NFL coaches explain why teams love drafting SEC players

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Lovie Smith Press Conference

As Thursday’s draft day looms, another round of SEC players will be injected into pro football. As many as 12 or 13 former SEC players are projected as first-round picks.

A year removed from a record-setting draft, which was basically a conference infomercial, some have projected as many as 25 former SEC players being selected in the first three rounds, including four of the top five picks.

Over the last 10 years, 421 SEC players have been drafted, including 83 first-round picks. Specifically over the last five years, SEC programs have seen 248 players drafted.

The argument from around college football is the media props the SEC up every year; that aided the conference winning seven straight BCS National Championships. Other coaches take pot shots about the depth of the conference. Some have stated the SEC is merely a few good teams propped up on a house of cards.

But two NFL coaches aren’t singing the same tune. Rather, Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith says the hype is justified, via the Star-Telegram.

“I don’t think it’s hype,” Lovie Smith said. “I think you just look at the numbers. There are just so many good, quality programs, and so many good, quality athletes at every program.

“I think there are some factors to that. When you’re in a warm-weather place, you can play football year-round pretty much. I think that helps. Then, there’s just the emphasis that’s placed on football from junior high on. I know there are some other places like that, too, but it just seems like it’s more so in the SEC.”

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen echoed Smith’s sentiments.

“I think that the SEC is probably the deepest conference in college football, and I think you do see a little bit of a difference in those players just in the level of competition and what they’ve had to go up against,” Allen said. “I wouldn’t say it’s all encompassing, but I think overall they’re a little bit more NFL-ready.”

NFL Draft expert and former Cowboys’ player personnel director Gil Brandt thinks the SEC is the ‘best of the best’.

“It’s a way of life in the SEC,” said Brandt. “A lot of families are seeped in football in those areas of the country. They’ve got skill players. They’ve got the big, strong, dedicated linemen. They’ve got the quarterbacks. They’ve got unbelievable coaching. They all have great off-season programs. … The SEC has the best of the best.”

College football is cyclical, and the SEC won’t be on top forever. So, enjoy it while the conference is in its Golden Age.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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  • the media didnt do a dam thing to make this conference what it is..the media didnt allow us to win 7 straight…IN FACT THE MEDIA TRIES TO DISRUPT THIS CONFERENCE..SINCE 2007-08 THE MEDIA FROM AROUND THE WORLD(THE OREGON’s THE USC’S THE SOONERS, THE LONGHORNS…BASICALLY THE WEST COAST IN GENERAL) GOT JEALOUS AND DIDNT LIKE IT WHEN THERE ALMA MATER LOOK BAD…SO THEY TRY THERE HARDEST TO MAKE OUR JUNIORS LEAVE EARLY WITH BRAINWASHING NFL TALK AND REPORTERS IN THERE FACE THE WEEK OF THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP ASKING IF THERE GOING PRO????!!! NOT POSITIVE STUFF THATS ACTUALLY HAPPENING THEN AND THERE, SO THE PLAYERS MINDSET IS THAT THEY HAVE AN ESCAPE GOAT AFTER THEY LOSE THE BIG GAME TO JUMP TO THE PRO’S AND MAKE EVERY THING BETTER…MAKE A NOTE ON HOW MANY UNDERCLASSMEN ARE ON THAT LIST..ID SAY A 3RD OF THE PLAYERS….and they made our conference bigger so the 5 star player that was going to go to florida is now going to a&m. so instead of florida having 3, 5 star recruits now they only have 2…see how that works? see how there trying to diminish our conference..THE MEDIA IS POISON TO THE WORLD.