NFL Draft by the numbers: SEC could provide first pick at 6 positions

NFL Draft by the numbers: SEC could provide first pick at 6 positions

SEC Football by the Numbers is looking at the 2017 NFL Draft in four parts. Monday’s opening installment examined the first round. Today, it’s a breakdown by positions. On Wednesday, NFL teams will be the focus. And on Thursday, some stats and streaks about the conference and the draft lead into this year’s picks.

1 Alabama tight end has been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft – Ozzie Newsome, who went to the Browns with the 23rd pick in 1978 and had a Pro Football Hall of Fame career. On Thursday night, O.J. Howard is expected to become the second Alabama tight end to be drafted in the first round. 

1 LSU running back has been selected in the first round in the previous 25 NFL drafts. Leonard Fournette is expected to be a first-round pick on Thursday night, which would make him the first LSU running back taken in the first round since the Colts drafted Joseph Addai with the 30th pick in 2006.

2 Current NFL teams have never drafted an SEC quarterback – the Ravens and Texans. Only one SEC quarterback is considered a strong possibility to be drafted this year – Tennessee’ Joshua Dobbs. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly’s chances have been hurt by injuries. Another name that might pop up is Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight.

4 Of the past 16 tight ends drafted from the SEC have been provided by Arkansas – D.J. Williams in 2011, Chris Gragg in 2013, A.J. Derby in 2015 and Hunter Henry in 2016. The Razorbacks could have another tight end drafted in 2017 with Jeremy Sprinkle.

5 Consecutive NFL drafts have included at least one Alabama linebacker. Alabama has had a previous streak of five drafts with a linebacker picked, from 1979 through 1983 when Rich Wingo, Barry Krauss, Wayne Hamilton, E.J. Junior, Thomas Boyd and Robbie Jones were selected. In the current streak, Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower, Nico Johnson, C.J. Mosley, Xzavier Dickson and Reggie Ragland have been drafted. The Crimson Tide’s linebacker streak is expected to reach six this year with Ryan Anderson, Reuben Foster and Tim Williams likely to be drafted.

5 SEC players have been the first tight end selected in an NFL Draft, with Alabama’s O.J. Howard considered a strong possibility to earn that honor this year. The SEC’s first-picked tight ends have been Arkansas’ Hunter Henry in 2016, Mississippi State’s Reginald Kelly in 1999, Auburn‘s Walter Reeves in 1989, LSU’s Billy Truax in 1964 and Ole Miss’ Johnny Brewer in 1960.

7 SEC players have been the first offensive interior lineman selected in an NFL Draft, an honor that could go to Alabama OT Cam Robinson in 2017. The SEC players who have been the first offensive linemen selected in a draft are OT Greg Robinson (drafted second overall by the Rams in 2014), OT Chris Samuels (third by the Redskins in 2000), Georgia OT Bernard Williams (14th by the Eagles in 1994), Tennessee OT Charles McRae (seventh by the Buccaneers in 1991), Tennessee OT Steve Delong (sixth by the Bears in 1965), Ole Miss OT Jim Dunaway (third by the Vikings in 1963) and Alabama C Vaughn “Cisco” Mancha (fifth by the Yanks in 1948). Neither Delong nor Dunaway really belong on the list, despite their position designation for the draft. They were two-way stars in college who were defensive linemen in the NFL.

8 SEC players have been the first defensive back selected in an NFL Draft, with LSU S Jamal Adams considered a possibility for the honor this year. The SEC players who have been the first defensive back selected have been Alabama’s Dee Milliner (drafted ninth overall by the Jets in 2013), LSU’s Morris Claiborne (sixth in 2012 by the Cowboys), LSU’s Patrick Peterson (fifth in 2011 by the Cardinals), Tennessee’s Eric Berry (fifth in 2010 by the Chiefs), LSU’s LaRon Landry (sixth in 2007 by the Redskins), Georgia’s Champ Bailey (seventh in 1999 by the Redskins), Alabama’s Antonio Langham (ninth in 1994 by the Browns) and LSU’s Johnny Robinson (third in 1960 by the Lions). That list includes only players designated as a DB by their drafting team. Many SEC players from the days of two-way college football were listed merely as B for back and went on to play defensive back in the NFL.

9 NFL drafts have passed since an Auburn linebacker was picked. This is the longest position drought on the defensive side of the ball in the SEC, when the players are divided into defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. The most recent Auburn linebacker to enter the NFL via the draft was Will Herring, who went to the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round in 2007. It’s possible Carl Lawson could be drafted with an OLB designation this year rather than as a defensive end, where he played in college.

12 SEC players have been the first linebacker selected in an NFL Draft, with Alabama’s Reuben Foster considered a possibility to earn to run the conference’s streak to three drafts  this year. The SEC players who have been the first LB selected include Georgia’s Leonard Floyd (chosen ninth in 2016 by the Bears), Florida’s Dante Fowler (third in 2015 by the Jaguars), Georgia’s Jarvis Jones (17th in 2013 by the Steelers), Alabama’s Rolando McClain (eighth in 2010 by the Raiders), Ole Miss’ Patrick Willis (11th in 2007 by the 49ers), Alabama’s Keith McCants (fourth in 1990 by the Buccaneers), Alabama’s Derrick Thomas (fourth in 1989 by the Chiefs), Auburn’s Aundray Bruce (first in 1988 by the Falcons), Alabama’s Cornelius Bennett (second in 1987 by the Colts), Mississippi State’s Johnie Cooks (second in 1982 by the Colts), Lee Roy Jordan (sixth in 1963 by the Cowboys) and Georgia’s Dave Lloyd (47th in 1959 by the Browns).

