Last year, Georgia took over the spotlight, with 15 Bulldogs being taken in the draft, including five in the first round. The previous year, it was Alabama that led the way with 10 players getting drafted and six going on the first day.
Not only did those two programs lead all schools in draft picks in their respective years, but they also helped the SEC in leading all conferences in draft selections. A total of 65 draft picks came from the conference in each of the past two years.
Last year, 12 of those picks came in the first round, including the No. 1 overall pick in Georgia defensive end Travon Walker, while seven different schools also represented the SEC in the first round. Twelve players from the SEC were also picked on day one in 2021, although Alabama dominated that year, representing half of the conference’s first-round picks.
There have been 10 or more SEC players drafted in the first round in five of the last six years, and it should be the same this year.
NFL odds have the over/under set at 11.5 for SEC players drafted in the first round.
An SEC pick should go No. 1 once again this year, with NFL expert picks believing Alabama quarterback Bryce Young to be the first player off the board. The Las Vegas odds agree, listing him as a heavy No. 1 favorite.
Young won’t be the only SEC quarterback gone by the end of day one, however. Many NFL picks also have Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis selected in the first round, while some are mocking Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker to be taken in the first round as well.
2 biggest throws of Hendon Hooker’s career vs Alabama.
Big time throws in crunch time, scans the field, and delivers these passes with precise accuracy and timing. pic.twitter.com/r3at2GF6Hx
— Vikings Central (@VikesCentral) April 4, 2023
Quarterbacks should make up at least three of the SEC players drafted in the first round, but the defense will take a good portion of the picks as well. The sportsbook has set the over/under on 14.5 defensive players being drafted on day one – and five of those are projected to be from the SEC.
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter highlight those first-rounders, but Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes and Alabama safety Brian Branch are also a couple names, among others, that could be called in the first round.
#MissState CB Emmanuel Forbes is a ball hawk.
6 INTs for TDs in college. (Most ever)
6 ints in 2022 | 14 ints in 3 seasons
Excels in man coverage, active in run defense. He will not blow teams away with 40 time (4.5)
late 1st/early 2nd pic.twitter.com/i0KEp5iXxK
— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) February 7, 2023
Whoever it ends up being for Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and more, the SEC is expected to be the top dog at the NFL Draft once again. Make your NFL predictions on how you think it will go down before the draft begins in one more week.