top prospects: RB Joseph Addai, DT Claude Wroten
Other likely picks: DT Kyle Williams, T Andrew Whitworth, WR Skyler Green
These five were part of a highly successful class that won a national title and played in two SEC title games. Addai was a solid running back who usually split carries with others, while Wroten and Williams were both dominant as seniors.

10. UCLA
Top prospects: TE Marcedes Lewis, RB Maurice Drew
Other likely picks: LB Spencer Havner
All three were college All-Americas. Lewis is the most coveted tight end in the draft behind Maryland's Vernon Davis. Drew figures to be a special-teams whiz, and Havner was a tackling machine who could make a good mid-round pick for some team.
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