The SEC and the NFL draft

If you want to understand why the SEC dominates the NFL draft as it does now…

— The SEC had 49 players selected in the 2010 NFL Draft. The number represents the most SEC players ever taken in the NFL Draft.

— The SEC had the most players taken among conferences in the draft. Behind the SEC’s 49 selections were the Big Ten (34), ACC (31), Big 12 (30) and Pac-10 (29).

— Since 1990, the SEC has had 782 total selections in the NFL Draft, an average of 37.2 selections per year. The Big Ten is second with 672 selections.

— Since 1997, the SEC has had 552 total selections in the NFL Draft, an average of 39.4 selections per year.

— The SEC has now led or tied for the most selections in the NFL Draft for 11 of the last 13 seasons and the last four drafts.

… look no further than this.

• Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson
The Cleveland Browns and head coach Eric Mangini loved him, so much so that word leaked out before the draft that Wilson could come off the board with the team’s seventh overall pick. But an internal split formed between Wilson and Florida cornerback Joe Haden. Team president Mike Holmgren thought Haden’s level of competition in the Southeastern Conference gave him the edge, so he broke the tie in Haden’s favor. [Emphasis added.] In turn, Wilson trickled all the way down to the New York Jets at 29th overall. There’s a $15 million difference in guaranteed money between those two spots. Ouch.

Think that story’s gonna get trotted out on the recruiting trail once or twice?



Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, SEC Football

11 responses to “The SEC and the NFL draft

  1. Charles D.

    I really don’t think the draft is as important as what players actually do at the next level. It’s all nice to talk about the day after, but really, the draft is not that much different than recruiting rankings.

    Look at 2007. There were 4 safeties taken in the 1st round. 2 from the SEC, 2 from elsewhere.

    The two from the SEC, Laron Landry and Reggie Nelson, suck. They are terrible NFL football players, and both of them may be out the league at the end of their rookie contracts.

    The two others, Michael Griffin and Brandon Merriweather, are Pro-Bowlers.

    Will that get trotted out on the recruiting trail?

    I understand the point about the Haden/Wilson debate, but let’s be honest. Haden did not exactly face ANY NFL QB’s last year, except for Ryan Mallett.

    BeBe Thomas and Tim Tebow were 1st round draft picks. Does that mean that the high school offenses they run prepare players for the NFL? No, it just means that Josh McDaniels is a colossal dumbass who will be unemployed this time next season.


    • Hobnail_Boot

      This Denver Broncos fan agrees with you, but it’ll be more than 1 year.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        If you were trying to destroy an NFL team you would do exactly what the Broncos are doing.


      • Badmarinara

        I’m just thankful Tampa makes the broncos look decent. But stockpiling picks by trading away all your talent…would be fine if you don’t give it all back for a Third to fifth round qb /tight end in the FIRST round.


  2. zdawg

    Its important if millions of dollars are lost. Facing great talent in the SEC helps NFL evaluation and will most likely move you higher on the draft board vs someone who plays against questionable talent. This can be a difference of MILLIONS (insert pinky finger) of dollars.

    Actual performance in the NFL is a different discussion all together.


  3. Macallanlover

    There is no one, guaranteed correct answer to this discusion as players, not conferences succeed at the next level. I think Charles makes some valid points about SEC defensive backs not facing the scatter-gun passing attacks played in other conferences, but they do face more physical blockers and runners which other conferences don’t match up in. The NFL will test them in both areas so who can say which CFB players will make the transition best. I cannot fault Holmgren’s logic either but I do feel the difference in salary/bonus reflects a problem given this was viewed as a coin toss by the “experts”.

    I would also not be so quick to dismiss the drafting of Tebow as lunacy. Everyone understands the risk here, but Timmy is a winner, one who is a physical speciman and has been working for months to change his delivery. He may be a washout, but longshots do come in and this guy has enough going for him that it looks like a decent bet to make. What I would be questioning more is the thinking of an organization that is bringing in their 3rd QB in less than 12 months. If you are questioning Denver being the one to take the chance, I get it because it does appear that don’t have a plan (or a clue.) If you are saying no one should have taken TT that high, I feel that is a little short-sided. The bigger question in my mind is how Claussen got taken ahead of McCoy.

    The NFL should be a much better judge of talent than colleges recruiting HS players after seeing these young men compete after they have matured (physically), been coached by better qualified specialists, and evaluated while playing against comparable athletes. And I think they do get it right more often, but when it comes to human behavior, it will never be a science. You can make points and counter points every draft season and never know for sure.


    • Phocion

      Good points…just this to add

      1) Why are we asuming that Tebow in Denver will play as a regular quarterback? What if they which to running some form of the Wildcat like Miami, then doesn’t Tebow make some sense? But, I agree, Tebow to Denver was a bit perplexing. Just before the pick I would have put money that all of New England’s trading down was a sign that they were interested in Tebow. He would have been a great fit there…no worries about him having to be the starting quarterback any time soon…most of their offense is run from the gun…Tebow can play the 3rd and shorts to keep Brady from getting pounded…and Welker, running short patterns underneath, is the perfect saftey valve for Tebow.

      2) Clausen is a much better talent, in the NFL sense, than McCoy. Put their stats side by side and the only thing that McCoy legitimately has over Clausen is wins. Now consider that McCoy played with a far better O-line in front of him, against the excuses that the BigXII calls defenses, and piled up his numbers by playing late into the 4th quarter in blow out wins. And, oh by the way, look at how McCoy spit the bit against the best defenses that he did face (Oklahoma and Nebraska). If I am risking the millions on one of their salaries, it would be on Clausen rather than McCoy.


    • Badmarinara

      Unless he improves Tebow will not make it in the NFL. His main weapon-the run-will not work. He too slow and will get killed. No one argues this. But once you take that away, the defenses get an “extra” DB b/c they won’t need to keep a spy on him. Add that to the fact that all NFL DBs are very fast and he throws floating ducks. Not a recipe for first round talent. Could he improve? Sure. Someone also wins the lottery, too.


  4. Vious

    It isn’t surprising and it shows that NFL scouts look towards the SEC more than any other conference

    The play, the crowds, the pressure, etc….are the best of the best