When it comes to the NFL Draft, the Southeastern Conference still rules. But the competition seems to be getting tighter between the SEC and the rest of college football in terms of producing professional talent.
- 1. SEC (53)
- 2. ACC (47)
- 3. Pac 12 (39)
- 4. Big 10 (33)
- 5. Big 12 (27)
- 6. AAC (13)
- 7. MWC (10)
- 8t. MAC (4)
- 8t. Missouri Valley (4)
- 10t. Sun Belt (3)
- 10t. Conf. USA (3)
When breaking down the 2015 NFL Draft, the SEC had a conference-leading 53 draft picks. They narrowly edged the ACC, which had 47. Next was the Pac 12 with 39. The Big 10 had 33 draftees and the Big 12 was the last of the Power 5 leagues with 27.
The AAC led all non-Power Five conferences with 13. The Mountain West was next with 10. The MAC had four draft picks while the Sun Belt and Conference USA both produced a trio of picks.
In terms of the small-school leagues, the Missouri Valley led the way with four draftees, followed by the Southern, Southland, South Atlantic, Colonial, and Ohio Valley. They each had two. Meanwhile, the Big Sky, Big South, Liberty, MEAC, and SWAC each had one draft pick.
FSU Leads The Way
- 1. FSU (11)
- 2. Louisville (10)
- 3. Florida (8)
- 4t. Alabama (7)
- 4t. Oklahoma (7)
- 4t. Miami (7)
- 7t. USC (6)
- 7t. Stanford (6)
- 8t. Auburn (5)
- 8t. Arkansas (5)
- 8t. Georgia (5)
- 8t. Mississippi State (5)
- 8t. Missouri (5)
- 8t. Clemson (5)
- 8t. Ohio State (5)
- 8t. Oregon State (5)
- 8t. Oregon (5)
- 8t. Texas (5)
There has been no question that Florida State has dominated the draft once again. This time around the Seminoles had an NCAA-leading 11 players drafted. Louisville was hot on their heels. The Cardinals had 10 draft picks. That says a lot about the way these two programs have recruited. For FSU and Jimbo Fisher, it’s all been about consistently recruiting and developing terrific players. Charlie Strong was the lead dog for the Cardinals and he has now moved on to Austin and the University of Texas. Certainly Bobby Petrino has some big shoes to fill at Louisville.
It may surprise some folks to see the Gators next with eight draft picks, especially considering the past couple years in Gainesville. Will Muschamp struggled and was fired six months ago. Surprisingly, six of Florida’s eight draft picks were offensive players. That’s the side of the ball that really struggled in Gainesville under Muschamp.
Alabama, Miami, and Oklahoma each had seven players drafted. This is par for the course in Tuscaloosa, as Nick Saban and Alabama have pretty much been a recruiting dynasty since he took over the program. Meanwhile, that’s a high number in Coral Gables, especially coming off a pedestrian like season in 2014. Then you have the Sooners, who seemed to slump last fall. Still, these programs can still reel in and develop talent.
USC and Stanford each had six players drafted while Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, Missouri, Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon State, Oregon, and Texas had five draftees. Stanford has been on an amazing run that first started with Jim Harbaugh. Now it’s David Shaw setting the bar even higher. Who said you couldn't consistently win and develop elite talent at academic schools?
In this group you also see the national champion Buckeyes. Get used to hearing the name Ohio State. The Buckeyes could and should dominate the draft next season and could have quite a few players drafted among the top 50 including the No. 1 spot. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa could go very early next spring. In fact, I recently came out with my top 50 prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft and the Buckeyes placed six of 50 in this group. If there has been one program that has recruited on par or better than FSU and Alabama of late it’s Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. This guy and his staff have killed it.
Then you have a handful of SEC schools. In fact, seven from this conference had at least five players drafted. That’s par for the course here and a reason why there’s so much depth year in and year out in the SEC.
Texas, who embarrassingly didn’t have a player drafted in 2014, had five drafted earlier this month. Long term, you should see the same impact in Austin that you saw Charlie Strong have at Louisville in regards to recruiting and developing NFL talent.
Notre Dame had only one player drafted this time around. That number will change significantly (for the better) in 2016 for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is loaded for a killer run this fall on both sides of the ball.
A Larger Look
- 1. FSU (33)
- 2. Alabama (32)
- 3. LSU (27)
- 4. Oklahoma (23)
- 5t. Florida (22)
- 5t. Georgia (22)
- 7. Miami (20)
- 8t. Notre Dame (19)
- 8t. South Carolina (19)
- 10t. Clemson (18)
- 10t. Ohio State (18)
- 10t. Oregon (18)
- 10t. Stanford (18)
- 10t. Wisconsin (18)
Over the last four drafts, FSU has now produced the most picks with 33. Fisher and the Seminoles have overtaken Saban and Alabama. The Crimson Tide have 32 draftees over that time. Next is LSU with 27. They are followed by Oklahoma (23), Florida (22), Georgia (22), and Miami (20).
South Carolina has 19 draft picks since 2012. So does Notre Dame. Clemson, Ohio State, Oregon, and Stanford each have 18.
In this group you have the past four national champions (Ohio State, FSU, Alabama) and every team that made college football’s first playoff.
Coming tomorrow in part four - a unique look some of the top high school teams producing NFL talent.
Related stories: NFL Rosters Breakdown Series From Last Fall
Part 1 - Daddy, where are NFL players from?
Part 2- Where do student-athletes major in the NFL?
Part 3 - Drafted vs Undrafted Players
Part 4 – Positional Breakdowns of the NFL: Where are they from?
Part 5 - NFL Veterans: Where are they from?
Part 6 – Top NFL Producing High Schools