SEC produces 7 first-round picks in 'down' draft year
The SEC’s four-year streak of producing the most first-round draft picks is over.
The ACC and Pac-12 produced nine first-round selections each and the SEC placed seven players in the first 32 overall picks Thursday night. It was the SEC’s lowest total since the 2010 draft, when the conference also produced seven picks.
On the bright side, the Southeastern Conference still retains a chance to produce the most overall draft picks for a ninth consecutive season.
Oregon and Florida State, two teams who made the College Football Playoff last season, each lost two first-round picks, including starting quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, good news as the SEC tries to reclaim its first national championship in three years.
Dating back to the 2010 draft, the SEC now has produced 57 first-round picks, compared to just 30 for the ACC and 29 for the Big 12, the two closest conferences.
Florida was the only SEC team that produced multiple first-round picks Thursday, as Alabama safety Landon Collins slipped out of the first round. Receiver Amari Cooper got selected, but Collins’ slide ended a five-year Tide streak of at least two first-round players.
LSU OT La’el Collins and CB Jalen Collins, two other players often projected in the first round in mock drafts, also may have slipped based on off-field news.
Baton Rouge police want to interview La’el Collins for possible information related to the murder of a woman with whom he has been linked romantically, though he is not a suspect. In addition to offseason surgery, a recent media report revealed that Jalen Collins failed several drug tests while at LSU.
2015 FIRST-ROUND PICKS BY CONFERENCE
Big Ten: 3
Big 12: 2
SEC FIRST-ROUND SELECTIONS BY YEAR
FIRST-ROUND SELECTIONS SINCE 2010
Big 12: 29
Big Ten: 21
Big East: 6
The SEC produced a total of 241 picks in the last five drafts, or 48.2 selections per draft. That works out to fewer than seven draft picks per round, so the conference is right on track for its usual total.