With the NFL Draft (April 27-29) almost a week away we thought it would be fun to look back on the past five years. To no surprise, Alabama has had the most players drafted into the NFL over those five years, as well as the most first-round picks.
The Tide’s recent surge in NFL Draft picks have boosted their all-time number to 333, just four shy of Tennessee’s SEC all-time leading 337, which ranks eighth in the NCAA (Alabama is 10th all-time). USC has the most all-time NFL Draft picks with 497.
Here’s a look at each SEC school over the past five years.
Draft picks: 39
Skinny: In addition to its first-round picks, Alabama has accumulated 10 second-rounders over the past five years. But the upcoming draft could be the best of all. Some are predicting that the Tide could have as many as six first-round picks, which would tie the NCAA record set by Miami in 2004.
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) January 19, 2017
Draft picks: 22
Skinny: Not only have the Razorbacks not had a first-round draft pick in the past five years, but Hunter Henry is the only second-round pick as well. The Arkansas tight end was taken in the second round of the 2016 draft by the San Diego Chargers. Henry played in 15 games as a rookie, starting 10 of those, and finished with 36 catches for 478 yards and eight touchdowns.
Draft picks: 14
Skinny: The Tigers haven’t had a first- or a second-round pick since boasting two first-rounders in 2014. Tackle Greg Robinson went No. 2 overall in the 2014 draft to the St. Louis Rams, and DE Dee Ford went later in that first round, 23rd overall, to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Draft picks: 29
Skinny: The Gators have sent more than their share of players to the NFL. Most recently, 15 Florida players were selected in just the past two years of the NFL Draft, including four first-rounders. Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and SS Keanu Neal (Atlanta Falcons) made it back-to-back seasons of two first-round picks. Florida’s LB Dante Fowler (Jacksonville Jaguars) and T D.J. Humphries (Arizona Cardinals) were first-round choices in the 2015 draft.
Draft picks: 27
Skinny: Leonard Floyd was the Bulldogs’ lone first-round pick in 2016. The linebacker was taken ninth overall by the Chicago Bears, making three years in the past four that Georgia has had a first-round pick. Running back Todd Gurley was a first-round pick (St. Louis Rams) and 10th overall selection in the 2015 draft. The Bulldogs had two first-rounders in 2013 — OLBs Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.
Draft picks: 7
Skinny: In 2015, LB Bud Dupree became the first Kentucky player chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft (22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers) since DT Dewayne Robertson was taken fourth overall by the New York Jets in 2003.
Draft picks: 32
Skinny: The Tigers have cooled off somewhat since sending nearly half of its front line starters to the NFL a few years back. LSU has had nine players drafted over the past two seasons after having nine selected in the 2013 draft and nine more in 2014. LSU hasn’t had a first-round pick since WR Odell Beckham was chosen 12th overall by the New York Giants in the 2014 draft. However, RB Leonard Fournette will help LSU break that drought in a few days.
Draft picks: 15
Skinny: Though they’ve had five second-round picks over the past five years, the Bulldogs haven’t had a first-round pick since DT Fletcher Cox was chosen 12th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. In fact, first-round picks have been few and far between at Mississippi State. Since 1996, the Bulldogs have had just one other first-round pick, T Derek Sherrod, who was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 32nd overall pick in 2011.
Draft picks: 15
Skinny: The Tigers are hoping for a more eventful draft than last year, when their first player went in the fourth round and just three Tigers heard their name called. It was a stark contrast to the 2015 draft when three players went in the first two rounds, including first-rounder DE Shane Ray (Denver Broncos).
Draft picks: 8
Skinny: How do you top last year? The Rebels had three first-round picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. It was Ole Miss’ first first-round pick since the 2009 draft (T Michael Oher, DT Peria Jerry). The bar was raised last year when T Laremy Tunsil was taken 13th overall by the Miami Dolphins and then WR Laquon Treadwell (Minnesota Vikings) and DT Robert Nkemdiche (Arizona Cardinals) were chosen 23rd and 29th, respectively.
Draft picks: 22
Skinny: Not since DE Jadaveon Clowney became the first player selected in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans has a South Carolina player been drafted higher than the fourth round. The only exception was G A.J. Cann, chosen in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Draft picks: 8
Skinny: It doesn’t seem possible that Tennessee has been shut out of the NFL Draft for two consecutive years. Especially when you consider that the Vols had first-round picks in each of the two previous years. Tackle Ja’Wuan James was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 19th overall pick in 2014, and WR Cordarrelle Patterson was chosen by the Minnesota Vikings with the 29th overall pick in 2013.
Draft picks: 17
Skinny: The Aggies have had first-round picks in each of the past six NFL Drafts, including three first-rounders in 2014. That’s the year T Jake Matthews (Atlanta Falcons) and WR Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) went back-to-back with the sixth and seventh overall picks before QB Johnny Manziel was selected 22nd overall by the Cleveland Browns. That streak will continue this year when DE Myles Garrett is selected. Some believe he will be the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Draft picks: 8
Skinny: One of only two schools in the SEC without a first-round pick over the past five years, Vanderbilt could see that drought end with LB Zach Cunningham. The last Commodores player to be selected in the first round was OT Chris Williams, chosen 14th overall by the Chicago Bears in 2008.
— Big Blue View (@bigblueview) April 6, 2017