football Edit

NFL Draft: Which conferences are the pipelines to the pros?

Alabama coach Nick Saban
Alabama coach Nick Saban (AP Images)

The SEC continues to dominate the first round of the NFL Draft, and the conference even widened its lead over the other Power Five schools on Thursday night. Below is a look at which conferences fared the best during the first round and which teams had the most selections.

MORE ON THE NFL DRAFT: Breaking down the picks, state by state | Gorney's Takeaways | Grading the first-round picks

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SEC: 91 first-round picks since 2010; 10 players taken in first round this year  

The SEC has a massive lead over every other Power Five conference and and it extended its lead by having 10 first-round selections on Thursday night.

Alabama led the way with four players, as defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, linebacker Rashaan Evans and receiver Calvin Ridley were all first-round selections. Georgia came in second with three players - linebacker Roquan Smith, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel - taken in the first round. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs played each other for the national title last season.

Three other SEC schools had one player each in the first round - South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst, Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan and Arkansas offensive lineman Frank Ragnow.

ACC: 50 first-round picks since 2010; six players in first round this year

For the first time in NFL Draft history, brothers were selected in the first round, as Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds went to Buffalo and Terrell Edmunds was picked by Pittsburgh. The only other ACC school with two selections was Louisville with cornerback Jaire Alexander and quarterback Lamar Jackson, the last pick of Round 1.

Defensive end Bradley Chubb of NC State andFlorida State defensive back Derwin James were the ACC’s two other first-round selections.

PAC-12: 42 first-round picks since 2010; four players in first round this year

UCLA was the only team in the Pac-12 with multiple players taken in the first round, as quarterback Josh Rosen went No. 10 overall to Arizona and offensive tackle Kolton Miller was selected five picks later by Oakland.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold was the second player at his position taken off the board at No. 3 by the New York Jets. The other Pac-12 player selected was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea at No. 12 by Tampa Bay.

Big Ten: 42 first-round picks since 2010; four players in first round this year

It was a busy time for Big Ten teams early in the first round, as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley went second overall to the New York Giants and then Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward was picked fourth by Cleveland. But then it grew quiet until later in the first round.

The only other players from that conference selected in the first round was Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price at No. 21 by Cincinnati and Maryland receiver D.J. Moore.

Non-Power Five schools: 36 first-round picks since 2010; seven players in first round this year

Schools from non-Power Five conferences did exceptionally well in the first round with seven selections, tied with the ACC for second-most. Notre Dame led the way with offensive linemen Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey taken in the first nine picks.

Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport, Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny and UCF defensive back Mike Hughes also were first-round selections.

BIG 12: 27 first-round picks since 2010; one player in first round this year

The first pick in the NFL Draft was Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, the first player from the Big 12 taken No. 1 overall since 2010, when another Sooners QB - Sam Bradford - was picked by the then-St. Louis Rams.

However, Mayfield was the only Big 12 player drafted in the first round, which is a problem since the Power Five conference drastically lags behind the others in this measurement.