13 SEC players have been the first defensive lineman selected in an NFL Draft, an honor that could go to Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett this year. The SEC players who have been the first defensive linemen selected in a draft are South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney (drafted first overall in 2014 by the Texans), Alabama’s Marcell Dareus (third in 2011 by the Bills), LSU’s Tyson Jackson (third in 2009 by the Chiefs), Kentucky’s Dewayne Robertson (fourth in 2003 by the Jets), Florida’s Gerald Warren (third in 2001 by the Browns), LSU’s Anthony McFarland (15th in 1999 by the Buccaneers), Florida’s Kevin Carter (sixth in 1995 by the Rams), Alabama’s John Copeland (fifth in 1993 by the Bengals), Alabama’s Mike Pitts (16th in 1983 by the Falcons), Kentucky’s Art Still (second in 1978 by the Chiefs), LSU’s Earl Leggett (13th in 1957 by the Bears), Tennessee’s Doug Atkins (11th in 1953 by the Browns) and     Kentucky’s Bob Gain (fifth in 1951 by the Packers). The list contains only players designated as DT or DE by their drafting teams. Three more SEC players can safely be added to the first-defensive-lineman-to-be-drafted list even though they were designated only with a T for tackle on draft day — Kentucky’s Lou Michaels (fourth in 1958 by the Rams), Ole Miss’ Jim Dunaway (third in 1963 by the Vikings) and Tennessee’s Steve DeLong (sixth in 1965 by the Bears). All three were defensive linemen in the pros after playing on both sides of the ball in college.

15 SEC players have been the first running back selected in an NFL Draft, with LSU RB Leonard Fournette considered a possibility to earn that honor this year. The SEC players who have been the first running back selected are Georgia’s Todd Gurley (chosen 10th overall in 2015 by the Rams), Alabama’s Trent Richardson (third in 2012 by the Browns), Alabama’s Mark Ingram (28th in 2011 by the Saints), Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno (12th in 2009 by the Broncos), Arkansas’ Darren McFadden (fourth in 2008 by the Raiders), Auburn’s Ronnie Brown (second in 2005 by the Dolphins), Tennessee’s Jamal Lewis (fifth in 2000 by the Ravens), Georgia’s Garrison Hearst (third in 1993 by the Cardinals), Auburn’s Bo Jackson (first in 1986 by the Buccaneers), Auburn’s Tucker Frederickson (first in 1965 by the Giants), Tulane’s Tommy Mason (first in 1961 by the Vikings), LSU’s Billy Cannon (first in 1960 by the Rams), Florida’s Chuck Hunsinger (third in 1950 by the Bears), LSU’s Steve Van Buren (fifth in 1944 by the Eagles) and Georgia’s Frank Sinkwich (first in 1943 by the Lions). Those SEC players had their position designated as “RB” for the draft. There are five other SEC players who carried the position designation of “B” for back who also might be considered the first running back taken — LSU’s Jerry Stovall in 1963, Tulane’s Dub Jones in 1946, Georgia’s Charley Trippi in 1945, Tennessee’s George Cafego in 1940 and Ole Miss’ Parker Hall in 1939.

15 Alabama defensive backs have been selected in the past 11 NFL Drafts. Alabama has had at least one DB drafted every year since 2006, with the exception of 2011. The Alabama DBs picked in the past 11 drafts are Roman Harper, Charlie Peprah, Ramzee Robinson, Rashad Johnson, Kareem Jackson, Javier Arenas, Marquis Johnson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, DeQuan Menzie, Dee Milliner, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Vinnie Sunseri, Landon Collins and Cyrus Jones. Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey and S Eddie Jackson are likely draft picks this year.

18 LSU defensive linemen have been selected in the past 13 NFL Drafts. The Tigers had had a defensive lineman drafted for 12 straight years until 2016, when they were blanked. DT Davon Godchaux is expected to return LSU defensive front to the draft this week. The LSU defensive linemen who were drafted during the streak were Marcus Spears, Claude Wroten, Kyle Williams, Melvin Oliver, Chase Pittman, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Ricky Jean-Francois, Al Woods, Drake Nevis, Lazarius Levingston, Michael Brockers, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery, Lavar Edwards, Bennie Logan, Ego Ferguson and Danielle Hunter.

19 NFL Drafts have passed without an Ole Miss tight end being selected, a drought that will end this year when Evan Engram is picked. He’ll be the first Ole Miss tight end drafted since the Panthers picked Kris Mangum in the seventh round in 1997. Every other SEC team has had at least one tight end picked in the past nine drafts except for Vanderbilt, which hasn’t had a tight end picked since Jim Popp went to the 49ers in the eighth round in 1986. The Commodores’ drought isn’t likely to end this year. The earliest that an Ole Miss tight end has been drafted is the 28th pick, where the 49ers selected Wesley Walls in the second round of the 1989 draft.

29 Years since a Kentucky center has been drafted. The Wildcats’ Jon Toth could be picked this year, which would make him the first Kentucky center to be drafted since Dermontti Dawson was chosen by the Steelers in the second round in 1988. Dawson went on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


This look at the SEC’s draft numbers includes only players picked in the regular NFL draft — no special supplemental, underclassman, non-NFL or separate dispersal drafts are included in the tabulations. For Arkansas and South Carolina, which joined the league in 1992, the numbers include players drafted since 1993, unless noted. For former member Georgia Tech, players drafted from 1936 to 1964 are included. For former member Tulane, it’s through the 1966 draft. Missouri and Texas A&M have provided SEC players for only the past three drafts. Former SEC member Sewanee has had one player drafted — RB William Johnson by the Falcons in 1966, long after the school left the conference following the 1940 season. 

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Published at Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:00:02 +0000