Defensive Back U: SEC West powers push out prospects
Spanning the last 25 years, Saturday Down South has looked at the quality and volume of each SEC program’s NFL Draft picks in the secondary to determine which school deserves the title of Defensive Back U.
‘The U’ Series
Recently, South Carolina’s become a defensive back factory, pushing out 14 draft picks since the 2002 season, but that number is dwarfed by several other SEC programs since 1989. The Gamecocks would be in the ‘receiving votes’ category of this list, along with Georgia.
Which SEC team deserves the title of Defensive Back U?
3. Alabama (23 Total Draft Picks: John Mangum, Mark McMillan, George Teague, Antonio Langham, Brad Ford, Ralph Staten, Deshea Townsend, Fernando Bryant, Tony Dixon, Waine Bacon, Charlie Peprah, Roman Harper, Ramzee Robinson, Rashad Johnson, Marquis Johnson, Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson, DeQuan Menzie, Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, Dee Milliner, Vinnie Sunseri, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix) — During the 2012 Draft, Barron and Kirkpatrick were each selected in the first round, coming off the board at No. 7 and No. 17 … Harper’s entering his ninth NFL season in 2014 and the 2009 Super Bowl champ’s recorded seven career interceptions and 654 tackles … A fourth-round pick by the Steelers in 1998, Townsend won two Super Bowls picked off 21 passes over a 13-year career.
Noteworthy totals in Tuscaloosa
- Barron: 235 tackles, 12 INT
- Jackson: 159 tackles, 5 INT
- Arenas: 154 tackles, 6 INT (7 special teams TD)
2. Florida: (22 Total Draft Picks: Louis Oliver, Jimmy Spencer, Richard Fain, Will White, Lawrence Hatch, Elijah Williams, Fred Weary, Tony George, Marquand Manuel, Lito Sheppard, Todd Johnson, Keiwan Ratliff, Reynaldo Hill, Jeremy Mincey, Ryan Smith, Reggie Nelson, Major Wright, Joe Haden, Ahmad Black, Josh Evans, Matt Elam, Jaylen Watkins) — Weary, Florida’s all-time leader with 15 interceptions, started for the 1996 national championship team and was the Gators’ best cover corner … Arguably Florida’s most productive defensive back during his tenure, Black won a SEC Championship in 2008, the BCS Championship in 2009 and was a first-team All-SEC and All-American standout in 2010 … An early Draft entrant after the 2009 season, Haden’s blossomed into one of pro football’s top defensive backs and was named to the Pro Bowl last fall.
Noteworthy totals in Gainesville
- Black: 244 tackles, 13 INT
- Haden: 218 tackles, 8 INT
- Wright: 165 tackles, 8 INT
1. LSU (19 Total Draft picks: Greg Jackson, Mike Mayes, Rodney Young, Tory James, Denard Walker, Norman LeJeune, Corey Webster, Travis Daniels, LaRon Landry, Chevis Jackson, Craig Steltz, Curtis Taylor, Chad Jones, Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne, Ron Brooks, Eric Reid, Tyrann Mathieu, Tharold Simon) — The Tigers had a first-round pick from their secondary three consecutive seasons beginning in 2011 with Peterson, Claiborne and Reid … Mathieu, known as Honey Badger, finished fifth in the 2011 Heisman voting and garnered 34 first-place votes as a playmaking ballhawk and special teams star … Landry started 48 straight games at LSU, accumulating more than 300 tackles and 12 interceptions.
Noteworthy totals in Baton Rouge
- Landry: 315 tackles, 12 INT
- Reid: 199 tackles, 6 INT
- Mathieu: 133 tackles, 11 FF, 4 INT
- Peterson: 135 tackles, 7 INT