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A record 106 underclassmen, including 27 from SEC, available in 2018 NFL draft

NFL draft logo.
JERRY LAI/USA TODAY SPORTS

The NFL released the official list of early entrants for the 2018 NFL draft on Friday, and there are a record 106 players – including 27 from the SEC – who have been granted special early eligibility.

There were 95 underclassmen in the 2017 draft, 96 in 2016, 74 in 2015, 98 in 2014, 73 in 2013, 65 in 2012, 56 in 2011, 53 in 2010 and 46 in 2009.

The complete list is here.

Alabama (5)

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick
S Ronnie Harrison
DT Da’Ron Payne
WR Calvin Ridley
RB Bo Scarbrough
The skinny: Zero surprises, though Damien Harris staying was a mild surprise. Fitzpatrick, Payne and Ridley seem certain to go in the first round.

Auburn (4)

CB Carlton Davis
OLB Jeff Holland
RB Kerryon Johnson
RB Kamryn Pettway
The skinny: Pettway suffered through an injury-plagued 2017, and his decision was surprising. At the same time, word is the coaches aren’t sad to see him go.

Florida (3)

DT Taven Bryan
WR Antonio Callaway
K Eddy Pineiro
The skinny: S Marcell Harris, who could’ve petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility for injury reasons but did not, also has announced he is turning pro. He does not fit the NFL’s definition of an early entrant, though. The other three who declared are not a surprise. The surprise is that more Gators didn’t declare.

Georgia (2)

LB Roquan Smith
DT Trenton Thompson
The skinny: Smith’s decision was expected, and he seems almost certain to be the first inside linebacker selected. Thompson had an uneven season and was a mild surprise.

LSU (7)

C Will Clapp
RB Derrius Guice
CB Donte Jackson
OLB Arden Key
CB Kevin Toliver II
OT Toby Weathersby
The skinny: LSU gets hammered again by early entrants. DT Travonte Valentine, who was kicked off the team last January, also applied for early entry. Though he did not play for LSU in 2017, he is listed as being from LSU on the NFL’s official early entry list.

RELATED: Ranking the 14 SEC games on the opening weekend of 2018 season

Ole Miss (1)

DT Breeland Speaks
The skinny: Speaks had a solid campaign and was thought to be likely to go.

South Carolina (1)

TE Hayden Hurst
The skinny: Zero surprise that Hurst declared. He is a former minor league baseball player who turns 25 in August.

Tennessee (3)

DB Rashaan Gaulden
RB John Kelly
DT Kahlil McKenzie
The skinny: Gaulden and McKenzie are surprises. Gaulden will be missed. McKenzie? Hmmm.

RELATED: Kahlil McKenzie’s Vols days are over – but could Jeremy Pruitt have made a difference?

Texas A&M (1)

WR Christian Kirk
The skinny: Then-coach Kevin Sumlin said before the 2017 season that Kirk almost certainly would turn pro, so his decision was not a surprise. Kirk seems to be a first-round lock; will he go in the first half of the round or the second?

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