Reggie Nelson is still proving he is one of the best in the NFL. The former Florida Gator All-American safety had an interception he ran back for 40 yards in the Oakland Raiders’ win 33-16 over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10. Nelson was a first-round pick by the Jaguars in 2007. His Raiders are climbing up the Super Bowl odds.
Nelson made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season and was selected as a second-team All-Pro with the Cincinnati Bengals. In the offseason, he signed as a free agent with the Raiders.
While the SEC is well known for producing top talent for NFL teams, many players chosen have carved out a long career on the next level. Nelson is just one of 17 players who played college football in the SEC and has enjoyed a career that has lasted 10 or more seasons.
Here is a look at other former SEC greats who have enjoyed such longevity.
TE Jason Witten
Dallas Cowboys, from Tennessee
The buzz: Witten was a third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2003 by the Cowboys. This is his 14th season in the NFL, including 10 Pro Bowl seasons, and his 1,048 receptions rank behind only Tony Gonzalez on the all-time list for tight ends.
QB Eli Manning
New York Giants, from Ole Miss
The buzz: Manning, who played at Ole Miss, has two Super Bowl rings as a member of the Giants. He was the first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has played 13 seasons in New York, appearing in four Pro Bowls and twice winning Super Bowl MVP honors.
T Jason Peters
Philadelphia Eagles, from Arkansas
The buzz: Peters has been in the NFL for the past 12 seasons. He was a college free agent originally signed by the Buffalo Bills out of Arkansas, appearing in eight Pro Bowls.
P Donnie Jones
Philadelphia Eagles, from LSU
The buzz: Punters have long careers in the NFL. Jones played at LSU and was originally drafted by Seattle in the seventh round in 2001. He has played 13 seasons in the league.
NT Kedric Golston
Washington Redskins, from Georgia
The buzz: Golston played for the Georgia Bulldogs. He was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in 2006. He has played all 11 seasons in Washington.
QB Jay Cutler
Chicago Bears, from Vanderbilt
The buzz: The former Vanderbilt Commodores star is an 11-year veteran in the NFL. He was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006 and was traded to the Bears in 2009. Cutler appeared in the Pro Bowl in 2008.
LB Thomas Davis
Carolina Panthers, from Georgia
The buzz: Davis, a 2015 Pro Bowl player, still remains one of the best linebackers in the game even during his 12th season in the league. The former Georgia star was drafted in the first round in 2005.
DE Charles Johnson
Carolina Panthers, from Georgia
The buzz: Another product from Georgia, Johnson was drafted in the third round in 2007 by the Panthers and re-signed with the team this offseason.
G Evan Mathis
Arizona Cardinals, from Alabama
The buzz: Mathis has played 12 seasons in the NFL. The former Alabama Crimson Tide player was a third-round pick of Carolina in 2005. He has twice gone to the Pro Bowl.
DE Chris Clemons
Seattle Seahawks, from Georgia
The buzz: Clemons returned to Seattle in the offseason. He played his college ball at Georgia and was originally signed as a rookie free agent by Washington in 2003.
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