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That’s A Wrap: Record Draft Haul For The SEC

nfl-draft-podium-tightThe NFL draft wrapped up Saturday in New York with a series of record-setting performances by the SEC.

* Of the 254 players drafted, 63 were from the SEC.  That’s the most by a conference in a single draft ever.

* Those 63 players represent 25% of the entire draft.  But as much emphasis as there is on quantity, there’s an ever greater one on quality.  The SEC dominated the first three rounds of the draft with 32 of 97 picks.  That’s just under 33% of what the NFL considers the best talent available.

* Four schools from the SEC – Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia – combined for 34 draft picks.  That’s more than any single conference.

*The ACC came in second at 31.  That makes it the greatest disparity in picks between the two top conferences in any draft.  

* Alabama and LSU had the most picks from the conference with nine each.  Florida and Georgia with eight each and South Carolina with seven followed closely behind.

* Every SEC school with the exception of Ole Miss had at least one player selected in this year’s draft. Kentucky and Auburn had one apiece.  For Auburn, that’s only two selections in the last two years – the worst stretch for the Tigers since the early 1950′s.

Some Saturday highlights:

Alabama. Crimson Tide had five players – Nico Johnson, Barrett Jones, Jesse Williams, Quinton Dial and Michael Williams - selected Saturday.  34 Alabama players have been drafted in the last five years.  That’s more draft selections than the previous ten years.

Arkansas. Three of the four Razorback selections took place Saturday.  Quarterback Tyler Wilson is headed to the Oakland Raiders (4th round), wide receiver Cobi Hamilton was taken by Cincinnati (6th round)  while  tight end Chris Gragg was picked by the Buffalo Bills (7th round).

Auburn.  There was more activity in the free agent market for Auburn than in the draft, including tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen signing with the St. Louis Rams and running back Onterio McCalebb expected to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Corey Lemonier (3rd round) was Auburn’s sole draft selection.

Florida. Four Gators were drafted on Saturday.  Three of them -  outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins in the fourth round and tailback Mike Gillislee and kicker Caleb Sturgis in the fifth round – are headed to the Miami Dolphins. The only one not drafted by Miami will also stay in the state.  Safety Josh Evans was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first pick of the sixth round. Six undrafted  Gators sign  free-agent deals.

Georgia. Four Bulldogs were drafted Saturday. The eight total selections for Georgia tied for the most ever – equaling the output from 2002. Nose tackle Kwame Gathers, who left following his junior year, was not drafted. Gathers reportedly signed as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers.

Kentucky. The Wildcats lone draft choice was Larry Warford, picked Friday night in the third round by the Detroit Lions.

LSU. The school-record nine selections for the Tigers included eight LSU juniors who departed the program early.

Mississippi State. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd became the Bulldogs third selection of the draft when he was taken by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round. Wide receiver Chad Bumphis and linebacker Cameron Lawrence signed free-agent deals.

Missouri. No draft activity Saturday for the Tigers. Missouri had two picks – Sheldon Richardson in the first round to the New York Jets and linebacker Zavier Gooden in the third round to the Tennessee Titans. Four Mizzou players did sign free agent contracts, including wide receiver T.J. Moe, who’s headed to New England.

Ole Miss.  Rebels didn’t have a  player drafted for the first time since 1999, but several players were quick to sign free agent deals, including former Ole Miss basketball star Murphy Holloway who signed with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

South Carolina. Busy final draft day for the Gamecocks, who had six of their seven players drafted Saturday.  The final day haul included running back Marcus Lattimore (4th round to San Francisco) and the final pick of the draft with tight end Justice Cunningham – 2013′s Mr. Irrelevant.

Tennessee. Vols quarterback Tyler Bray goes undrafted.  He’s signing a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Former Tenessee tight end Mychel Rivera was drafted Saturday- taken in the sixth round by the Oakland Raiders. Defensive tackle Montori Hughes – who had  a brief career at Tennessee before finishing at UT-Martin – was selected by Indianapolis in the fifth round.

Texas A&M.  Aggies had their best draft performance since 2008 with five players taken.  Linebacker Sean Porter is headed to Cincinnati (4th round) and wide receiver Ryan Swope (6th round) was selected by Arizona.  Seven Aggies signed free-agent deals.

Vanderbilt. The Commodores two draft selections both took place Saturday.  Running back Zac Stacy is headed to the St. Louis Rams (5th round) and offensive lineman Ryan Seymour was selected by Seattle in the seventh round.



I'm surprised Ole Miss didn't have anyone drafted.  Hell, I'm a KY fan and Warford was the first lineman from UK drafted in 20 yrs. 


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