NFL Draft picks by conference: SEC leads for 15th straight year

Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, Atlanta Falcons. (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, Atlanta Falcons. (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2021 NFL Draft was dominated by former SEC football stars this past weekend.

For the 15th year in a row, SEC football teams had more players taken than any other conference in the NFL Draft.

Of the 259 players selected over this past weekend, 65 of them hailed from SEC schools. The SEC had 12 players taken in the first round, hailing from six different member universities.

Some of those players include Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to the Atlanta Falcons, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to the Cincinnati Bengals, Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to the Miami Dolphins, Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones to the New England Patriots.

Alabama had six first round picks, tying 2004 Miami for the most in a single year.

All 14 member schools had at least one football star drafted over the course of the weekend.

SEC: 65
Big Ten: 44
ACC: 42*
Pac-12: 28
Big 12: 22
American: 19
Independents: 15*
C-USA: 4
MAC: 4
Sun Belt: 4
MWC: 3
FCS: 5
Div. II: 3
Div. III: 1

* Notre Dame categorized as an Independent, not as an ACC school which they competed as for the 2020 season.

SEC football: No conference had more players taken in the 2021 NFL Draft

The next two conferences in terms of number of players drafted were the Big Ten with 44 and the ACC with 42. Rounding out the Power 5, the Pac-12 had 28 players taken and the Big 12 only had 22 selected.

Overall, the numbers of players drafted in the SEC is a testament to how strong the league is. While some may poke holes at the level of on-field coaching on display in the Power 5 conference, you can never deny the sheer amount of talent that plays in the SEC annually. Even bottom-feeding programs in this conference get guys drafted every single year. It just means more there.

As long as the SEC continues to recruit like it does, these draft-day results will never change.

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