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Tyler Bray, Marcus Lattimore show opposite emotions of 2013 NFL Draft (+video)

The fortunes of Tyler Bray and Marcus Lattimore showed the ups and downs of what was a historic 2013 NFL Draft for the Southeastern Conference.

By Staff writer / April 28, 2013

Running back Marcus Lattimore speaks with the media during South Carolina's NFL football pro day on this spring in Columbia, S.C.

Rainier Ehrhardt/AP/File

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Somehow, University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray – a 6-foot-6 specimen with a cannon arm – was not selected in the seven rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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Somehow, University of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore found two knees to stand on at his pro workout earlier this spring – enough to get him a standing ovation from the coaches and scouts present and a selection by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round.

In a draft where 63 players from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) were selected – a record for any college football conference – two of the SEC players who made the biggest splash on the last day of the three-day extravaganza Saturday did it for opposite reasons.

Bray was left standing at the altar. Admittedly, this was not a sterling draft for quarterbacks. But perhaps that's why he decided to leave Tennessee a year early year to go pro. According to one mock draft, NFLDraftScout.com, he was seventh best pick of the litter. In the end, he wasn't even among the 11 chosen.

It's a glimpse into a situation that plagued basketball for years. Many high school players, egos inflated by friends and hangers on, would enter the National Basketball Association draft, forgoing any college eligibility. When they were not drafted – or drafted late and then let go – they would be left in a limbo, not good enough to make a pro team, but not able to go to college to hone their skills.

The situation forced the NBA to institute a "one year in college" rule for all players, giving each time to assess his draft prospects with clearer eyes. The NBA has also started a developmental league akin to the baseball minor leagues to help those who fall through the cracks.

In the end, Bray was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs after the draft – and as a junior, he had ample time to make an informed decision about his pro prospects. But the National Football League also has a Draft Advisory Board precisely for this reason. It offers undergraduate prospects an impartial assessment of where they're likely to land in the draft.

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