SEC tops its own record with 65 players drafted


NFL teams selected a record 65 players from SEC schools during the 2021 draft, continuing the conference’s dominance over the three-day event.

The previous record was also set by the SEC, with 64 in 2019. In fact, the four highest totals of drafted players from one conference belong to the SEC. They had 63 in both 2020 and 2013.

This year’s haul included six of the first 10 picks and 12 of the 32 players selected in the first round. They included Florida tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 4 (Atlanta Falcons), LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase at No. 5 (Cincinnati Bengals) and Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle at No. 6 (Miami Dolphins). Another Alabama receiver, DeVonta Smith, went at No. 10 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

With 10 picks in 2021, Alabama has had 51 players selected over the past five drafts. That ties USC (1973-77) for the most NFL draft picks over any five-year span in the Common Draft Era (since 1967), according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

The next-closest conference was the ACC with 51 players drafted, including No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars). The Big 10 had 44, the Pac-12 had 28 and the Big 12 had 22.

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