SEC, Big Ten dominate in 2021 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is in the books and now it’s time to review all the picks. Today, we start with a look at how each Power Five conference performed with picks through the weekend.
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1. SEC (65 draft picks)
Once again the SEC leads the way by far among the Power Five conferences and it seems the gap is only getting larger. This is the 15th-straight year the SEC has produced the most draft picks and the conference set a record with the most ever from a conference.
Alabama of course led the way with 10 picks with most coming in the first round, led by Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain, DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones. Georgia didn’t have a ton of first-rounders, but the Bulldogs came on strong with nine picks led by defensive backs Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell. Florida was next with eight picks and LSU followed last year's amazing run with seven. Kentucky is probably the surprise of the SEC with six picks. Arkansas and Vanderbilt only had one each.
2. Big Ten (44 picks)
Ohio State of course leads the way here, led by Justin Fields, and the Buckeyes tied Alabama for most picks overall with 10. The Crimson Tide had more higher picks but the Buckeyes came on strong on Day 2. Michigan did well again with eight picks, which likely further frustrates the fan base as the Wolverines have done very well putting players in the NFL Draft under Jim Harbaugh despite disappointing results. Penn State had six draft picks, including a pair of first-rounders in Micah Parsons and Jayson Oweh, while Iowa was steady with four. Wisconsin was down a bit with only three.
3. ACC (42)
The ACC came close to the Big Ten with 42 picks. The conference was carried by Pitt with six and Clemson and North Carolina with five each. Trevor Lawrence from Clemson was drafted No. 1 overall but how about the Panthers? Patrick Jones II was the only Pitt product taken in the first two days of the draft, but this is still an impressive number. The Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami each had four players drafted. Notre Dame, a one-year member of the ACC last season, dwarfed everyone with nine.
4. Pac-12 (28)
The drop off from the top three to the Pac-12 is a big one, though the league held off the Big 12 for last place. Oregon, Stanford and USC each had five picks with the Ducks leading the way with the biggest name in offensive lineman Penei Sewell. Washington had a respectable 4 picks.
5. Big 12 (22)
The Big 12 barely held off the AAC (19 picks) for fifth place, which is hard to believe. To make matters worse, the Big 12 produced zero first-rounders. Oklahoma and Texas each had five players selected, while and Oklahoma State had four. The rest of the conference combined to produce eight draft picks. That’s not good at all.