The SEC ruled the NFL Draft yet again, while Ohio State dominated the 2016 proceedings, especially early. Considering the SEC is responsible for producing college football’s national champion in eight of the past 10 years and the Buckeyes won it in 2014, this should come as no surprise.
Ohio State had 12 players get drafted this past weekend, including a record 11 in the first four rounds. Clemson, which lost to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, was second to the Buckeyes with nine.
Conference-wise, the SEC continued its decade-long dominance with 51 players selected while the Big Ten, fueled by Ohio State, finished a close second with 47.
Here is how the top schools and each FBS conference fared in this year’s draft, along with some other notes and nuggets of information.
• Ohio State not only led the way in total players drafted (12), the Buckeyes also were tops with five first-round selections: Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Eli Apple, Taylor Decker and Darron Lee. That’s one shy of the record six set by Miami in 2004.
• Of Ohio State’s five first-round picks, three were among the first 10 — Joey Bosa at No. 3, Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4 and Eli Apple at No. 10. It was the first time since 2010 that a school had three players go in the top 10. That year it was Oklahoma with Sam Bradford going No. 1 overall followed by Gerald McCoy (No. 3) and Trent Williams (No. 4).
• All 12 Ohio State players that were drafted went in the first four rounds – from Joey Bosa at No. 3 overall to Cardale Jones with the last pick (No. 139) of the fourth round. That’s the most in the first four rounds for a single school, breaking the previous mark of 11 by Miami in 2004.
• Despite the strong showing by Ohio State, the SEC still led the way with 51 players taken in the draft. This extended the SEC’s streak to 10 straight years of dominating the draft. The Big Ten finished second with 47.
• The SEC could not extend another streak to 10, however, as 2016 marked the first time since ‘07 that a player from the conference was not among the top five picks. Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was expected to keep this run intact, but that was before a questionable video posted on one of his social media accounts contributed to him falling all the way out of the top 10. Miami took Tunsil with the 13th pick.
• Even though Ohio State alone had five first-round picks, the SEC as a whole still led with eight players among the first 31 selections. Last year’s draft had been the first in the past five years in which the SEC did not provide the most first-round picks.
• Among the Power Five conferences, the SEC (51 players taken) and Big Ten (47) set the pace with the Pac-12 (32), ACC and Big 12 (26 each) following behind.
• Seven Power Five teams were shut out of this year’s draft: Colorado, Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest. It was the second straight year with no players drafted for the Volunteers but that’s likely to change in 2017.
• Independents (in this case BYU and Notre Dame) and Group of Five conferences combined for 46 players drafted. The Fighting Irish were responsible for seven of those with the American Athletic Conference and Conference USA each responsible for 10 of the selections.
• While the FBS ranks understandably dominated the draft, FCS programs combined for 20 of this year’s selections. Included in this total was No. 2 overall pick QB Carson Wentz from North Dakota State as well as a pair of second-rounders (Eastern Kentucky OLB Noah Spence, Samford CB James Bradberry).
• Fifty-six (56) schools had multiple players taken in this year’s draft. This group includes big-time programs like Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, Baylor and many other Power Five schools, but also the likes of Boise State, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Temple, Western Kentucky, Colorado State, San Jose State, Southern Miss, Utah State, Western Michigan as well as FCS programs North Dakota State and South Carolina State.
• Not surprisingly, the four College Football Playoff participants from last season (Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State, Oklahoma) combined for 25 of this year’s draft picks. The national championship game between Clemson and Alabama accounted for 19 of those, 10 of which were first- or second-round selections.
• With seven more this year, Nick Saban’s Alabama teams have produced 51 draft picks since 2010, the most of any school.
• The Fiesta Bowl between Notre Dame and Ohio State featured an impressive 19 draft picks, including seven from the first round and four from the second.
• Among the New Year’s Six bowls, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Houston and Florida State featured the fewest draft picks with five. Perhaps what is more interesting is that the Cougars (3) had more players drafted this year than the Seminoles (2).
• After leading all schools with 11 picks last year, Florida State’s two selections are the school’s fewest since having just one player (Everette Brown) taken in 2009. Prior to this year, the Seminoles had produced a total of 40 picks over the past six drafts.
• Last, but certainly not least, Moritz Boehringer of the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League became the first international player to be drafted straight from a European football league to the NFL. Boehringer was taken in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings and has already signed his rookie contract.