SEC fans like to brag about conference depth. On that, the NFL can probably agree.
No league has been more prolific in the NFL Draft than the SEC in the last decade. The league has had 466 players selected in the last 10 drafts, 63 more than any other conference.
In 2014, seven SEC teams had a team selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Ten teams have produced at least one-first round pick in the last three drafts.
None of this should come as too much of a surprise. Since 2006, four SEC teams have combined for seven national championships and several others have been national contenders late into the season.
For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.
Here’s how teams in the SEC fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.
*Data derived from Pro Football Reference
SEC NFL Draft Picks
• LSU’s and Georgia’s place atop the league in the last decade may be a surprise at first glance, given Alabama’s recent dominance and Florida’s run under Urban Meyer. But under further consideration, it makes sense. LSU and Georgia have been arguably the most consistent performers of the time span. Our 2005-14 window contains the tail end of the Mike Shula era at Alabama and most of the Will Muschamp era at Florida.
• Hard to believe, but Alabama was shut out of the 2008 NFL Draft. Since then, the Tide have had 41 players selected overall since the 2009 draft and 15 in the first round alone since the 2010 draft.
• The SEC has produced eight teams with 30 or more draft picks in the last 10 years. By comparison, the ACC has five, the Big 12 has two, the Big Ten has six, the Pac-12 has four.
• The SEC has accounted for four No. 1 overall selections (South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Auburn’s Cam Newton, Georgia’s Matthew Stafford and LSU’s JaMarcus Russell) in our 10-year window. The current Pac-12 lineup is the only other league to produce more than one (Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Utah’s Alex Smith)
• Yet another sign of the turmoil Tennessee hopes it has left behind. The Volunteers have produced more draft picks than Auburn, South Carolina and Missouri in the last 10 years and so much less to show for it.
• Kentucky is the only SEC team in the last decade without a first-round pick. The Wildcats’ last first-rounder was Dewayne Robertson in 2003.